Aizu Kendôshi

Aizu Kendôshi

If you want to study the schools of a particular part of Japan it might seems quite hard, because you have to collect all information of every school, mostly of different sources and sometimes not sufficient enough for your study approach.

During the years, different organizations published books exactly on this topic, providing comprehensive works on the culture, history and techniques of schools of a particular part of Japan. Some of these works cover e.x. the prefectures of Aomori and Gunma or – as the following does – the classical martial arts practiced in Aizu-han. This book has been published in 1967 by the Zen Aizu Kendô Renmei.

The first pages show different densho which had been preserved in Aizu-han including Ittô ryû Mizoguchi-ha, Shinkage ryû, Taishi ryû and Shintô ryû followed by some paintings (one by Miyamoto Musashi) and calligraphy. During the following pages five kata of Ittô ryû Mizoguchi-ha – probably the most famous school of Aizu-han (next to Daitô ryû) – are described, featuring the famous Wada-sensei, who was also one of the leading authorities in the creation of this book.

The book deals with kendô (and bujutsu in general) during the samurai era, the meiji and taisho period as well as the time during World War 2 and the foundation of the Zen Aizu Kendô Renmei and the development of kendô after the war. The part on koryû bujutsu is quite extensive. Besides the five main schools of Aizu-han (Ittô ryû Mizoguchi-ha, Taishi ryû, Shinten ryû, Ankô ryû and Shintô Seibu ryû) other minor schools such as Ten ryû, Shintô ryû, Tôgun ryû or Shinten ryû (different kanji) are described on about 80 pages, including information on the specific history of the school, teachers, techniques, level of certification and its reputation and impact on Aizu-han. The famous Nisshinkan school for military education is also mentioned including information on the educational system, lecture plans, tournaments or the organization of keiko besides the official one held at the Nisshinkan.

Personally I gained a lot due to the descriptions of a less known branch of Katori Shintô ryû. The densho on the first pages are quite intersting too, due to their age and content.

Language: Japanes
Pages: 582
Year of publication: 1967

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