Densho: Anazawa ryû Naginatajutsu Tekagami

Anazawa ryû Naginatajutsu Tekagami

During my research I often come across some very nice densho which are preserved by libraries, archives or private collectors. I decided to introduce some of these school specific documents from time to time. The first one will deal with Anazawa ryû Naginatajutsu which had been transmitted in Hachinohe-han in northern Japan.

This particular document has been written by Kitamura Masu. Pity to say that there is no publishing date mentioned. Moreover it seems that the document was still in progress. It looks a bit like a draft, because sometimes parts were marked in black ink and handwritten corrections had been made. Nevertheless it´s an interesting historical document. Just some quick words about Kitamura Masu. He was full-time menkyo kaiden collector. He was born in 1868 into a warrior family of Hachinohe-han. In the age of 16 he learnt Hokushin Ittô ryû Kenjutsu followed by Ôtsubo ryû Bajutsu, Tamiya Seiken ryû Bôjutsu and Shijô ryû Reishiki. He was also licenced in Anazawa ryû Naginatajutsu, Kawasaki ryû Jûjutsu, Kôshû ryû Gungaku, Mizoguchi ryû Iai, Shintô Munen ryû and some others.

This document focuses on Anazawa ryû trasmitted in Hachinohe-han. After a short historical introduction of its founder Anazawa Morihide, the document continues of describing the basics of the school (movement, stance, clothing, reishiki, the receiving of weapons) followed by the basic kamae (Seigan, Hassô, Ôjôdan, Wakigamae, Tachigakure, Ichimonji) and cutting and thrusting points of the enemy. Several pages of kata description follow. The document contains three sets of kata (yari awase,tachi awase and naginata awase). Yari awase (yari against naginata) consists of six kata, tachi awase (tachi agains naginata) of nine kata and naginata awase (naginata against naginata) of one kata. Besides the technical description the author also gives information on kiai and at which point it shall be used. Same as in Katori Shintô ryû, the three kiai of ei, ya and are used in Anazawa ryû Naginatajutsu, too. The last part is called Naginata Kumigata and describes how to do kata when having no partner to practice/demonstrate with.

It´s a bit difficult to find information on Anazawa ryû Naginatajutsu nowadays. As far as I know there are just two remaining schools left and the good thing: One of these traces their roots back to the Anazawa ryû I just described. If time allows I´ll try to start making a translation of the whole document. It´s not that difficult, but there are quite a lot of old kanji (pre WW2) in and it might take a bit more time to get everything done.

Language: Japanese
Pages: 9 (machine written)
Date of publication: unknown

ps: I just got a copy of the Bugei Ryûha Daijiten and the Nihon Kobudô Soran. If you are interested, send me a message.

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