Origin of swordsmanship “Tenshinshoden Katori Shinto ryu” 01


Four Geniuses and Four Important Schools of Kenjutsu

The swordsmanship of “Togoku Shichi Ryu", which has been passed down by Shinto priests and their disciples in eastern Japan. And the “Kyo Hachi Ryu" swordsmanship widely learned in Kyoto, the capital of Japan. However, the Japanese swordsmanship school was still a special skill learned by special people, not a skill that all samurai learned. At that time, Samurai emphasized horsemanship and archery rather than the use of swords. The sword was just one of many weapons.

Then time passed and in late 14th or early 15th century, four sword geniuses appeared in Japan, coincidentally at the same time. The first sword masters in Japan, their names are “Iizasa Ienao", " Nenami Jion", “Aisu Hisatada" and “Chujyo Nagahide".

Tenshinshoden Katori Shinto-ryu

“Iizasa Ienao" was born in 1387 to a samurai family in “Shimousa no Kuni “(present-day Chiba Prefecture). In Chiba Prefecture, there is Katori Jingu Shrine, which conveys the “Kanto Shichi Ryu".From a young age, he liked martial arts and practiced the swordsmanship handed down at Katori Shrine. And he served as his samurai for his hometown’s powerful clan “Chiba family" and was the leader of many samurai corps. However, Japan soon entered an era of civil war. The Chiba family was part of the Kanto Kanrei Uesugi family’s camp, but they were defeated in a battle with the enemy forces and destroyed. After the battle in Chiba, he was recruited by the Shogun’s corps in Kyoto, but he gradually felt the emptiness of each day of battle.

Tako Town, Chiba Prefecture, where Ienao Iizasa was born.

“Iizasa Ienao" returned to his home village and resumed sword training at Katori Shrine. He lived in the mountains deep inside the vast Katori Shrine, prayed to the gods, and spent his days devising sword techniques against plum trees. His training days exceeded 1000 days. And he realized the essence of the sword.

From “History of Katori Shrine"

In fact, it seems that he also attended Kashima Shrine in the neighboring prefecture. And there he also learned “Kashima no Tachi". Combining the sword skills he learned at an early age with the quintessence of the sword he learned in 1000 days of training, he created one of the most important schools of swordsmanship in history.

That is the original school of all Japanese swordsmanship “Tenshinshoden Katori Shinto-ryu"!!