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Musashi Tengu February 2023

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the kuji kiriconnectionSuper FightSystemsWarrior mindLOTUSACADEMYMUSASHI UTAKASAMURAI MONK www.musashi.ninjaMusashi ShibataBajutsuMusashi ClanTakagari unitChikugensai flute ninjaKUNO 1

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FOREWORDWelcome to Musashi Shibata Clan Magazine. This is a collaboration of our people all overthe world, as well as a few friends, and allabout the interesting and exciting activitieseveryone gets up to.Special thanks to our guests friends. Gun Samurai , MatthewOkuhara and Jess Gerrity for there informative articles.

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The art of Takagari pg6Musashi clans modern falcon KeepersC O N T E N T SInsights of the Shinonki pg20by YuhkimaruWho are the Musashi clan ShinobiSamurai pg10A Short Introduction to Ninjutsu HistoryOgre Oak, Woodsmith pg16An interview with JurohmaruThe Magical Music of Flute master Chikukensai pg26Lotus Academy pg28Dangerous MindsOrigins of Kuji Kiri pg32The Gun Samurai pg34The way of the GunMusashi Shibata Bajutsu pg40Training DragonsKatsutaka Ha and the superfight system pg48Fo Guang Shan Nan Hua Temple South Africa pg50Year of the rabbit celebrations

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C O N T E N T SInterview with a modern Samurai pg54to serve and protect, a bodyguard storyWho is Musashi's Utaka Ha pg58Kuno 1 pg62 Following in the footsteps of the ancestorsFemale Warrior Class of Japan pg66Sato Kagura of the Musashi Region pg76Legacy of the IshiyamasThe chest protector pg78muneate, tsurubashiri, tsurusuberiBy Jessica GerrityJoe Okada "Samurai Nippon Shows pg70RKC DOJO pg72Musashi Ninja Clan, Hong Kong pg84International Ninja Day pg88

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The Art of TakagariTakagari, also known as falconry, is a traditional art that has beenpracticed in Japan for over 1,000 years. The art involves the trainingof birds of prey, such as hawks and falcons, to hunt wild game andwas introduced to Japan during the Heian period (794-1185) fromChina and Korea. It quickly gained popularity among the nobilityand was considered a symbol of status, power, and prestige.Members of the imperial family and samurai class were among themost skilled practitioners of takagari.In takagari, the bird of prey is trained to hunt various species of game,such as pheasants, ducks, and hares. The hunter, known as the"tsukai," releases the bird to hunt game. The tsukai rewards the birdwith a piece of the prey for a successful hunt, strengthening the bondbetween the bird and the hunter.Takagari is a challenging and demanding art that requires patience,skill, and dedication. It takes years of training to become a skilledtsukai and to develop a strong bond with the bird. The tsukai musthave a deep understanding of the bird's behavior and habits, as well asthe environment in which the bird will be hunting.By Tetsuroh

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Shinobi, or ninja, were also known to practice takagari. They usedbirds of prey as a tool for gathering intelligence while traveling indisguise as friendly falconers, assisting farmers by hunting birdsthat often damaged crops. They would also release the birdsnear enemy fortresses or strategic locations to intercept carrierpigeons and report back to their lords with information. Shinobiwould use the birds to create a distraction during missions.

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In addition to their practical uses, the birds of prey were symbolsof the shinobi's stealth and power. The birds naturally fly silentlyand strike swiftly, reflecting the shinobi/samurai's own methods. They were also considered valuable assets and highly prized.Today, Takagari is not as popular as it once was, with only a fewhundred practitioners in Japan. However, it is still considered avaluable cultural heritage and is protected by the government.There are organizations and clubs dedicated to preserving the artand passing it on to the next generation.

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Who are theMusashi clanShinobisamuraiMany of ninja fans who claim to havestudied Mansen Shukai do not knowwhere the definition of shinobisamurai ( ) is. If you read the part Idrew sidelines. You can see theshinobi samurai trained theirservants to be in'nin(shinobinomono) . (Chapter 1)If these parts are omitted intranslated versions, those versionsmay not be very reliable. You need to type in Japanese to search. Daiyho Kiyomi Vanessa Shibata19th head of Musashi Clan

Page 11 Translation: So they (theshinobi samurai of Iga andKoka) knew, as a small force,it's best to use infiltrationtactics to win over powerfulenemies. So every samurai inordinary days devised shinobitechniques and trained theirservants to do in'nin work.Then they had 11 excellentin'nin infiltrate the enemyfacilities in and out of theircountry....Ninshi, Shinobi Samurai)

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Introduction To Ninjutsu HistoryNinjutsu is not a combat form like physical martial arts but rather activitiesrelated to espionage, strategies, planning, and covert actions relating towarfare. The practitioners were known as Shinobi or the more commonlyused term Ninja.Ninjutsu is a strategyThe art of warThe art of Ninjutsu has its roots in the ancient art of war. This art of warpassed across South Asia, developing and growing in knowledge during itsjourney east. It then eventually made its way to the East Asian Islandcountry of Japan. Here it developed further to suit the unique mountainousgeography of Japan. This means that the art of Ninjutsu is highly specializedto Japan.For the Ninja/Shinobi remaining unseen was a matter of life or death. Theninja could easily move between different areas unnoticed as part of thegeneral population. The training a ninja underwent was specialized and noteveryone could become a ninja due to the harsh mental nature of thetraining and physical requirements to become a Ninja.Iga and KokaThere were scattered groups across Japan that practiced different forms ofNinjutsu with the best known being the Ninja of Iga province, and Koka ofthe Omi province. Iga province housed many of the early day warriors dueto its strategic mountainous positioning. The specific art that was cultivatedis a form of mountain and hillside warfare. Ninjutsu was also a means tokeep peace between closely related clans in Iga province. It is important tonote that Iga consisted of warriors and that ninjutsu was developed as astrategy. From here the art of Ninjutsu was refined to become the legend itis known as today.The use of Ninjutsu had a pivotal impact on the history of Japan. From 1578Iga had become so strong that its independence as a republic began posinga threat to the lords campaigning to unite Japan. During 1581 the secondTensei Iga war took place. The fierce attack from the forces of OdaNobunaga on Iga nearly meant the end of the Iga people. After acompromise was made to prevent the annihilation of Iga the remainingmembers of Iga scattered across Japan.

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Ninjutsu during the agesThe Ninja as known by the majority of the world today was active betweenthe 15th and 17th centuries but there are records that mention similaractivities from as early as the 8th century. With the establishment of theMeiji government in the 18th century the Ninja had become a topic ofmystery and legend.The three most popular books about the ninja are “Mansen Shukai”,“Shoninki”, and “Ninpiden" (Shinobi Hiden). These were written byFujibayashi Yasutake and Hattori Hanzo. Ninjutsu was a closely guardedsecret with very little information recorded. The secret was so well keptthat researchers are still discovering new information about Ninjutsutoday. The reason for this is that most of the intricate skills weretransmitted via “kuden”, a method of orally transmitting information.In the Musashi clan history it is seen that the Musashi Samurai togetherwith Iga and koka Shinobi built ties with the government, filled importantpositions of influence and continued to make a difference to people's lives.The clan started placing value on academic achievements and used this totransition into the modern era to continue to work.Idea of Ninjutsu and other arts nearly wiped out.Ninjutsu has been a secluded art during most of Japans history withclosely guarded secrets only known to certain clan heads. During the 20thcentury there has been a few events that further diminished the availableinformation on military strategies. It is unfortunate that much informationwas lost during the military occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1952 afterworld war two ended.During this time the Japanese people were limited to the access toinformation with the occupants taking control over available information.Any information regarding strategies, methods and techniques seen as athreat was either taken away from Japan or destroyed by the foreignoccupants.However we are fortunate that some of the history was kept, andteachings valued in order to maintain law among the civilians. During thistime the Japanese police force were allowed to practice and refine certainarts. This also meant a resurgence in research and collection of the oldteachings.

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Ninjutsu in the History of Musashi Clan(Extract form the "Order of Musashi Shinobi Samurai" Wiki page)“The order has a shinobi samurai origin. The history of the order goes backto the mid-16th century. On the 4th of June in 1582, right after Honnō-jiIncident ( ), the Musashi clan ancestors, Shibata Suwo andNagamochi Tokuzo, escorted Tokugawa Ieyasu by the request from Ieyasu'sretainer, Hattori Hanzo. Together with other Iga and Koka shinobi, theyguarded Ieyasu to Ise where Ieyasu and his retainers boarded a ship andeventually arrived at the Okazaki Castle in Mie successfully. Since then theIgamono shinobisamurai started to serve Ieyasu, and the Shibata-Nagamochi clan officially became retainers of Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1582.They moved to Edo (in Musashi region) in 1590 with Tokugawa Ieyasu andthereafter served the Tokugawa Shogunate till 1868. The two families re-established themselves as a new clan-order in Musashi Region. After theMeiji Restoration of 1868, declining the offer from the Meiji Government, itbecame a private organization to maintain its shinobi samurai traditions.”Follow the below link to view our history:Order of Musashi Shinobi Samurai - WikipediaFrom the clan history the question now arises, how do we contribute anduse the Ninjutsu skills in the modern era?Idea of the modern Ninjutsu practice we use.1989“In 1989, the fundamental philosophy was named Kyohmei ( EmpatheticResonance) and Mizu kagami ( Water Mirror), and the ultimate purposeof the members training was to be one with ku ( large universe) or “no-self.”“The order maintains that ninshido has evolved and has adapted tochanges that the ninshi traditions have survived to this date. The ninishidoideas have been incorporated in the order's practical educational system sothe members can learn a collection of strategies called "Gorin ninpo" () and the "Kyohmei" guideline" to serve their communities as shinobishould. Through training, the members efficiently learn to integrate theirmental and physical strengths, which will cultivate their inner fortitude tobe equanimous under any circumstance.”“The ninshi education helps to develop a more positive shinobi paradigm inthe world as well as to help mold members' personalities. The timelessninshi wisdom can be effectively utilized in this modern age.”

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2019“In 2019 an academic presentation titled "Ninshido: The New paradigm of theOrder of Shinobi Samurai" was made by Kazuhiro Aizawa and Kiyomi Shibata”“The order has become a small think and do tank following the footsteps ofthe ninshi forefathers to work for world peace. This organization provides thepublic with seminars, workshops, events for the purpose of promoting culture,international exchange, tourism, etc., and with projects related to informationgathering.”We are active and currently teach the the fundamental philosophy of Kyohmei( Empathetic Resonance) and Mizu kagami ( Water Mirror) with "Gorinninpo" ( ) as our Ninjutsu.”CurrentModern Shinobi engage in community initiatives while preserving the clanhistory and spreading the word of what it means to be a ShinobiSamurai in themodern day.For more info and guidance please contact us.

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Ogre Oak, WoodsmithBy Yuhkimaru

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The use of wood to make practical items for daily use is as old as man. This includesweapons for use in battle and training. For this interview we have found a business ownerthat processes wood from fully grown tree to end product, without letting a single piece goto waste.Etienne Cilliers is a South African business owner that operates a successful tree fellingbusiness. He specializes in removal of trees and then processes the wood to turn differentwooden products. His interest in wooden weapons caught our eye. Let's hear from Etienne. Ben: Who is Etienne, give us some background?Etienne: I am Etienne Cilliers. Proud South African young man. Grew up and currently livingin George Western Cape. I own and run a tree felling company as well as a sawmill. In mytime not working, I am an active crossfitter, aspiring martial artist and a member of theGeorge CPF (Community Police Force).Ben: Who is Ogre Oak?Etienne: Ogre Oak is a brand created by myself and Instructor Benjamin W Fourie. This"brand" is the banner under which we manufacture training weapons, primarily with whichto train ourselves and secondly to sell to the public.Ben: Where did the idea come from (what is the story)?Etienne: In South Africa, we struggle to find training equipment of a high standard due tothe weak value of our Rand (compared to other international currencies). The supply chainlines to SA are also terrible so even at high prices, we struggle to get hold of good qualityitems. We had a need for high quality training weapons and having a sawmill thatprocesses exotic timbers daily, I started making hardwood weapons with which to train. Ben: Why wooden weapons?Etienne: Traditionally, wooden weapons were used to train with. We have access to largeamounts of gum, oak and beefwood so for us, manufacturing wooden weapons is moreeasily done than polymer and steel. There is also a very special element that is difficult todescribe when making and training with wooden weapons. This item was once a livingorganism. Its spirit lives on in the form of a training weapon.Ben: What tools or weapons do you make?Etienne: We have made a couple of items. Apart from rustic furniture, we have madewedges which we use in our tree felling projects. Under the Ogre Oak banner however, weonly manufacture weapons. We have made Short Sticks, Jo's, Bo’s, sparring knives, katanas(and all other size variants, larger and smaller), European Swords and fantasy weapons. Wecan make pretty much anything

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Ben: Who makes the weapons?Etienne: Depending on how sophisticated the weapon is to manufacture, eithermyself or one of my staff members will make the weapons.Ben: What woods do you use?Etienne: Wood types used for hard contact include Oak, Various types of Gum andBeefwood.Wood for making form training weapons include Pine, Spruce, Cedar,Blackwood and Poplar. These are not for hard contact as they will dent or break.We regularly test new wood types to determine their strengths and weaknessesand to determine their feasibility for being used as training weapons.Ben: Any specific process you use?Etienne: We carve our weapons by hand. Firstly, we identify the piece for theweapon being made taking size, grain orientation and a couple of other factorsinto account. We then proceed by reducing the block into a rough shape bymeans of carving knife, panga or drawknife. From here we move over to lightpower tools such as a grinder or belt sander. Lastly, we do the finishing toucheswith a sharp carving knife, hand files and a fine grit sandpaper. If joins arenecessary (such as a cross piece) we try to use wooden joining techniques withwooden pins and wood glue. Ben: Future plans?Etienne: Future plans are uncertain. We would like to put together a productionline that can manufacture weapons efficiently. The trouble is finding the marketand doing it efficiently. Making one weapon at a time is a time consuming andcostly process. Ben: Do you ship internationally?Etienne: We have not shipped internationally yet but should be able to do sowithout too much hassle if the client is willing to wait for the item.Thank you, Etienne, for taking the time out to speak with us and we wish you thebest of luck. To get hold of Ogre Oak and Etienne please contact Musashi Tengu for moreinformation

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I N S I G H T S O FT H E S H O N I N K IB Y Y U H K I M A R U“If a Shinobi meets other men, he should make use of “kuruma ni kakuro”. Thisconsists of noticing the other persons feelings without being noticed or appearingsuspicion.”The tradition of complete secrecy. “Gokuhiden”The “Shoninki Gekan” is the final chapter of the Shoninki. In this chapter it is thephilosophy of the Shinobi and understanding of human psychology that is presented.There are many natural laws but the one of constant change is often of foremostimportance. Never assume things stay the same and remember that all things aresubject to change at any time. This principle is referred to as “senpenbanka”.Being knowledgeable about all things is a great advantage. Know the province, areaand people. In this the feeling of the people of the area you are in is most important.There is no substitute for experience and through following the “way” truth in allmatters will be revealed to you over time.-The Gateless Barrier *(Mumon no isseki)-The “Gateless Barrier” can refer to the mental protection of sensitive information. Thisprotection is marked by a mental barrier that a person keeps in his mind but because itis not a physical barrier in is hard to guard against an experiences Shinobi.

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“Teki ni naru” Becoming the enemy. To do this the Shinobi places himself in the otherpersons position to better understand the feelings of the person. “Teki no kokoro o toru” The Shinobi judges the action of the other person by using thefeeling of being in their position.“Teki ni hanaru” Freeing oneself of the adversary means having the viewpoint of theadversary in such a way that you remain yourself as well. The final part of this strategyis keeping the viewpoint of the other person but returning to your own interest. Delight, Anger, Sorrow, Pleasure, Love, Evil, GreedAnger, Fear, Sadness, Disgust, Surprise, Anticipation, Trust, Joy-The art of not breaking individuals *(Hito o yaburazaru no narai)- Breaking an individual refers to using mental force to attain your goals. While using forcewe break trust with the other individual and they will no longer be of use. To preventbreaking an individual the Shinobi uses:-People’s Personality *(Shinsō no Koto)-Understand people’s personalities and that different states can occur. All people have acore personality trait. This trait can be influenced during their life and different states alsooccur during each day depending on circumstances. Here is a list of fundamental and natural inclinations that each human has:Within these natural inclinations each of the below states can influence the personalitytrait.The seven emotional states are subject to the principle of ceaseless change.- Knowing the Difference Between Principle (Reason) and Cleverness (Knowledge)*(Dōri to Rikō to Shirubeki Koto)-That principle is permanent, and knowledge is subject to ceaseless change. Principle is like listening to a sound. It is easy hearing the sound even if there is a barrierbetween you and the sound. Knowledge is like seeing. If you look at something and someone puts a barrier in the wayof what you are looking at then you will no longer see it.This is the difference between principle and knowledge. You can easily be blinded to thetruth when your knowledge is manipulated but principle cannot be manipulated and isabsolute. -Controlling Your Mind and Managing Your Reason *(Kokoro no Osame Ri ni Ataru Koto)-Controlling your mind can only be achieved through training to help you resist your ownemotions and urges. In order to do this your mind, energy and spirit needs to remain inbalance. Do not indulge in the pleasures of this world and seek only nourishment purenature.

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Correct Ways of Speaking *(Mukei Benzetsu)-There is no distinct way of speaking but the correct way is a normal flow of dialog inthe form of native speakers.The Shinobi adjusts and formulates conversation as it happens, not following apreconceived notion but softly guiding towards his true purpose following the flow. A crucial part of this method is separating your mind from your emotions. A mindfree from emotions can adjust to any circumstances.-Knowing how to let go *(Rijutsuho)- A mind that is focused on too many things at once is lost and cannot see the truth.Under no circumstances should a Shinobi ever be impatient. If a Shinobi makes amistake and loses his natural rhythm, then he is lost and will continue making errorsin a rush to correct things.A Shinobi should be trained well enough to realise this error in the moment ithappens. Let go and become new.The Shinobi can then use “Shinmyoken”, Killing a person without using a sword andpoisoning without poison are important possibilities offered by conversation.*Taken from various translations of the Shoninki as written by Natori Masazumi in1681.

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THE MAGICALMUSIC OFFLUTE MASTERCHIKUGENSAIIn this article, I would like to discuss aninstrument that isn’t so well-knownoutside of Japan. It’s called the Ryuteki literally translated as “dragon flute.” It’sa cool name, right? This flute is said to havethe sound of a dragon soaring in the sky.The history of the Ryuteki dates back tothe Heian period, which is around 794-1185.The flute was often used in Gagaku orJapanese court music and is still beingplayed in court music to this day. TheRyuteki’s main role in Gagaku is to play themelody of a piece of music. Traditionally, the Ryuteki is made frombamboo bound with cherry bark. It’s atransverse flute that is approximately 1.4inches in length (42.6cm) and has 7 verylarge holes and a wide utaguchi(embouchure hole) that is designed for awide range of tones and pitch bends. In theMeiji period, (1868-1912), the Ryuteki wasredesigned with harder materials such asmetal alloys and wood to improve its toneand intonation. Today, you can find Ryutekimade from resin, as it is cheaper and easierto play, and it requires very littlemaintenance.Nowadays, the Ryuteki is being taught in some Japanese universities andthe flute is used in other styles of music besides Gagaku. It is said that theRyuteki is much more difficult to play due to its unique fingerings and pitchbending techniques and breath control.

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Here is an interesting fact: Didyou know that the Ryuteki is thepredecessor to the Shinobue?Since at the time of the Heianand Meiji period, only the highclass society such as thearistocrats and samurai couldplay the ryuteki, the shinobuewas created so that anycommoner could play it. Theshinobue was much more simplein design, having very littledecoration and art. The tunings,unlike the ryuteki, were based onthe more international tunings ofthe Western scale. I am by no means a professionalat this instrument, but here is avideo I made some time ago. Iadded a recording of the 2nd or3rd day of playing the Ryutekialong with some footage of medrawing bamboo with….water?Yes, you read correctly, water.But that is for another topic foranother time. I hope that you allenjoyed this article on theRyuteki can also find my

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iCrimson Lotus Academy is a division of Shiroh-Ha of the Musashi Shibata clan based in thecoastal town of George, Eden, Western Cape, South Africa. Crimson Lotus Academy has a very diverse offering based on historic practice and modernapplication of famous Samurai warriors. The Ninshi “ShinobiSamurai '' as documented inthe history of the Musashi Clan is a subject of study.First and foremost, we value the mind and study the psychological battlefield as ourfoundation. Then we have physical classes that cover meditation, hand to hand combatand being part of nature with outdoor training

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Hand to hand combatFor our hand to hand combat we study and practice Japanese martial arts including artslike Judo (throwing and grappling), Aikido (throwing and joint locks) and Kenpō (striking).The practice of Hojojutsu (binding and tying arts) and Taiho Jutsu (arresting art) is alsopracticed with our community law enforcement students.-Meditation and mindfulnessMeditation and mindfulness go hand in hand with living a healthy life and is a crucial partof the Japanese arts. Meditation is far more than just sitting under a tree and breathing.Meditation can be used for relaxation, healing, reflection, planning and concentration.Every form has a different way of practice that you can learn at Crimson Lotus Academy.Knowledge vs Wisdom“Crimson Lotus Academy was founded on the idea that practice turns knowledge intowisdom.”The above statement might seem like a prevalent idea but from my experience it's quitethe opposite. Many modern teachers I have met during my life are knowledgeable abouthistoric teachings and are quick to quote on-liner wisdom from the distant past withoutbeing able to explain the process. This is called knowledge and not wisdom. Wisdom involves the application of perspective from experience and the ability to makesound judgments about a subject. Knowledge is memorizing information and repeating itverbally. The Crimson Lotus Academy studies historic teachings of warriors from the past and putsit into practice using modern psychology as a filter. We test and practice the historicteachings to gain understanding of application. Then from daily application we developwisdom over timeOutdoor trainingOutdoor training and spending time in nature brings us back to our roots. We are a part ofnature and not apart from it. We practice “Shinrin-Yoku '' , the Japanese way of forestbathing. This is the practice of spending time in nature to restore and refresh yourself. Forphysical training in nature, we practice meditation and survival training. Training in natureheightens your senses and opens your mind to different ideas and possibilities.

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European heritageStaying true to our heritage we also practice European martial arts and weapons inspecial sessions. -Crimson Lotus Academy MethodologyGreat emphasis is placed on mental fortitude and wellbeing at Crimson LotusAcademy for this a system of guiding students was developed by Yuhkimaru.The lotus flower is used as our symbol and the different colours as a guide to keepstudents on the correct path. The below mentioned lotus colours represent theaspects students will learn and refine.White Lotus = Mental PurityYellow Lotus = Intellectual CuriosityPink Lotus = Self DiscoveryPurple Lotus = Harmony and BalanceBlue Lotus = Knowledge and WisdomBlack Lotus = Power and SophisticationFollowing this path will give you astrong and confident spirit but alsokeep you humble and kind.The Crimson Lotus is the final Lotus astudent will learn about. All other LotusColours need to be understood beforethe Crimson Lotus can be taught.The Crimson Lotus Academy is asubdivision of Shiroh-Ha and affiliatedto Utaka-Ha of the Musashi Shibataclan.

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Origins of Kuji KiriHand Mudra is an ancient tradition that has its roots inIndian spirituality and religion. The technique involvesusing specific hand gestures or positions to evoke acertain state of mind, channel energy or connect withthe divine. The practice of Hand Mudra has been a part of theHindu, Buddhist and Jain traditions for thousands ofyears and has been used for both spiritual andtherapeutic purposes.Kuji Kiri, on the other hand, is a later development thatoriginated in Japan. It is a practice that involves the useof hand gestures, incantations and visualization to attaina state of heightened spiritual awareness. Although itshares similarities with the Indian Hand Mudra tradition,it has its own unique techniques, symbolism and history.Kuji Kiri is said to have originated in Japanduring the 9th century and was initially used by theesoteric Shingon sect of Buddhism. The practice waslater adopted by various samurai warriors, who believedthat Kuji Kiri helped them attain spiritual power, physicalstrength and heightened awareness. Kuji Kiri gainedpopularity and became an integral part of Japanesemartial arts, where it was used as a tool for psychologicalpreparation and spiritual development.It is clear that while Kuji Kiri has its own unique historyand techniques, it is deeply influenced by the IndianHand Mudra tradition. The use of hand gestures andvisualization in Kuji Kiri is similar to the Indian HandMudra, and it is likely that the practice was brought toJapan through the spread of Buddhism from India toEast Asia.By Tetsuroh

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The GunSamuraiSamurai are often associated with sharpswords and close combat. However, theMatsumoto Gun Corps are a rare breed as faras modern Japanese martial artists go. Yes,you will see the team wearing katana andwakizashi - but they will also be carrying“tanegashima” guns, named after the smallisland of Tanegashima in southern Japan,where these matchlock guns were firstintroduced. Also known as hinawaju, theseweapons haven’t been made for centuries -going some way to explain the rarity of thismartial art. “It’s more than re-enactment or display. It’sabout preserving history. Matsumoto Castlewas designed with this ‘new’ warfare inmind and the tactics and equipment reflectthat”, says Matsumoto Gun Corps gunnerMatt Okuhara, to a member of the gatheredaudience who have come to see the samuraiin action. In Japan there are several gun teams allaround the country - and they often meet upto share research and demonstrate their skillat arms. The Matsumoto Gun Corps put onregular displays as well as lectures to thepublic as well. In a country where martialarts are so well known and a part of manypeople’s lives, hojutsu is perhaps the mostunique. by Matthew Okuhara

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“I came across Japanese gunnery through a family connection so was quitelucky in that respect. I had known about the Gun Corps for some time as aregular visitor to the Far East before settling down here permanently. Inorder to join and begin training I had to attend an interview at MatsumotoCastle. Gun laws in Japan are extremely strict so the committee that hasoversight over the castle, armour, Corps and guns wants to make sure thatthe integrity of the art is upheld. I was then surprised to find a lot of theskills involved in hojutsu; I already knew or had at least touched on.”He continues, “as a military veteran, firearms were nothing new to me. Eventhese matchlock guns are in principle, the same. One end of the gun is verydangerous, and the other end controls the firing mechanism. So, although itis good to be mindful of weapon safety - it is not something that I had torelearn. It was a good place to begin learning from as the training sessionsare intense and require a serious amount of concentration, effort andconfidence.”The training is directed by Captain Nishibori and his deputy, CaptainAkahane. They are experts on firearms in general and hold a genuineinterest in the military history of Japan. As such, in 1990 they started theMatsumoto Gun Corps to practice and research Japanese gunnery. It is thisresearch that provides the basis for training. Akahane also oversees andensures that the members maintain their weapons and armour, to a highstandard.

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The practitioners of hojutsu are all custodians of rare Edo era (1603 to 1868) firearms.Introduced in 1543, the matchlock gun changed warfare in Japan forever. It wasn’t longbefore lords and generals began training and equipping their armies with firearms. Oneadvantage was that whereas it took a lifetime to train a samurai; a foot soldier (or ashigaru)could be trained in mere months. The new weapons also made the infantry a morevaluable and useful asset on the battlefield. The samurai that lead the common men intobattle carried ornate and powerful firearms - some using three times as much gunpowderper shot. They were not only expected to teach and command troops of ashigaru, but toalso identify and eliminate high priority targets - first by gun and then by sword. Theheavier guns helped shoot through cover, walls, armour and could easily despatch cavalry.At a famous battle at Nagashino for example - the highly skilled and feared Takeda cavalrywere all but wiped out by the gunners of the Oda/Tokugawa alliance owing to a welldeployed force and efficient use of gunnery With the arrival of new weaponsalso came new tactics. As warfareand technology developed, theskills and requirementsdemanded of the samuraimultiplied. The research elementof the corps drives the trainingthat is undertaken. MatsumotoCastle itself was built withfirearms in mind so there is awealth of material from history tostudy. The guns used by themodern samurai are all antiques.They were produced in the Edo-era, before the Meiji Restoration,that saw out the last samurai.Some were even used in battle, atconflicts such as the MitoRebellion. The castle inventoryitself is extensive and featuresover 200 examples - mostly in afiring condition. Many of the gunsare a basic production - the kindthat was stockpiled for use by themilitia and infantry. Interestingly,these guns were sometimescalled ‘noodle guns’ as they had atendency to bend when thebarrel overheated from heavyuse! The finer weapons werereserved for the samurai and areeasy to distinguish owing to theornate decor on the stock, andalso the larger calibre.

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The process for loading and firing a gun is in eight steps. This is sometimes done whilststanding (or kneeling) and at other times is done whilst moving in and out of formation.In a training session it’s relatively straightforward to do these manoeuvres especially asthe equipment allows for easy and fast movement - the training uniform is much like inkendo but without the armour; hakama, keikogi (traditional trousers and jacket) and tabishoes. They also carry shorter samurai swords called wakizashi in their belts. However,unlike their samurai ancestors they also make use of some quality ear and eye protectionas well! Outside of practice though the Matsumoto Gun Corps wear full armour - fromhead to toe. This looks impressive and it ‘almost makes you feel superhuman’ accordingto some members, but there are a few drawbacks to it as well. “I personally found that Igot very hot, very quickly in my armour! It’s something I’m used to now but in theJapanese summer, it is quite warm. Like any martial art, it is important to stay wellhydrated and to also develop yourself to become accustomed to your environment”, saysOkuhara. “The kabuto, or helmet also restricts peripheral vision so we spend a lot of timedeveloping awareness of our other members - to the point where you can ‘see’ what theyare doing to the left and right of you without taking your eyes off ‘the target’”.As sparring is not possible (owing to the deadly and long range nature of hojutsu) it isnow practiced in much the same way as traditional archery, kyudo, or perhaps morefamiliarly as kata that you see in more well-known martial arts. There are also shootingcompetitions. Sword skills and close combat do not form a regular part of the training but are by nomeans ignored... after all, why bring a sword to a gunfight? The samurai carry theirswords with them when training, displaying or taking part in events. Many of the guncorps are also familiar with the traditional martial arts as well - karate, judo and iiadoespecially. They recognize the need to not only become proficient with the tanegashima,but to also maintain the high martial standards of those who implemented anddeveloped hojutsu, all those years ago.Much like any of the Japanese martial arts, those who practice it feel rightly proud in theirheritage and do not want the history of their discipline to disappear. “We train in thetactics and skills of the time, equip ourselves the same and research the heritage that hasbeen left to us”.The Matsumoto Gun Corps is keeping the samurai spirit alive.

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BAJUTSUM U S A S H I S H I B A T ABajutsu, loosely the riding skills ofJapanese Samurai stretching backto ancient times. Bajobugei is translated as martial arts onhorseback. bajo (ba ) horse (jo: ) ontop/above bugei martial art, militaryarts, or arts of war. (Bu ) meanswarrior or military. (Gei ) meansart, craft or technique. Not a lot isknown about the mounted martialarts, but these secrets can befound amongst the shugendo wayof thinking, and amongst manysamurai military documents.Although its origin is closelyconnected with the horse archersyabusame, bajutsu is a separatemartial art, and there are anumber of traditional schools suchas the Ogasawara, Ootsubo, andShimoda.By Shiroh

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The art originated in the 7thcentury ad during the reignof Emperor Tenji, butbecame popular in the 12thcentury, as a major mountedwarfare became morecommon.

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However, the comparative scarcity of horses in Japan meant that bajutsu wasalways an elite art, limited access to high-ranking samurai. Despite this, manymodern historians ignore the number of farm horses that were ridden and used fordaily tasks, farmers and merchants also carried short swords (wakazashi) to protectthemselves.The comparative peace of the Tokugawa era from 1600 years has led to a reductionin military practice. Bajutsu became reduced to a more ceremonial role. By thebeginning of the 20th century the Japanese Federation of Bajutsu was founded inTokyo.Japanese horses have played an important role in the country's history and culture,especially during war. The book "Budogeijutsu Hiden Zue Shohen" () by Masatomi Omori and Utagawa Kuniyoshi from 1855 provides valuableinformation about the significance of these horses in battle.One of the key principles of this work is that the horse and rider must work inharmony to be effective in battle. The book outlines various techniques andstrategies for training horses, including how to make them respond to the rider'scommands quickly and accurately. This was particularly important in situationswhere the warrior needed to make sudden changes in direction, speed, or evendismount.One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the illustrations by UtagawaKuniyoshi, which showcase the beauty and grace of the horses in battle. Theseillustrations are not only visually stunning but also provide a glimpse into thetechniques and tactics used by warriors on horseback.

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(from the Budogeijutsu HidenZue Shohen)Samurai is a person who rides ahorse, regardless of size, sowhen shooting a gun from ahorse, a first priority when itcomes to manoeuvring a horseis the way the saddle strappingis secured. This is professionalwork, and riding a horsewithout reins and manoeuvringthe horse freely is calledkuragatami. Also, there arevarious methods of doing this. Ifyou do this, you can easilyhandle your spear or swordwithout holding reins. There is agreat danger of falling horses ifyou leave the securing of thesaddle half done.

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The Takeda clan was a powerful military family during the Warring States period infeudal Japan. They were known for their mastery of the art of horsemanship,including the technique of Kuragatami. It was a crucial component of Takeda clan'smartial prowess, allowing them to move quickly and efficiently in battle.One of the key principles of Takeda clan's Kuragatami was that the horse and ridermust be able to trust and rely on each other. This was achieved through intensivetraining and a close bond between horse and rider. The Takeda clan was known fortheir ability to ride their horses at incredible speeds, making them difficult targets fortheir enemies.In addition to mounted archery, the Takeda clan also used Kuragatami in other formsof combat, such as hand-to-hand fighting and spear fighting. The technique was sointegral to their military tactics that it became a symbol of the Takeda clan's martialprowess.In Musashi Shibata style of horsemanship, we try to reach an advanced state of thisconnection. We become the centre point, we become still, we observe and breath asthe horse breathes.As we become in synch with the horses rhythm and vibration.This is a sincerity of feel with the horse, and connection to all things. This is zen, this isku, connection of horse and rider.Also teaching the horse to strike on command and use its body to protect its handlermakes for formidable battle companion.

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A lot of people say only samurai rode horses, only samurai carried swords. This isnot true. Many well trained horses can be found amongst the farming community.Farm horses were gentle and obedient, and could engage in a range of tasks,which require stealth and quiet.Skilled shinobi would be able to mimic a travelling farmer and a common disguisewas as a horse trainer or horse merchant. Such a clever animal could not besnorting and ready for battle but instead be quiet and also in disguise.More example of non Samurai Horses, are the 1739 to 1820 many woodblock printsand other research showing 17th century stunt riders performing in the Osakucircus.In wartime these same hidden Shinobi Horseman could actively participate asscouts. The Hojo Godaiki describes scouts being used in campaign of 1575.The ancient techniques of mounted scouting has not changed much forintelligence gathering but has adapted into modern warfare.Having served as a trainer for mounted rangers in the military, obedience andtraining remain key, weapons and armour have changed, however long distancesand stealth for intelligence gathering and the key skills have not changed in theneutralizing of targets.As a modern day equestrian riot police trainer again the core skills remain thesame.

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In the Taiheiki chronicles it states “You should take care your horses as you wouldtake care of yourself. You should not leave the care of your horses to yourservants. Wash them, Feed them, Observe them, give them warm water and takegreat care of them.”We believe this practice and focus on this interaction to foster a deep connectionwith our horses to create a partnership rather then a master servant bond.

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Osaka circus performerShiroh (Nikki Wulfe) is the current Dai Soke ofMusashi Shibata Ryu Heiho Shiroh-Ha Bajutsuoyobi Hoyojutsu

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Katsutaka HaSuperfight System wascreated by Ilie Nicuşor asa modern fightingmethod, having 36 yearsof experience in the fieldof martial arts, militaryand sports, where after along study we identifiedfor each component 20techniques most oftenused or encountered instreet fighting in sports orin military actions,totaling a package oftechniques that are thebasis of the correcttraining of a fighter. It is a simple, pragmaticfighting method basedon effectiveness andincludes 5 trainingcomponents:1. Standing fight 20techniques 2. Ground fight 20techniques 3. Combined fight 20techniques 4. Fight knife and stick 20techniques 5. Gun fight over 18 years In superfight system, the fighter will gradually learn almost the entire possiblerange of techniques and strategies most often encountered in fighting and self-defense situations through analysis, self-control and the psychology of fighting.The superfight system school has military roots, shinobi samurai, sogo budo butalso other martial arts or contact sports.

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NAN HUA TEMPLE2023Year of the RabbitCelebrationSouth Africa

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Nanhau Temple inBronkhorstspruit, SouthAfrica, is a populardestination for celebratingthe Chinese New Year. Thetemple, also known as the"Temple of the SouthernOcean," is a Buddhisttemple that serves as acultural and spiritual centerfor the Chinese communityin the area.The Chinese New Year, alsoknown as the SpringFestival, is one of the mostimportant holidays inChinese culture. It iscelebrated at the turn ofthe lunar calendar, typicallyin January or February. Thefestival is a time for familiesto come together, to givethanks for the past yearand to wish for good luck inthe year to come.At Nanhau Temple, theChinese New Yearcelebrations are a colorfuland vibrant event, filled withtraditional customs andrituals. Visitors can expect tosee lion and dragon dances,martial arts performances,and fireworks displays. Thetemple is also decorated withred lanterns and banners,symbolizing good luck andprosperity.One of the highlights of the celebration at Nanhau Temple is the traditional lanternfestival. During this event, visitors can release paper lanterns into the sky, wishing forgood luck and prosperity in the new year. It is a beautiful and moving sight to see thesky filled with glowing lanterns.In addition to the cultural celebrations, there are also opportunities to learn about thehistory and practices of Buddhism. The temple's resident monks and nuns give lecturesand workshops on Buddhist teachings and practices, such as meditation andmindfulness.

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Overall, the Chinese New Yearcelebration at Nanhau Temple inBronkhorstspruit is a unique andmemorable experience. It is anexcellent opportunity to learnabout Chinese culture and totake part in traditional customsand rituals. Visitors can expect tobe immersed in an atmosphereof joy, color, and celebration, andleave feeling uplifted andinspired.

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INTERVIEW WITH AMODERN SAMURAITo serve and protect, a bodyguard storyIs it Just physical, or do you need to have wits and brains too?"Yes it is very hard training with both fitness, weapon skills and abilities to plan foreverything the could happen or go wrong... this is why a protection profession gets paidby his or her skills and abilities but more on experience on the job"Could you say you were trained for this mindset from young?Personally yes it helps to grow up with a fighting mindset but it will also need to improvewith the right training and of course experience We caught up with Josh Wulfe, current CPO (close quarter protection officer),or thebetter known term bodyguard, to find out just how close the parallels are to ancientSamurai Retainers. As a recognised member of Shiroh Ha, he gave us some answers to questions about hisjob as a professional, working for a large well known company. We were surprised tohear that indeed the modern day Bodyguard has many close similarities to ancientSamurai.Is it something you knew you wanted to be?No. I had no idea that my natural skills would help to direct me to a professional industryof protection operators. But if you're of a mindset for war, no other job will satisfy you.

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Modern samurai don't ride horses, even ifyou can, are vehicles important to yourjob?Very much so, as it is one of the highestlevels of danger when you and yourclients are in transit. This requires you toknow all vehicles and vehicle abilities aswell as your own limits. The vehicle becomes an importantweapon. And horses are one of manyanimals that you may find yourselfneeding to be comfortable on as younever know what your client wants to doin the future. A CPO must be prepared for anything.Dress code, is that a thing? How do CPO'sdress?Dress code is always professional andsmart... that said it all depends on yourclients needs. If you're protecting a very importantbusiness man it is obvious that a suit willfit but if the VIP is on holiday it will bemore to a smart casual look. It's simple,your job is to provide protection for yourVIP but be a part of the furnishings, ashadow with the ability to become a oneman tactical team. Some VIP's prefer you to stand out as aDecoy and others like to go about theirbusiness without be seen or attractingattention.Guns, martial arts, hand to hand combat, tell us a bit about the specialist training andhow fit you need to be?Yes your fitness is essential to your life and your ability to save your VIP's life. Guns are animportant part of your business as you will use and need to be able to use any weaponsyou are developing with. A good example is the 2 basic gun types you will work withpistol, carbine, a good knowledge of the design and functional aspects will help. Combatis another challenge as you never know what you may get and what skills you willEncounter. It is important to know a variety of martial arts and combat skills such as KravMaga. Generally in the industry of close protection you will be given a variety of so-calledmartial arts or combat skills not relating to general martial arts but more relating to quickclean combat. The importance of planning oversight all other martial arts skills and gunskills as proper planning means no problems

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What is the perfect mindset for aSamurai?In my experience over the years I findthat your experience and planningleads to a quiet and fruitful careerrather than trying to hit things hit on allthe time remember if you plan correctlyit never goes wrong and if it never goeswrong you're war mindset is perfect forhaving a long career. In my experience the enemy is alwaysmore prepared and always has moreArsenal with more numbers this is whythe modern warrior must try his utmostbest to avoid a combat situationYou embody a modern samurai (theword samurai means to serve, to becalm, and to handle any situation forthe feudal lord), mainly they wereprotectors.A natural-born protector is more than aman with a gun that can kill he is honorbound to his client in secrecy and touphold his clients honour in all aspectsfor example his client is drunk andneeds to go home to not embarrasshimself

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The Historic Musashi Clan Comes to AmericaWritten by Raven Cain (Musashi Utaka) Official American Representative of the MusashiClan If you ask most martial arts enthusiasts about the Ninja and the samurai, they will mostlikely tell you that they are dramatically different. In fact, they may even say that the Ninjaand the Samurai are on opposite spectrums completely. However, this would not be true.Westerners tend to get an impure version of Japanese history typically from a teacherwho learned from another western, who learned from another westerner, who may havelearned from a Japanese master. This impure information tends to happen all over theworld and not just in the western world. Hollywood movies may be a large contributor bygetting their source information from instructors who may not truly understand Japanesehistory. Honestly, it is not their fault for the lack of historic knowledge. You may be surprised tolearn that most of the ancient scrolls are written in old Japanese, and most Japanesepeople cannot read them. This causes great confusion worldwide. For example, mostpeople have never heard the term Shinobi Samurai. However, according to the FirstChapter of Mansenshukai (Bansenshukai) authored by Fujibayashi Sabuji Yasutake in1676, there were two types of shinobi, namely Shinobi Samurai and Shinobi no mono.You may ask what the difference is between the two. The difference is indeed quite stark;the Shinobi Samurai were samurai who trained peasants and locals to become Shinobi nomono. In the Mansenshukai, the characters used to describe the Shinobi Samurai ( )can be also read as "Ninshi". As if jumping out of the pages of history, the Ninshi are stillactive today in the historic Musashi Clan. Today's modern Ninshi inside the Musashi Clanoperates as a Non-Profit Organization. There is a Hollywood movie that is based on factual events. No, I am not talking aboutbloodsport, I am talking about The Last Samurai starring none other than Tom Cruise.Although there are historic inaccuracies in the film, namely, the main character was notan American Captain named Nathan Algren but rather a French Officer named JulesBurnet. Jules Burnet and his people were sent to Japan by Shibata Sadataro Takenaka'sarrangement with the French government. Shibata Sadataro Takenaka was the 15th head of the Musashi Clan and was one of thefirst Japanese samurai to visit Europe in 1862. On the 4th of June 1582, Shibata Suwo andNagamochi Tokuzo became the retainers of the Tokugawa. In 1590 The Musashi Clan wasofficially formed by Shibata Suwo and Nagamochi Tokuzo when Tokugawa Ieyasu movedto the Musashi region of Edo. The Musashi Clan served the Tokugawa Shogunate until1868. After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the Musashi Clan became a private organizationto maintain its shinobi samurai traditions. The Musashi Clan has an indisputable heritagethat can be seen at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Historiographical Institute atTokyo University. The question of authenticity that so often appears in the world ofmartial arts simply does not exist with the Musashi Clan

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This rich history is one of the many reasons I am so honored to be the first person outsideof Japan given permission to operate a Musashi Clan Dojo and given my own Ha (Utaka-Ha). I became a part of the Musashi Clan through Musashi Shiro, a true battlefield warriorwho mentored me and brought me into the clan. It was the greatest honor to become thefirst official Musashi Clan Dojo outside of Japan and be named the head of my own Ha.Honestly speaking it is an honor and a duty that I take very seriously. Today, the modernMusashi Clan consists of the think tank, research, and intelligence gathering group, andthe do tank, the martial arts and active missions group. As the official Americanrepresentative of the Musashi Clan, I am proud to have served in both the think tank andthe do tank. I was honored with the name Musashi Utaka and the teaching title ofO’Sensei directly from the 19th headmaster Kiyomi Shibata. My current post is to assistand operate inside the do tank, where I have vowed to share Musashi Ryu BuJutsu Utaka-Ha with the world. The Musashi Clan builds upon the traditional 18 skills of the Shinobi Samurai. In addition tolearning the 18 traditional skills, the Utaka-Ha Honbu Dojo, with its headquarters inHurricane, Utah must also, in addition, take a practical look into the modern variations ofthese 18 skills TRADITIONAL MODERNKyudo, - Modern Bows and modern archery technologyBaJutsu, Modern horsemanship Offensive, and defensive combat drivingSoJutsu, - Rifle Bayonet, modern attachable spear, shovelKenJutsu, - Nearly all JuJutsu is based on sword techniques Suijutsu, - Scuba, Drownproofing, Silent water tactics Battohjutsu, - Cutting and drawing all types of bladesKodachi, Muchette, combat Shovel, long knives Juttejutsu, - Baton, short stick, expandable batton Kusarigama, - Chain, Belt, sock with a roll of quarters, rope, chord, jacketShurikenJutsu, - Hypodermic needles, Nails, Spikes, starsNaginata, Bayonet attached to a riffle HoJutsu, - Firearms, explosives, flashbangs, armor, tasersTantojutsu, - Knives of all kinds, especially the RAVEN TalonJu-Jutsu, - Strike, Throw, lock, break, gouge, tear, rip, Dismember, and Kill Bojutsu, - Stick, Cane, Bow, Hanbow, billy club, bat, baton, broomstick HojoJutsu, - Restraining and arresting without killing (ropes, handcuffs, zip ties)Shinobijutsu, - Espionage, intelligence gathering, strategy, and tactics.Shinshin Shugyo Spiritual refinement Ninshido

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It is very important to know where we come from to continue developing and evolvingfor the modern world with the same spirit as the founders. True Shinobi Samurai martialskills were developed on the battlefield by Shibata Suwo and Nagamochi Tokuzo andwere used to arrest, restrain, strike, throw, break, gouge, tear, rip, dismember, cut, stab,chop, and kill. In the modern world, the objective depending on the circumstance, isbasically the same. We may have modern variations with modern weapons, but themovements are nearly identical. The soldier of today is armored, and he/she is alwaysarmed. You would not catch a soldier today doing a patrol without either of these things;the same is true, of course, of the historic Shinobi Samurai. Civilian Ninshi members ofthe Musashi Clan in the Utaka-Ha are encouraged always to be armed and prepared tofulfill their role as a protector of the weak. In the Utaka-Ha of the Musashi Clan, we fightaggressively but live compassionately through the philosophy known as Ninshido. NinShiDo is a subject that I can not neglect because it is the driving philosophy and thelifestyle that all Musashi clan NinShi strive to live. According toMansenshukai(Bansenshukai), the Shinobi Samurai (NinShi) ethics was "Seishin" (right-mindedness), which encouraged the NinShi to be loyal to their master and not touse their skills for evil or their own personal gain. In 1989, the fundamental philosophywas named Kyohmei ( Empathetic Resonance) and Mizu Kagami ( Water Mirror),and the ultimate purpose of the member's training was to be one with Ku ( largeuniverse) or “ no-self.The modern-day Ninshido has evolved and has adapted to changes, and that is why theNinshi traditions have survived to this date. The Ninishido ideas have been passed on tothe members through a practical educational system. The members of the Musashi Clanlearn strategies called "Gorin ninpo" ( ) and the "Kyohmei" guideline" to servetheir communities as proper Ninshi should. Through training, the members efficientlylearn to integrate their mental and physical strengths, which will cultivate their innerfortitude. I personally call this “forging your Soul Sword.” Ninshi must be able to fulfilltheir mission in life through hard times and good times equally as well. Ninshi education through the Musashi Clan Honbu Dojo in Japan and its representatives,such as the Utaka-Ha here in the United States, Shiro-Ha in South Africa, and Katsutaka-Ha in Romania, helps to develop a more positive paradigm in the world. It can also be avery practical Bujutsu and modern warrior method if that is what you are looking for orsimply a life-guiding philosophy. The timeless Ninshi wisdom can be effectively utilizedin this modern age. For additional information on how to become a part of the Musashi Clan or to train inMusashi Ryu Bujutsu Utaka-Ha, please contact one of the official representatives, such asMusashi Utaka, Musashi Shiro, or Musashi Katsutaka, or the official Musashi Clan website at

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KUNO1 KUNO1( ) KUNO1 KUNO1 ( ) ( ) () → ( ) 2017 2018 2019 12 2021 10 2022 1 2023 3 KUNO1 Festa 2023 6 2023 6 →KUNO 1

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The KabuNinja (singing and dancing ninja) KUNO1 is a group thatfocuses on one aspect of ninja wisdom, singing songs and dancingto music. We are a rare presence in this world. Instead of exploring and examining history, we focus on what wecan do for the present and future. One of the things we need to dois to work for world peace. We have concluded that ninjas who areaccepted globally should promote cultural exchange throughmusic that can cross all language barriers. So, the Team Kabu (singing-dancing) Ninja KUNO1 started. Theoriginal idea came from the historical "Aruki-miko (traveling shrinemaidens)" as one of the forms of the seven disguises of the ninja.Lady Mochizuki Chiyo received a red seal certificate from LordTakeda Shingen and trained them to be shrine maidens. The Traveling Shrine Maiden Preservation Society in Nezu, TohmiCity, the birthplace of Arukimiko (traveling shrine maidens)recognizes our Team KUNO1 as talented performers. We have aclose relationship with the Shinohara family, descendants of theShinjimai Daiyu (head of a religious dance troupe) at that time. Weengage in the study of shinobi culture and the transmission ofperforming skills such as ninjutsu. Our basic idea is we should never forget to thank our shinobipredecessors and pray for them. Let me give some completeexamples. We visit the graves of the traveling shrine maidens inNezu every month, besides dedicating performances and offeringprayers when visiting castles, shrines, temples, etc. We considersinging a form of "martial art" and performing art. Now, we arestarting a research group with Professor Yamada of Mie Universityto help develop our art.

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Female Warrior Class of JapanThe male warrior can be very vain and egotistical. History was written by the malewarrior to reflect the strength and magnificence of the male warrior.The second is a rule as old as the mountains, history is always written by the victor. I would like to touch on the female warrior class of Japan. Before reading theinformation I present here take into consideration the following. Much speculation andskepticism relate to certain mentions and aspects of the history relating to femalewarriors across cultures.Two things to take into consideration.This means that magnificent exploits and achievements of female warriors were mostlywritten out of history or in many cases fact were turned to fiction in an attempt tobelittle the female warrior.

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Note that most of the female warrior images available today are of kabuki theatre andwarrior re-enactments with very little reference to the real warriors.Please enjoy the below information.The earliest mention of the female warrior class in Japan dates back to 150-250 BC withthe mention of Empress Jingu. ”Empress Jingū ( , Jingū-kōgō) was a legendaryJapanese empress who ruled as a regent following her husband's death in 200 AD”At the time there was no real descriptive word for a female warrior because there wasno need and most of the descriptive words were conceived by later generations. I havetaken the most basic description from history and indicated the role associated with it. The primary female warrior classes. Onna Bugeisha - Defensive The term Onna Bugeisha was used in a time long before the samurai class wasestablished. These female warriors were mostly from the noble class. They weretrained in martial arts and weapons use. These female warriors protected thehousehold and family when the male warriors went to war or needed to travel.Onna Musha - OffensiveThe term Onna Musha was used for female warriors who fought alongside the malewarriors on the battlefield and in some cases formed their own group that was aneffective part of battlefield strategies. Such an example would have been the Joshitai(girls army) during the Bushin War led by Nakano Takeko. Another reference is research that shows women did fight in battles, with DNAremains from the site of the Battle of Senbon Matsubaru in 1580 showing that 35 outof 105 bodies were female.

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Besshikime (“other-stylewomen”) - Bodyguards The Basshikime werebodyguards but not in themodern sense of the word.These female warriors werehighly trained in self defence,manipulation, misdirectionand disguise. These warriorsguarded residents of theDaimyo like their wifes orharems. They were normallyhidden between theconcubines, courtesans andservants These femalebodyguards would look soft,weak and unassuming to anoutside observer. There islittle mention of thisbodyguard in history but theirrole was a crucial one. Kunoichi - Spies, messengers, assassinThe Kunoichi is a term generally used for female ninja.A certain kind of Kunoichi was girls that would have been trained and groomed intopositions as geisha, priestesses and Shinto shrine maidens. They were trained to beinformation gatherers, messengers and assassins. A person to mention here would beMochizuki Chiyome. She was a poet and noble woman who gathered and trained a groupof females to be of service to the Takeda clan. There is also mention of Kunoichi being made in the Mansenshukai along with anotherlesser known term: “This point is of interest, as the term Kunoichi has become famous inthe Western world, yet Tajikara has remained unknown.”With my research it becomes clear that the female warrior played a much moreimportant role as a warrior than history brings to light. Most of the female warriors across history were made out to be fictitious characters orpeople with heavily exaggerated stories. In some cases these female warriors were activein history and then suddenly disappeared from the records.There is much more information with details of each further research is recommended.

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130,000 audiences paid 6000yen a person on Joe Okada "Samurai NipponShows held at beautiful Momoyma Castle till 1992.The story of Samurai Joe Okada,Kyoto has been recommended as a "must" on Japan tours, and Joe Okadais a licensed tour guide for 61 years experienced in almost everything.In 1977 he created the 1700 "Samurai Nippon Show" at a beautifulMomoyama Castle, gathered 130,000 international guests, reported by 34overseas and 115 domestic TVs.Joe OkadaSamurai Nippon Shows

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Now, 2023, he is running "Experience cutting apples inthe air with Japanese Katana"Profesional class: 1 person=80,000yen, additional person@20,000yen ; 3 to 5 hours,Tourist course: 1 person=40,000yen, additional person@20,000yen; 3 hours.Tour guide fee: 70,000yen for 7 hours (including sworddemo.for10min.)Authentic 45 min. samurai history anddemonstration.......1 to 500 audience @150,000yenThank you for your atention, wishing you the best result.The Last Samurai, Joe Okada @94Sincerity and effort,081-90-3867-3538

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RKC DOJO"Ryū Ken Chi" (written in Japanese kanji as )), and translates to"Dragon Sword Wisdom", is now what our dojo is called. To shorten thename, we use the acronym, RKC Dojo too! The RKC DOJO (RKC) is a professional martial arts institution that practisesthe traditional Japanese martial arts of Kendo, Iaido and Jodo.Kendo ( ), which literally translatesto "the way of the sword", is atraditional Japanese martial that wasdeveloped as a form of practice forJapanese swordmen in the 18thcentury. The Kendo practitioner(known as kendoka / kenshi), is armedwith a shinai (a bamboo sword), and isprotected by bogu (protectivearmour). The shinai allows fullstrength cuts to be made againstone's training partner without the riskof injuring or killing them the sameway that a real blade or a bokuto /bokken (wooden sword) would.

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Iaido ( ) is the Japanese art of drawing, cutting, and sheathing thekatana. It places a great emphasis on correctness of form, precision andefficiency of movement, and mental focus. Practitioners of the art –iaidoka –use real swords (or else replica blades which are still quite dangerous) so it isprimarily a solo art. Jodo ( ) is the art of fighting with a 4-foot round wooden staff, usingtechniques to defeat an opponent armed with a sword. The RKC Dojo is build on 3 foundation principles: 1) ...FOCUS on helping ALL their members develop good Kendo, Iaido, and/orJodo..2) ...Whilst still having FUN during their time of training and socializingtogether...3) ...Resulting in lifelong relationships that make them feel a part of the RKC-FAMILY.

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The RKC has adopted the Kendo proverb of "Kō Ken Chi Ai" ( ) , “thedesire to achieve mutual understanding and betterment of humanitythrough sword training”, to help guide its members on their lifelong pursuitof Kendo. For more information, please contact Warren HO on 082 389 9098 or

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Sato Kagura of the Musashi RegionLegacy of the Ishiyamas I’d like to introduce Mr. Hiromasa Ishiyama is the Soke of the oldestorthodox Kagura in the Kanto region.He was born as the 10th heir of Ishiyama Shachu (troupe), an intangiblecultural property that has inherited Sato Kagura in Musashi Province for fourcenturies. Sato means Hometown kagura means Entertainment offered togods.The founder of the Ishiyama family was a Shinto priest who oversaw a widerange of shrines, so we can say the family has been one of the mostauthentic keepers of the kagura traditions.Soke Ishiyama says his missions are to aim for the title of UNESCO’sIntangible Cultural Heritage, and to pass on the authentic Sato Kagura tochildren of the next century.” Sato Kagura is the oldest and longestperforming art in Japan, in which prayers are offered to the gods andblessings are conveyed to people.

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The origin of Kagura (Entertainment offered to God)We think the origin can be found in The Kojiki, Japan's oldest book (publishedin 712 A.D.), an official imperial court-mandated collection of the ancient sagasof the godsAccording to the myth in the book, Amaterasu, the Goddess of the Sun, gotscared by the violent antics of her brother Susa-no-Oo and retreated into acave. Then the world became dark. The gods decided to tempt Amaterasu backout of the cave. They had a merry-making in front of the cave, and one goddessdanced. Amaterasu stepped out of her cave to see what’s happening.Amaterasu was lured out because of the dance and party, and finally took upher original position as sun goddess again and daily sunlight has returned toEarth ever since.

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The chest protector, muneate,tsurubashiri, tsurusuberi By Jessica GerrityIG @jessintokyoIn kyudo we use a chest protectoror muneate this seemlyinnocuous piece of equipmenthas had me interested for a while./I see and receivecomments/criticism often. Aboutthe colour, placement, size,orientation, and recently onetelling me I should be wearingone because I am a woman (I wasit was white and likely the personcouldn't see it).

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One point of aim for me ismunazuru when thebow string touches ourchest. Munazuru isimportant depending onthe school of archery. Thebow string will likely brushover the chest area onrelease and depending onbody shape getting hitwith the bow string canbe painful.Even though you cannotsee a muneate, it doesn'tmean the archer isn'tprotected. Archers wearmuneate inside dougi orwrap sarashi a naturalfibre cloth over their chestarea to flatten it out too. In general due to their body shape women tend to use them more than men but itvaries from person to person. There seems to be no specific gender reference justnecessity.

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I came across what looked likea chest protector on a very oldpicture of a male archerperforming Toshiya .Toshiya was an archery contestthat started in 1606 held on thewest veranda of theSanjūsangen-dō temple inKyoto with a length of 121m. Archers would shoot hundredsor thousands of arrows in onesitting with their kimono onlycovering their lower body. Thetechnique was such that itnecessitated protection on thechest, shoulder and bow arm.The chest protector was said tohave been called tsurubashiri. ()121m~

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I was interested in the connections between then and now and decided toresearch a little.When Oyoroi was worn by Heian archers on horseback the place where thebowstring passed by was called a tsuru bashirii. , Men in hitatare or kimono on the ground would (and still do) perform hadanugi,taking the left sleeve off to stop it catching in the bow string. Women in kimonoperform tasuki sabaki tying the kimono sleeves away. In kimono for womenmany people say that a mune ate is not necessary due to the thickness ofkimono. This however is up to the archer themself. On horseback especially with mounted archers we can see the use of igote anarchers sleeve used to keep the sleeve and any parts of th3 hitatare away fromthe bow string on release.

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n the Teikoku andShowa periods there aremany pictures ofstudents in plain clothesor hakama withoutmuneate.The usage of chestprotection throughouthistory seems to bedependant on thesituation, the type oftechnique/archeryschool, and what thearcher was wearing atthe time. There is somuch variety and manynames for this one pieceof equipment.

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Musashi Ninja Clan, Hong KongThe Academy of Japanese Culture& Martial Arts established since2019, proudly announces that werepresent the Musashi Ninja Clanin Hong Kong.

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During routine training, our members practice basic rolling and climbingskills. Senior members take part in more advanced training, includingcartwheels, aerial flips and kicks. The main goal of our training program is tostrengthen our members’ coordination, flexibility and reaction.In 2022, our members went to Tokyo Musashi Ninja Clan to participate inElite Ninja Experience such as Stealth Walk, Shuriken and Sword. Theseenabled them to improve skills and apply what they have learned.Apart from Ninja training, Academy of Japanese Culture & Martial Artsoffers a wide variety of Japanese martial arts for our members.Currently joined groups are as follows: Yagyu Shingan Ryu Kobudo,Toyama-Ryu Iaido, Tate-do, Shito Ryu Karatedo, Kyudo, Sado, Taiko,Japanese Armor and Medieval martial arts.We are the first group with the most diverse Japanese Martial Arts inHong Kong. Our purpose is to establish a central Japanese Dojo inHong Kong, which can share and develop different Japanese culturalgroups,promoting Japanese culture abroad.

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INTERNATIONAL DAYOF THE NINJABY Samurai Ninja Experience Team Miami, Florida USA International Ninja Day iscelebrated every year on February22. Many activities and festivities are carried out mainly inJapan in the towns of Iga andKoka, where the famous ninjas originate, and alsoexpanded to the main cities suchas Tokyo, Japan, and Miami, Florida, USA. Ourproject Samurai Ninja Experiencewas born to promote the arts of the famous Ninja warriorsin a historical, cultural, andeducational setting. For February, Samurai Ninja Experience honors the ninjas through training activities, lectures, and the opportunity for those interested in the great Shinobi no mono to livea unique experience that will take them back to feudal times, motivating them toknow more directly in Japan.

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As part of our activities during the month of the Ninja, we have prepared the following: 1. History of the Ninja: a general reading that tells the origins of Nin Jutsu, itsinfluence on Japanese history and culture, and the benefits it can provide in moderntimes. This reading is for everyone, including the whole Family. 2. An indoor training to experience some of the most remarkable abilities of theninjas, such as physical, mental, and spiritual strengthening, hand-to-hand combattechniques, and weapons, this activity is designed for all levels of experience andages. 3. An outdoor training where the participants will be able to experience the survivalskills of the Ninja, such as walking long distances, creating shelters, orientation,search for food, among others; this is a family activity. 4. Shuriken tournament for kids. in this activity, all kids will compete in 4 different challenges of Ninja stars. 5. Tameshigiri Experience for all ages and experience levels; in this activity,everybody will experience cutting tatami mats with a real sword, "Shinken." 6. Fun Ninja challenge experience for kids, in this activity, all kids will compete in 9 different Ninja challenges. The Samurai Ninja Experience is getting ready to taketours from the United States to Japan and experience these tremendous ancienttraditions first-hand.At Samurai Ninja Experience, we strongly agree with the benefits Japanese culturecan bring to our community by sharing its knowledge and helping us create andmaintain a peaceful, healthy, and happy world through the fantastic Ninja Arts. Wewant to share the Ninja philosophy with everyone; it is beneficial as the principle ofendurance and harmony among many others; if you are interested, we invite you tolearn a little more about Samurai Ninja Experience. Samurai Ninja Experience Team Miami, Florida USA

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