About Our Style: Muso Shinden Eishin-Ryu
Muso Shinden Eishin-ryu Iai Heiho (無雙神傳英信流抜刀兵法) was founded by Hayashizaki Jinsuke in the late 1500s. During the Tokugawa period, the art was brought to the Tosa domain by Hayashi Rokudayu (9th successor). At first, the school was simply called Muso-ryu in Tosa domain. Then, after a period of time, the school was renamed Muso Shinden Eishin-ryu Iai Heiho. The school was practiced among many samurai of the Tosa clan.
Muso Shinden Eishin-Ryu is a traditional school of sword drawing (Iai), and different than modern Iaido. The Muso Shinden Eishin-Ryu is a traditional system, containing techniques and methods from the Edo period and samurai class. Our school is unaffected by the movements of modern martial arts, such as Kendo. It includes methods of combative sword drawing (Iaido), techniques after the sword has been drawn (Kenjutsu), and grappling with swords (Jujutsu).
At the end of Edo era, Yamakawa Kyuzou was considered one of most skilled swordsmen in Tosa. He became one of the primary sword instructors (Shihan) at the main dojo in Tosa, called the Chidokan. Of his pupils, Shimomura Moichi was considered the most excellent swordsman. So he became the primary Iai instructor at the Chidokan as Yamakawa Sensei’s successor.
After the Meiji restoration in 1868, the Muso Shinden Eishin-ryu was taught by Hosokawa Yoshimasa, who was an activist for democratic rights and became a Diet member. At the end of the Tokugawa period, he was a samurai in Tosa domain. In addition to Muso Shinden Eishin-ryu, Hosokawa Sensei also practiced Mugai-ryu Kenjutsu, Takenouchi-ryu Jujutsu (Kogusoku Koshi-no-mawari), Senshin-ryu Sojutsu (spear) and Koushu-ryu military tactics (Heiho).
Ueda Heitaro was a pupil of Hosokawa Yoshimasa and taught the art in Kagawa Prefecture during the Taisho and early Showa eras. He was also an instructor of Shinto-ryu Kenjutsu. Then Ogata Gouichi, a senior student of Ueda Heitaro Sensei, taught the art in Tokushima Prefecture. He was also an instructor of Kanshin-ryu Kenjutsu. Umemoto Mitsuo, the most senior student of Ogata Gouichi Sensei, then taught the art in Hiroshima Prefecture. Currently, Morimoto Kunio, the most senior student of Umemoto Mitsuo Sensei, teaches the art.
Kunio Morimoto Sensei and the Kanou-Kan Organization:
Kunio Morimoto Sensei is the present representative of the Muso Shinden Eishin-ryu. He began practice at the age of 13 years old. At the instruction of his teacher, Umemoto Mitsuo, he founded the Kanou-Kan in 1996. In 1997, Umemoto Mitsuo Sensei left in his will direction for Morimoto Sensei to continue protecting the school as its next headmaster. He followed the wishes of his instructor, and in 2005, decided to convey the techniques of the school widely. In the same year, Morimoto Sensei was recognized by the Association for the Promotion of Japanese Traditional Martial Arts (Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai) as the legitimate successor of Muso Shinden Eishin-ryu Iai Heiho.
Muso Shinden Eishin-Ryu at the Shinwakan Dojo:
Our Dojo is a member school of the Kanou-Kan, and studies the Iaido of Muso Shinden Eishin-ryu under the direction of Kunio Morimoto Sensei. All ranks awarded at our school are issued directly from Morimoto Sensei and the Kanou-Kan Hombu (headquarters) in Hiroshima, Japan.
For additional information regarding Muso Shinden Eishin-Ryu, please visit the official English language website, or you may also contact us for further information.
What is Iaido (Iai Heiho)?
Iaido is the art of drawing and cutting with the Japanese sword. It is a form of traditional Japanese swordsmanship transmitted from the feudal era to modern times. Most techniques begin with the sword sheathed. The art of Iaido is one of the most challenging of the Japanese martial art forms (Budo), but offers one of the best ways to study the deeper aspects of the martial arts.
Iaido teaches one to live in the absolute moment and deal with adversity quickly and with minimal wasted action. It forces practitioners to be self-critical, and strive for constant improvement of physical technique, the mind, and the spirit. These elements transfer to our life outside of the Dojo.