In my thesis I’ve worked in many things, and one of the first schools that I used was Shinkage-ryū, there was a phrase at the end of the ichi-koku, ichi-nin inka[i] written by Kamiizumi Isenokami Hidetsuna in the 15th century (1563 CE), he wrote a phrase when giving the Inka to Yagyū Sekishusai, the next generation. The phrase said, “the way we do, the way we teach, in order to find one, you need to open the school to two hundred people.” That’s very interesting because back in those days, they never open the school; they would only receive strong people. If you want to make someone good you have to pick through many characters, and if you’re looking for something very true, very special, you have to do a lot of experiments. That was the idea.
Here we will be staring with the first part of Gyokko-ryū Koppōjutsu. Certain kamae, and Teken (fists with the hands; 手拳)…
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[i] The founder Kamiizumi Isenokami Hidetsuna gave to Yagyū Sekishusai Muneyoshi the ichi-koku, ichi-nin (一国一人) inka densho signifying complete transmission of the school.
“After a certain time, practice and trust, the disciple receives an attestation of transmission call the Inka-jô (印可状), which origin comes from the esoteric Buddhism’s (Mikkyô) transmission mode callInjin Koka no ryaku (印信許可之略). The Inka-jô was used in the Zen’s transmission.
Most sources show that according to the nature of the relation between master and disciple, the content of the Inka-jô, as well as the techniques transmitted, change. According to the period, the position of the master in the bushi’s class, his names, his skill, his motivation, etc., there are also many cases where the Inka-jô was sold.” (Zoughari, Dr. Kacem Zoughari Interview on Koryū, Ninjutsu, and Practicing)
In Zen-Buddhism (禪), Dharma transmission (Hōden; 法傳) is a custom in which a person is established as a “successor in an unbroken lineage of teachers and disciples, a spiritual ‘bloodline’ (kechimyaku; 血脈) theoretically traced back to the Buddha himself.” (Haskel 2) The dharma lineage reflects the importance of family-structures in ancient China, and forms a symbolic and ritual recreation of this system for the monastical “family”. (Bodiford 261)
In Rinzai-Zen (臨済宗), inka shōmei is ideally “the formal recognition of Zen’s deepest realisation”, (Ford 54) but practically it is being used for the transmission of the “true lineage” of the masters (shike; 師家) of the training halls. (Borup 13) There are only about fifty (Noelke) to eighty (Buddhadharma) of such inka shōmei-bearers in Japan.