Kukishinden-ryu Kenjutsu – Background

In the 600’s there was a Shinto priest named Kuninazu no Mahito at Kashima Jingu (which is still there today), and he had received insight from the sanctuary guardian spirit Takemikazuchi no Mikoto on how he could transform sword techniques from a religious ceremony (harai tachi) for spiritual purification to battle techniques for warriors.

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These sword techniques came to be called Kashima no Tachi and was taught to seven other Shinto priests. These seven developed each, in turn, his own school and these came to be known under a common name for the Kanto Shichi-ryu 関東七流, “Kanto region’s seven schools.”

In the 1100’s eight Buddhist monks trained on Mount Kurama in one of these schools, under the shugenja called Hogen Kiichi 法眼鬼一. Each of these eight monks created his own sword school and these came to be known collectively as the Kyo Hachi-ryu 京八流, “The capital’s eight schools.”

Sword techniques in Kukishin-ryu derived from this Hogen through one or all of the eight schools, we do not know today. These techniques are called Hiken No Ho 秘剣之法 meaning “secret principles of the sword.”

Within Kukishin-ryu used Handachi 半太刀, a form of katana, which is 3 sun (~ 9 cm) longer than a standard katana by today’s standards. Additionally kodachi and Jutte, according to Takamatsu sensei, is on a second level of Hiken no ho called Juppo Sessho no jutsu 十法折衝之術.

 

Translated by Luke Crocker from HERE.

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