Kukishinden Ryu Happo Biken (九鬼神伝流八法秘剣術) "Nine Demon/Spirit School Eight Way Hidden Weapons"
These are the Bisento (“eyebrow blade”) techniques of Kukishinden Ryu. This weapon is similiar to a Naginata, but is much heavier and has a much heavier blade on the end.
These are the Yari (“spear”) techniques of Kukishinden Ryu. Essentially, this is a bo-staff with a pointed blade on the end.
These are the Rokushakubo (“six foot staff”) techniques of Kukishinden Ryu. Also often referred to as a “bo-staff”.
These are the Goshakubo (“five foot staff”) techniques of Kukishinden Ryu. Shorter than a Rokushakubo.
These are the Hanbo (“half staff”) techniques of Kukishinden Ryu. It’s half the length of a full “bo staff”.
These are the sword fighting techniques of Kukishinden Ryu.
These are the Jutte (lit. “cross hands”) techniques of Kukishinden Ryu. This is a small hand held weapon used for disarming attackers with swords.
Kukishinden Ryu History
Born January 1, 1318 in Wakayama prefecture, Ryushin Yakushimaru (Yakushimaru Kurando Takazane) was a descendant of the Fujiwara clan who were very influential in Japanese politics and the navy from 794-1185. Ryushin celebrated his coming of age in 1335 at age 16 by joining the Northern Court under Takauji Ashikaga who was at war with the Southern Court where the young Ryushin was born and had family. One year later, Ryushin led an attack against the Southern Court on Mt. Hiei where Ryushin was successful in toppling the Southern Court here and capturing the court’s Emperor Go-Daigo where he was imprisoned in Hanayama palace. Go-Daigo’s treatment was so heinous that Ryushin must have felt sympathy not only for him but also for his mother who was still heartbroken that her son led the attack against her family.
Disguised as a maid, Ryushin entered the palace with a small group of warriors, one of which being Japanese war hero Kusunoki Masashige. The Northern Court was alerted about the escape and sent ten thousand soldiers to cut them off and crush them. The small army caught them at Kuragari-Toge near Osaka and Nara, where they made their stand against ten thousand Northern Court soldiers. Ryushin armed with a naginata, charged at the soldiers shouting, “Who’s the sergent?” cutting the soldiers down like grass. That sergent was strong enough to cut off Ryushin’s blade, so Ryushin used the remains of the staff to keep soldiers away. It is said that Ryushin used the kuji-kiri, which he’d learned early in his training, to maintain a super-human level of performance.
With Go-Daigo on Ryushin’s back they escaped to Yoshino. Emperor Go-Daigo took notice of Rhyshin’s fighting techniques and later praised him and inquired about their origin. He told the Emperor that it was a secret technique passed to him from his family; the secret art of Kuji. The Emperor replied, “God knows your loyalty. You shall change your surname Fujiwara to Kuki”, and Fujiwara Ryushin Yakushimaru became Kuki Ryushin Yakushimaru.
Ryushin created Kukishin Bojutsu in honor of his now deceased mother who died heartbroken over her son’s choice to join the Northern court. The techniques of Kukishinden Ryū Bojutsu came from the techniques used by Ryushin in the battle that ensued after their escape with the Emperor.
Kukishinden Ryu Movement
It’s important to first understand is that all these movements are intended to be performed in full Yoroi (“Samurai Armor”).This means consideration is made for lack of mobility and weight experienced by the practitioner.
There are a variety of patterns utilized in Kukishinden movement. The important key is to maintain balance – especially when wearing something as constrictive and heavy as armor. The torso is limited in movement, so complex foot work is utilized.
Kukishinden Ryu Lineage
- Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru
- Izumo Koshiro Terunobu
- Izumo Matsushiro Teruhide
- Izumo Bungo Yoshiteru
- Izumo Kanja Yoshitaka
- Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru
- Ohkuni Kisanata Kiyosumi
- Tsutsumi Hakushi Mori Ritsuzan
- Kuriyama Ukongen Nagafusa
- Arima Koshinosuke Masayoshi
- Ohkuni Kogenta Yukihisa
- Kazama Shinkuro Hidechika
- Ohkuni Kihei Shigenobu – Genroku Era (1688)
- Otone Sakon Yasumasa
- Otone Genpachi Yoshihide
- Otone Gengoro Yasuhira
- Awaji Nyudo Chikayasu
- Kurama Kotaro Genshin
- Ohkuni Izumo Mori Shigehiro – Kokwa Era (1844)
- Sugino Juheita Kanemitsu
- Hisahara Genjuro Yoshitane
- Hisahara Kotaro Nobuyoshi
- Ishitani Takeoi Matsatsugu (approx. death 1905)
- Ishitani Matsutaro Takekage (approx. death 1911)
- Takamatsu Toshitsugu b. 1887 – d. 1972
- Hatsumi Masaaki b.1931 –