Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido considered Koryu?

Discussion in 'Japanese Swords and Sword Arts' started by Spinedoc, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. Spinedoc

    Spinedoc Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    238
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    Curious, I am considering studying MSR as an adjunct to my Aikido studies, and in researching it, I seem to find conflicting information on this. Some state that being a direct descendant art from Hasegawa Eishen-Ryu makes it along with Muso Jikiden Eishen Ryu both Koryu arts. Other sources say that only Muso Jikiden is considered Koryu? Not that it matters that much to me, because it is what is available to me, and the principles and techniques will be helpful all the same but wasn't sure if someone knew the answer? Perhaps Chris Parker?

    Also, I am in love with this.....sigh.

    New Page 4

    Japanese Swords Japanese Sword Information Antique Japanese Sword Japanese Samurai Swords Japanese Katana Swords Japanese Swords For Sale Nihonto japanese sword polishing

    Thanks,

    Mike
     
  2. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    6,012
    Likes Received:
    926
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hey Mike,

    Hmm… it's not a simple question… and really, the answer will depend largely on your perspective.

    In short, yeah it is… except it's not. Muso Shinden Ryu is, realistically, a slightly re-worked and renamed line of the older Eishin Ryu, specifically the Shimomura-ha… with Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu being a slightly reworked and renamed version of another line, the Tanimura-ha. Both originate from the early 20th Century, with the Tanimura line (which was more associated with the bushi class itself, centred in the capital at the time), whereas the Shimomura-ha was more associated with the goshi around Tosa. The split between the lines occurred after the death of the 11th head of Eishin Ryu, which was two generations after the Omori Ryu was formally incorporated into the methods taught.

    The basic history is as follows… in the latter stages of the Sengoku Jidai (late 16th Century), Hayashizaki Jinsuke Shigenobu created an art of sword drawing, which he named Shinmei Muso Ryu. Hayashizaki had a large influence on the practice of sword, specifically in the area of sword drawing (despite the popular claims, he didn't invent sword drawing, although he was largely responsible for popularising the term "Iai", which indeed may have started with him… other, older systems, such as Tenshinsho Den Katori Shinto Ryu had already been incorporating sword drawing [batto] methods for a century or more). This gave rise to a number of descendant systems, such as Tamiya Ryu (founded by one of Hayashizaki's earliest students), and his own system would take on a number of names as the years went on, such as Hayashizaki Ryu, Jushin Ryu, until we get to the 7th headmaster, Hasegawa Hidenobu (Hidenobu also being pronounced "Eishin"), who is sometimes considered the founder (or foundation) of the lines bearing his name, the Eishin Ryu (which include Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu and Muso Shinden Ryu). Among the major contributions that Hasegawa imparted were an alteration from the use of a tachi to a a katana (which had become popular at the time), and the creation of a set of seated techniques from tatehiza (a kneeling posture with one raised knee), known as Tatehiza no Bu.

    A student of Hasegawa's, named Omori Rokurozaemon (who was expelled from the school at one point…), also a former student of Shinkage Ryu and Ogasawara Ryu Buke Reiho (formal etiquette for the warriors) created a set of techniques from a different seated posture popularised by the Ogasawara Ryu, known as Seiza (and the methods became known as Seiza no Bu). After gaining re-admittance to the Ryu, these seiza techniques were added by the then headmaster, the 9th Soke Hayashi Rokudayu (although they weren't formally incorporated in the position they currently hold until the early 20th Century by Oe Masamichi [in the Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu] - until then, they were still considered a separate, albeit related ryu-ha, given the name Omori Ryu). The Ryu became known as the Tosa Eishin Ryu, after settling in the Tosa domain, and continued through to the 11th head, after which the split between the two dominant lines occurred, giving rise to the Shimomura-ha and Tanimura-ha respectively.

    The Shimomura-ha continued to be centred in Tosa, with the Tanimura-ha remaining for a time before moving to Koji. The lines continued to remain relatively similar, with the biggest distinction being who they focused on teaching, with the Shimomura-ha being more for 'commoners' and goshi (rural samurai), and the Tanimura-ha continued to maintain it's place as a study for bushi almost exclusively. The Tanimura-ha ended up being passed to Oe Masaji in the early 20th Century (Oe had actually begun his study in the Shimomura-ha before changing to the Tanimura-ha later), who simplified the curriculum, and restructured it (adding in the Omori Ryu as an introductory level, reducing the number of techniques, and so on), renaming it Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu. At the same time, Nakayama Hakudo inherited the Shimomura-ha (which was also known as Muso Shinden Eishin Ryu at the time) similarly simplified his line, bringing it in line with Oe's version (there are differences in the Omori Ryu presented, with the Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu having 11 waza, with 1 variation, and the Muso Shinden Ryu including the variation as a formal waza, as well as the names being different - Mae (MJER)/Shohatto (MSR) etc), and the second and third sections (the Chuden/Eishin Ryu and Okuden/Oku Iai) being largely the same.

    As a result, it's pretty clear that, although the Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu and the Muso Shinden Ryu are modern iterations of the Eishin Ryu (and Omori Ryu), it's history is very much in the confines of Koryu… at least to me. The argument against, of course, is that, as Nakayama Hakudo is the founder of Muso Shinden Ryu itself (as it's modern form), it's not Koryu. To me? It is.

    Oh, and nice blade. A bit short (especially for MSR/MJER… typically, the ryu prefer a much longer blade… Nakayama Hakudo himself used quite a long blade, to the point that he almost sliced through his achilles tendon by lowering his kensen for a kiri oroshi at one time…). I personally use a relatively short blade for my MSR practice, but sometimes go to a more "standard" iaito. But I have a personal preference for a slightly shorter weapon, due to a couple of other influences, and my teacher is fine with that.

    Hope that helped a bit… and didn't just confuse the issue!
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. Ken Morgan

    Ken Morgan Senior Master

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Guelph
    .....yes, yes it is......;)
    Chris likes to talk............;)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Darren Tay

    Darren Tay White Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hi Chris,

    Alot of people loosely quote Muso Shinden Ryu (MSR) as the renamed line of Shimomura ha, but that isn't accurate. Nakayama Hakudo only received Menkyo from Hosokawa Yoshimasa (Shimomura ha), whereas he received Menkyo Kaiden from Morimoto Tokumi (Tanimura ha). He more or less followed what Oe Masamichi did and use tanimura ha as a base and added technical points from shimomura ha. He also added along his understanding and experience in Shindo Munen Ryu and Shinto Muso Ryu Jodo. On top of that alot of his students added on their own interpretations which made the schools distinct from each other even though they are under the same umbrella.

    Although few, there are still authentic Shimomura ha lineages which traced themselves back to Hosokawa Yoshimasa (Shimomura ha). There are quite alot of technical difference between Shimomura ha and MSR. If we look at the Shimomura ha being performed, we will immediately notice that the noto is vastly different since their saya is inverted during nukitsuke. Their posture is more hanmi and they use more hip.

    You also got your information mixed up. Tanimura ha was actually practiced by the goshi (rural samurai) while Shimomura ha was practiced by the higher class Bushi. There were alot of Goshi in Tosa after the Yamaguchi clan came into power and possibly one of the reason why tanimura ha was more wide spread in Tosa then their counterparts.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

jushin ryu iaido

,

muso shinden ryu koryu

,

muso shinden x muso jikiden