The Origin

Hinoshita Torite Kaisan Takenouchi-Ryu is the oldest form of Jiu-jitsu that first appears in historical record.

Hence, it is praised as " The origin of Jiu-Jitsu".

 

The founder of Takenouchi-Ryu, Takenouchi Nakatsukasa Taifu Hisamori was born in the 3rd year of Bunki(1503) at the Kyoto Takeuchi family. The ancestor of Takeuchi family is Minamotono Tsunemoto, who is the grandson of Emperor Seiwa. The family were court nobles of Kyoto who served for the emperor.

 

After the ōnin war, in the year of Eisho (around 1518) right in the midst of disorder of the Sengoku period (=age of warring states), Hisamori seeked a new frontier and moved from Kyoto to the Land of Mimasaka.

 

At Mimasaka, Hisamori led the local samurais, became the lord of Ichinose castle and devoted himself in training martial arts every day and night.

 

Hisamori, secluded himself in Haga-go Sannomiya shrine deep in the mountains. He prayed to Atago god and for six days and six nights he devoted in ascetic training. Under fasting, while standing he swung his 2shaku4sun (approx. 72.3cm) wooden katana, and while sitting, he meditated.

At Mangannohi (day of fulfillment), lunar calender June 24th, the first year of Tenmon (1532), Atago god revealed himself as an old man and granted, Koshinomawari 25kajou (25 techniques of armed grappling) and Torite 5kajou (5 techniques of arresting).

 

Even today,  lunar calender June 24th is celebrated as the day of foundation, and Soke(The Headmaster) holds a  Shinto ritual.  A large number of disciples and laities gather to the Headquarters.

The Perfection

The 2nd headmaster Hisakatsu, traveled around many lands to heighten his skills. Among the journey he dueled many warriors, but never did he lose.  Hisakatsu's reputation rose and many warriors became his disciple among the journey. Among the real sword duel through the journey and hard training, Hisakatsu developed the esotric techniques of Takenouchi-Ryu.

 

Hisakatsu's fame grew even greater, and in the 6th year of Genna(1620), he was privileged to demonstrate his techniques in front of Emperor Go-Mizunoo. Emperor Go-Mizunoo was astonished by Hisakatsu's mystic skills and granted the honor of "Hinoshita Torite Kaisan"(The number one user of Torite under the sun). The Emperor also appointed him to the prestigious Kyuuchuu-urin(Emperor's guard).

 

Hisakatsu gained permission to enter the emperor's palace, there he was granted an audience to Kanpaku( emperor's chief advisor)  lord Konoe, and demonstrated the Takenouchi-ryu techniques. The most exquisite skills fascinated Kanpaku, he sought instruction, and eventually reached to the grade of Inka. Kanpaku, unlaced the purple colored band from his crown and gifted it to Hisakatsu, and told him to use it for Hayanawa(rapid rope). Ever since, Hisakatsu established to use a purple rope (which is the most eminent color in ancient Japan) permanently throughout the descendants for the Takenouchi Hojo (rope binding technique). 

 

The 3rd headmaster Hisayoshi, in order to master his skills, traveled around many lands as well.

His undefeated victory over victory, rose the fame of Takenouchi-ryu even higher.

 

At Kyoto, he demonstrated the virtuosity in front of the Kanpaku lord Takatsukasa Fusasuke. The Kanpaku was thrilled, and rewarded Hisayoshi the dagger of Hirotsugu. The Kanpaku himself became a disciple of Takenouchi-ryu and reached the grade of Menjo.

 

Through the recommendation of Kanpaku, Hisayoshi was allowed to audience emperor Reigen. Emperor Reigen granted the honor of "Hinoshita Torite Kaisan" , and the usage of the name "Toichiro" permanently throughout the descendants. Ever since, each headmaster of the time succeeded the name "Toichiro".

 

Hisayoshi deeply quested the essence of the innermost skills. He culminated "Takenouchi-ryu sinyouka (poets singing the innermost spirit of Takenouchi-ryu", and preached "Santokusho (The three extract of virtues)" and "Gojo no toku (The five apodictic virtues)" and established the soul of Takenouchi-ryu.

 

Here, Takenouchi-ryu beginning from Hisamori, inherited to Hisakatsu and Hisayoshi was perfectized through three generations.

  

Hisakatsu and Hisayoshi had high fame, hence many feudal lords suggested hiring them as instructors, however they kept the families regulation held by the founder Hisamori "The headmaster must not serve". 

 

While Hisakatsu and Hisayoshi traveled many lands, many warriors admired their skills and became their disciples. When the disciple warriors became independent they created their own ryuuha (schools), which lead to the derivation of many ryuuha that originates in Takenouchi-ryu.

The Transmission

Takenouchi-ryu did not discriminate or choose disciples depending on their hereditary classes, but were open to farmers and townsmen as well as samurais. Hence, Takenouchi-ryu widely spread from nobles, samurais, and to the general public as well. This too was one factor that Takenouchi-ryu gave influence to many ryuuha.

 

There is a proverb that says "Do not swing a staff at Sakushu (the land of Mimasaka)". This is a proverb to warn warriors from other lands that, if you boast your staff skills at Sakushu, you may get defeated by a simple farmer.

 

This proverb tells the fact that Takenouchi-ryu widely spread regardless of hereditary classes, and that the practitioners were highly skilled.

 

Thus, Takenouchi-ryu greatly prospered, by the contribution of Headmasters and disciples of each generation.

 

However, at the 7th year of Tenpo(1836), the Takeuchi family was challenged by a difficulty. 

The 8th headmaster Hisayoshi deceased at the youth of 45. His two sons Hisao and Hisatsugu were aged 15 and 7 at the time, too young to master the esoteric techniques.

 

Confronting this crisis, the family members and disciples of Takenouchi-ryu called back Ikeuchi Gamonta, who was a disciple of Takenouchi-ryu who was serving as an instructor at Tanshu (current Awaji island) at the time.

Ikeuchi Gamonta was the disciple of the 7th headmaster Hisataka. The innermost secrets of Takenouchi-ryu had been initiated to him and had reached the highest grade, Inka. Gamonta, with the permission of the land lord of Tanshu returned to the Takenouchi headquarters, and started to teach and supervise Hisao and Hisatsugu.

He paid great effort to heritage the secret techniques to the future, by copying the abundant secret notes and esoteric scrolls handed down in the Takenouchi family as well.

 

The Takenouchi family members and disciples highly respected and admired Gamonta, and bestowed him the surname Takenouchi. Gamonta inherited the headship of the family, and became the 9th Headmaster Takenouchi Toichiro Hisaori. He was posthumously named "武極Bukyoku (The master of martial arts)".

 

Takenouchi Hisao who mastered the exquisite techniques of Takenouchi-ryu by the grace of Gamonta inherited the 10th Headmaster. Takenouchi Hisatsugu who mastered Takenouchi-ryu as well, became the family head of a new made branch family to prevent the loss of Takenouchi-ryu, and became Takenouchi Tojuro Hisatsugu. This is when Sōdenke was born, and the family head succeeded the name "Tojuro" since then.

 

Thus the crisis of Takenouchi-ryu at the early Tenpo years had been overcome.

 

Through the following turbulent Bakumatsu, Meiji, Taisho, and Showa period, Takenouchi-Ryu was preserved by the succesive Sōke and disciples. 

 

The current headmaster is 14th Takenouchi Toichiro Hisamune. He is leading his disciples and is actively teaching, preserving, and spreading the tradition and skills of ancient martial arts.

Lineage

 

                SōKE (Headmaster family)    

      Founder               Takenouchi Nakatsukasa Tayuu Hisamori

2nd  headmaster        Takenouchi Hitachinosuke Hisakatsu

3rd   headmaster        Takenouchi Kaganosuke Hisayoshi

4th   headmaster        Takenouchi Toichiro Hisatsugu

5th   headmaster        Takenouchi Toichiro Hisamasa

6th   headmaster        Takenouchi Toichiro Hisashige

7th   headmaster        Takenouchi Toichiro Hisataka

8th   headmaster        Takenouchi Toichiro Hisayoshi                                SōDENKE (Transmission family)

9th   headmaster        Takenouchi Toichiro Hisaori   ---------------    9th master      Takenouchi Tojuro Hisatsugu

10th  headmaster       Takenouchi Toichiro Hisao                            10th master     Takenouchi Tojuro Hisamori

11th  headmaster       Takenouchi Toichiro Hisanori                         11th master     Takenouchi Tojuro Hisamitsu

12th  headmaster       Takenouchi Toichiro Hisatsugu                      12th master     Takenouchi Tojuro Hisahiro

13th  headmaster       Takenouchi Toichiro Hisanori                        13th master     Takenouchi Tojuro Hisatake

Current headmaster    Takenouchi Toichiro Hisamune