Hontai Yoshin Takagi Ryu Jujutsu
The full name is ‘Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu’. Hontai means Fudoshin to always maintain a naturally strong non moving heart in the face face of any happening. Takagi is the family name. Yoshin means the willow heart. Eiroku 13 (1570), in Tohku at Funakata a So (monk) Unryu specialist in Taijutsu, Bojutsu, and Shuriken-jutsu wrote a special scroll ‘Sessho Hiden’ also called Juppo Sessho No Jutsu (all directions merging secret techniques).
The next generation head a Ito Ki-I No kami Suketada was a specialist with the Yari, Naginata, and Shuriken; his school style was called Kenko Ryu, Itoh Ryu or Unchu Ryu. As a spearman he was extremely famous for writing another scroll ‘Rinpo Hiden’ being very close in relation to the scroll of ‘Amatsu Tatara’ Shoho 2 (1645), Takagi Oriemon Shigenobu was taught all there was and later started his own Ryu-Ha ‘Takagi Yoshin Ryu’.
Oriemon was a specialist of Kenjutsu and Taijutsu. One day he had a duel match with the Yagyu Clan Leader Yagyu Tajima No Kami and was defeated.
More than anything he wanted a rematch to beat Tajima No Kami. He went for consultation and training to a monk on Mount Hiei, Unryu. There one night he had a dream. Holding his spear by his side, standing on a mountain top looking down on a valley filled with the light from the moon shing down. Suddenly many dark clouds appeared covering everything so he couldn’t even see in front of him. Then there was a shout as if from a large animal, with this he opened his eyes and sat up. This dream was really profound for Oriemon so he went to Unryu for advise.
After listening to Oriemon’s experience, Unryu told him that he had a ‘Satori’ (mystical revelation) and that it meant that he could teach him no more. Unryu then presented Oriemon with the last scroll to make him the Grandmaster of the next generation. Again, Oriemon summond Yagyu Tajima No Kami to a rematch. They sparred with swords and both struck into each other but neither could get past the other’s guard. So both stepped simultaneously said “I yield” stepped back formally bowing and left the sparring field, so it was a draw.
Kanbun 11 (1641) his son Takagi Umanosuke received all scrolls as the next Grandmaster. He expanded upon the Ryu ha including: Jujutsu, Kenjutsu, Sojutsu, Naginatajutsu, and Teppannage-jutsu. In time he changed the name of Daken Taijutsu to Taijutsu and Jujutsu. The 13th generation Grandmaster was Yagi Ikugoro.
From some tragedy in Tenpo 12 (1841) he resigned from his office and became ‘Ronin’ (masterless samurai). As such he left Ako to come to Akashi (Kobe) and opened a Dojo.
He presented the Menkyo Kaiden to three students; Fujita Togoro, Ishibashi, and Ishitani Takeo.
Fujita was a sickly person, later giving Menkyo Kaiden to his highest student Mizuta Yoshitaro. Mizuta kept open a dojo in Kobe. Ishibashi was a strange guy, he ran “amazake’ (sweet sake) shop in Ohkuradani and never taught anyone. This Grandmaster gave all materials to his child.
Ishitani Takeo had no one particular place to reside. He spent his time teaching from Dojo to Dojo and never staying in one place very long. Again he presented no one but his child Matsutaro with the Grandmastership. Matsutaro learning Kuki Shin Ryu from Akiyama Yotaro. He mastered many Ryus. He was expert in Hicho Jutsu and could jump up 5 metres grabbing the rafters. At age 61 as Ronin, he came to Akashi taking a job with Takamatsu Sensei’s father then taught all to Takamatsu Sensei then 20. This is told in the story of Gikan Ryu.
Takamatsu Sensei received grandmastership from Ishitani Matsutaro and Mizuta Yoshitaro as the 16th generation Grandmaster (Soke) with Menkyo Kaiden.
Sato Kinbei in Showa 27 (1952) was made the next Grandmaster.
In November 1989 Tanemura Shoto was made the 18th generation Grandmaster.
© Genbukan, K.J.J.R., Amatsu Tatara are Copyright, Grandmaster Shoto Tanemura, 2008