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Carved into Musashi's Bokuto, Jisso Enman means, "Without adaptation"

Due to certain misleading internet coverage such forums and wikipedia I have rewritten this page. I myself was a party and witness to the events leading up to and following the inauguration of the present recognized 11th Soke. Certain lies have been spread since the 10th Soke passed on. Imai Soke is no longer here to defend himself and deal with matters so I will relate the true facts as it is Musashi's Mu. The facts leading up to and the inauguration of the 11th  Soke are as follows:

 Initially a private ceremony took place at the old Hombu, Usa Dojo ~ Oita on November 24th 2003. Menkyo Kaiden were handed to three people. Imai Soke had sat with the 11th successor with blank certificates to decide and draft out the other Menkyo Kaiden. ! It really was the wish of the 10th Soke to try and return to Musashi's original tradition of handing down to three people to carry on a tradition 'together'. Sadly after the menkyo ceremony one of the holders, Kiyonaga  Fumio deserted  Imai Soke's Hombu Dojo. The dojo he should have continued to lead He left to form his own separate group. Sadly dismayed at this action that was devoid of Budo Seishin Imai Soke then decided to carry on as before and preceded to have a ceremony in Kokura to appoint Iwami Toshio as the next Soke. A commemoration Stone was ordered and carved. We sat down and planned and organized the ceremony


On the 20th of December an inauguration ceremony was held in Kokura to designate the succeeding Soke. One of the other Menkyo kaiden holders Kiyonaga Fumiyo was present at this inauguration and was fully aware of the 10th Soke's wishes.  Kiyonaga Fumio then passed away the following year. It should be well noted that Kiyonaga in actual fact passed away before the 10th Soke. Imai Soke could have them awarded yet another menkyo kaiden at the demise of one holder. But he did not. The one leader soke system was upheld. Kiyonaga's followers became leaderless as they had already broken ties with 10th Soke. They were also disallowed from forming a second group within the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai and Shinkokai. This group then joined a retired senior member attached the Sekiguchi ryu who once assisted Imai Soke at embu, seminars, and an Nippon Budokan video where he is clearly introduced as "an assistant". The group has declared itself as the 'Gosho Ha', a supposed family lineage of the ryu. Gosho has also since passed away...... It should be well noted that the ryu like other ryu does not recognize hereditary succession or the forming of a Ha without the express permission of the acting Soke. And that it is the prerogative of the Soke and him only to decide who would qualify to succeed the ryu with their own 'Ha' system within the time of his leadership. The Soke of course has full intellectual copyright to his own ryu!

It should be well noted that Menkyo Kaiden does not qualify one to succeed a ryu in all cases. A Menkyo can and often is merely certification with little or no practical experience. In fact many are given as meigi (in name only) for a particular service one might have given to the ryu. What it perhaps not know by some is that there are specifics in writing a Menkyo Kaiden. There is generally a specific difference between wording on specific certificates. But seldom do people put them together to compare.


The teaching of Ito, Nito, Kodachi, Bo and Jujitsu will be continued. Also Jutte which had been discontinued for some time.

Present dojo in Japan under the direction of Soke are in Kokura and Fukuoka. practice at Imai Soke's dojo in Usa has been discontinued.

Internationally we of course hope that more and more people will show an interest in the Ryu and Musashi's tradition.

We have groups in the U.S.A., Canada, the Philippines, Finland, UK, France Australia etc.


Miyamoto Musashi Fujiwara no Genshin
Terao Kyumanosuke Nobuyuki (Second name can be read as Motomenosuke)
Terao Goemon Katsuyuki
Yoshida Josetsu Masahiro
Santo Hikozaemon Kyohide
Santo Hanbe Kiyoaki
Santo Shinjuro Kiyotake
Aoki Kikuo Hisakatsu
Kiyonaga Tadanao Masami
Imai Masayuki Nobukatsu

Iwami Toshio Gensho (Harukatsu)

This is the official lineage chart. The lineage is clear and concise with a specific method of handing things on in practice, documentation and artifacts, details of which are not for publication. A case of what we know and for others to perhaps wonder unless they become a part of that very process. Others that are aware of such a process and documentation are Japan's recognized associations such as Kobudo Kyokai in affiliation with Nippon Budokan and Kobudo Shinkokai. Needless to say any other so called ha or group could attempt to join such an association "if" they could produce relevant artifacts and documentation to back up their claim and show a living practical tradition that actually related to those documents.


In Musashi's time the transmission of written text was rare. Rejection of transmission by means of writing reflects the recognition of a real intuitive comprehension on a personal level. The purpose of a ryu is to be able to communicate to others something that one has a deeply understood oneself and not what one has read. However recommended reading would have to be Gorin no Sho, Hyoho Shiji ni Kajo and Dokkodo to get the full picture. 

©Hyakutake -Watkin  2004

The inauguration day was designated as, Seishin Chokudo no Hi - The day of choosing a straight path in life. A commemoration stone of over two meters was erected at the base of Kokura castle between the front of the  Ogasawara Kinenkan and Kokura Castle.

The inauguration was finalized by an Embu of the Ito and Nito Seiho between the 10th headmaster and his successor.

Iwami Toshio Gensho was inaugurated as Hyoho Niten Ichiryu Seito Ju-Ichidai.

The ceremony was opened by Hyakutake -Watkin a Menkyo holder of the ryu and Shihan of The Kageryu. This was followed by speeches by dignitaries welcoming the Ryu back to Kokura . One of the speakers was the present generation descendant of Musashi's third son Miyamoto Iori. He talked of the well documented history of Musashi living in Kokura. Before coming there he had adopted Iori as his third son. Iori was employed as a retainer of the Ogasawara Tadazane. The ceremony was continued with speeches of recognition and acceptance by soke and successor and the handing over of the Menko Kaidensho Makimono and Miyamoto Musashi's Jisso Enman no Bokuto.

The bokuto which has always been handed down through generations from Soke to Soke is designated as a national treasure. From now on it is now held by Usa Jingu (Usa Shrine). The 9th Soke Aoki Kikuo Teshin (Hisakatsu) had taken it to Taiwan where he had lived for some time before WW2. The outbreak of war forced him to return to Japan but he had left it there for fear of losing it. Imai Soke deposited it at Usa Jingu (Shrine) for safe keeping. The makimono will still be handed down to respective Soke

The Ryu has always been greatly indebted to the student in Taiwan who returned it to Japan some years after the war hence the awarding of a meigi menkyo kaiden to a Taiwanese. Succession in the Hyoho Niten Ichiryu, the name designated by Musashi towards the end of his life does not follow a hereditary pattern. In actual fact Musashi's own son refused to promulgate the ryu as Musashi had chosen his best students to carry things on. The ryu is attested by the conferral of two artifacts. A scroll on which is written the name of the techniques and the approach to them that must be transmitted to perpetuate the school. A wooden sword that Musashi made himself, with which he trained and used as a walking stick during the last years of his life. The main attribute to succession is of course the physical and education transmission handed down from teacher to student, learned over most of a lifetime and with it the deep understanding of Musashi's Mu that accompanies his waza. Those who do not understand and possess Musashi's Mu have not chance of advancement or succession!


Today the following techniques are transmitted:

Tachi Seiho - Twelve waza with long sword.

Nito Seiho - Five waza with two swords corresponding to the five forms in the Water Scroll.

Kodachi Seiho - Seven waza with a short sword. Aikuchi roppo - Six waza with a knife.

Bo jutsu - Twenty waza with a staff.

Jitte to Jutsu - Five waza against a sword.

Throughout the generations certain students have also been acknowledged by previous Soke during their life leading towards final succession. These have gone on and away from the actual lineage and in many cases have added their own techniques and methods of training. Generally the term Ha or family is used in this case. But this has had no, bearing as to who was chosen in finality to continue the line.

Even to this day it would be possible to establish a Ha. But it would be have no use unless close contact can be kept with future successors. The ultimate purpose like any other ryu is to try and bring people together not break and fragment the line. A ha is a "ha", a lineage a "lineage". So for obvious reasons Ha cannot be listed as lineage. Ha can be seen published elsewhere by people trying to establish links and add authenticity or relevance to a particular Genbudo. Most of all the ryu is "Living Tradition". The only way to find anything about it in detail is to join and do it rather than mere supposition from reading books. The lineage is NOT hereditary!

Musashi's wish was to perpetuate his art to three successors within the thousand students around 1640. To Terao Magonojo, his younger brother Kyumanosuke and to Furuhashi Sozaemon. He considered Magonojo to excelled in technique but lacked in reflection. Furuhashi excelled in reflection but lacked in technique. Magonojo received the Gorin no Sho on the instructions that he read it and burned it. But Furuhashi borrowed it for a few days and on the orders of Hosokawa Mitsuhisa made two copies. One for Hosokawa and one for himself that he transmitted under the name of Ihon Gorin no Sho. The best known artifact today is the Hosokawa copy.

Magonojo then yielded the role of successor to his younger brother Kyumanosuke who had received the Hyoho San-jugo from Musashi. It was Kyumanosuke that transmitted to his students this document with seven added instructions called the Hyoho Shiji ni Kajo.

Terao Kyumanosuke (Motomenosuke) had receive complete transmission of the School of Musashi receiving certification and Musashi's two swords. He at first refused to teach and rightly sent what he had received to Musashi's adopted son Iori. Iori refused as the succession and warriors honour had not been bestowed upon him. With this Kyumanosuke took over as head with both his and Iori's actions were manifestations of Musashi's respect.

Kyumanosuke's fourth son who had been renamed Shinmen Bensuke received full transmission but died at the age of forty five. And so we come to today with the two artifacts, the continuance of a tradition and perpetuation of a ryu. But looking at the initial short history it is easy to see that although three successors are named it is often left to fate which one or more will continue.

With regard internet discussion: The ryu does not really wish to get involved in internet politics but, readers may be aware of a group posing as official representatives of the ryu and suggest that there is a designated 12th successor. This is utter fiction as the 10th Soke had named his successor before he passed away. Although 12th generation menkyo have been named by the 11th Soke there is no immediate plans to name a 12th successor. Obviously this can only be done by the designated Soke. A small group in Brazil had previous links to Kiyonaga Fumio who had  left the ryu and passed away before Imai soke passed on leaving them leaderless too. They have sought instruction elsewhere being unable to return to the ryu. This Brazilian group is always seeking internet recognition. The population of Brazil in particular Sao Paulo has a population of seven million. All this internet facade is obviously for financial gain in the area by making money from Budo. Although Brazilian members of that organization have been banned from well known martial arts forums for posting empty rhetoric they seek recognition by posting articles on wikipedia etc. Although there was a lot of information on Wikipedia pertaining to this group "anyone" can post or edit on wikipedia as it is a free, editable, online encyclopedia. Sadly lots of very relevant factual information on this site can be edited by people with lack of qualification and knowledge.

An internet facade offers no Japanese recognition whatsoever with the Japanese authorities such as Monbusho that clearly recognize and applaud the present HNIR hierarchy in Japan. Assisting Imai Soke on an Australian seminar or on a Nippon Budokan video does not qualify one to be the next headmaster of the ryu. If this were the case there would already be over 20 Soke bearing in mind the number of 'assistants' and international seminars held each year, video footage and photographs taken. Most of us live in a free democratic society with the right to freedom of expression. However some show the greatest disrespect to departed teacher when he no longer here to rectify true facts This all shows a distinct lack of Budo Seishin Something that is of the ultimate requirement to understand in the pursuance of learning of Budo Bunka. A value that true Japanese people hold dearly!