Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu
The full name of Eishin Ryu is Muso Jikiden Eishin-Ryu, meaning “peerless, direct transmission, true-faith style of Eishin.”
Eishin Ryu claims a lineage of about 450 years long, making it one of the oldest Japanese martial art.
The founder of Eishin Ryu was Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto Shigenoubu, who lived between 1546 and 1621 in present-day Kanagawa prefecture. Many of the historical details of Hayashizaki’s life are suspect, since, like most famous martial artists in Japan, his story has been widely fictionalized, but it seams clear that he grew up during a time of constant warfare in Japan, and was exposed to various sword fighting methods from an early age. It is said that he went to Yamagata Prefecture to pray for guidance and receive divine inspiration for a new way of drawing the sword. Whatever the circumstances, at some point he established his own style of swordsmanship and called it Shimmei Muso-Ryu, “divinely inspired, unparalleled style”. Hayashizaki’s Iaido has had many names since then such as Junpaku den, Hayashizaki Ryu, Shin Muso Hayashizaki Ryu, Shigenobu Ryu, Jushin Ryu, Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu.
Most Iaido historians agree that the inspiration for the name Eishin-Ryu came from the name of the seventh generation headmaster, Hasegawa Chikaranosuke Eishin.
Lineage of Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu
– Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto Shigenobu, Founder
– Tamiya Heibei Narimasa, 2nd generation
– Nagano Muraku Nyudo, 3rd generation
– Momo Gumbei Mitsushige, 4th generation
– Arikawa Shozaemon Munetsugu, 5th generation
– Banno Denemon no Jo Nobusada, 6th generation
– Hasegawa Mondonosuke Eishin, 7th generation
– Arai Seitetsu Seishin, 8th generation
– Hayashi Rokudayu Morimasa, 9th generation
– Hayashi Yasudaya Seisho, 10th generation
– Oguro Motoemon Kiyokatsu, 11th generation
After the eleventh generation, the lineage split into two separate style: Tanimura-ha that became Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu with the 17th Headmaster Oe Masamichi Shikei (1927) and Shimomura-ha that became Muso Shinden Ryu under the headmaster Nakayama Hakudo (1935).
– Hayashi Masu no Jo Masanari, 12th generation
– Yoda Manzo Takakatsu, 13th generation
– Hayashi Yadayu Masataka, 14th generation
– Tanimura Kame no Jo Takakatsu, 15th generation
– Goto Masasuke, 16th generation
– Oe Masamichi (1852-1927), 17th generation
Oe Masamichi Shikei had many direct deshi/students: Koda Morio, Mori Shigeki, Suzue Yoshishige, Yamamoto Harusuke, Matsuda Eima, Masaoka Kazumi, Yamazaki kenkichi -> Yamazaki masahiro, Taoka Den, , Yamanouchi Toyataka, Nishikawa Baisui, Yamanouchi Hoken, Morishi Kanekichi, Takemura Shizuo, Hok/giyama Namio – Fukui Harumasa, Nakanishi Yuwaki, Nagao Kagefusa, Masaoka Ikkan, Yamamoto Takuji
From these Oe Masamichi’s gifted deshi several were awarded Kongen no maki (Menkyo Kaiden: Authorization to teach). But from this generation none of them can really pretend to be the MJER soke.
Oe Masamichi trained many excellent swordsmen many of whom had their own ideas about the techniques. With the different interpretations of Oe Masamichi’s teaching the lineage naturaly vary into different styles (HA) with the development of Kai-waza (alternatives) such as Hogiyama-ha, Harusuke-ha, Masaoka-ha, Yamauchi-ha …
One of those branch as its root in Osaka: This line was formed through the creation of an Osaka branch called Yaegaki-kai (Dai-Nippon Iaido) at a time were the ZNKR did not exist and named by Hogiyama Namio (Kochi/Tosa 1891 – 1935) direct student of Oe Masamishi (Shikei) -> Fukui Harumasa (Kochi/Tosa 1884 – 1971) / Kono Minoru Hyakuren (1899 – 1974 ZNIR Founder) -> Sakamoto Kichiro (Osaka Shumpu Kai – Dai Ken Kyo Iaido group – ZNKR) -> Fukuda Kazuo -> Ikeda Teruo.
Another branch is the one linked to Yamamoto Harusuke: This line was formed through Yamamoto Harusuke direct student of Oe Masamishi (Shikei) -> Yamashibu Yoshikazu -> Haruna Matsuo -> Oshita Masakazu.
Our sensei Oda Katsuo sensei followed those 2 main branches at different time of his life, having to move a lot for his work. In the late 60’s Oda Sensei and other Iaido friends founded the Shimizu Yaegaki-kai. An Eishin ryu group located in the prefecture of Shizuoka which still exists today.
Today, Eishin Ryu is practiced by more than three thousand people in Japan, and has exponents around the world.