The name of this ryu-ha
in romanized form is Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai Heiho, or Musou Jikiden Eishin Ryuu Iai Heihou. It translates, loosely, as 'The unparalleled, direct transmission (from the gods) martial methods of iai school of Eishin.' For the sake of brevity, it shall now be referred to as MJER.
MJER traces its roots to Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto Shigenobu
, arguably the father of modern iaido
, circa 1590 during the end of the Muromachi era
. The ryu-ha, in its present form, was conceived by Oe Masamichi
in the late 19th
early 20th century
. Oe sensei had previously been the 15th soke
before he left and associated with the Tanimura-ha
as their 17th generation headmaster. He continued the tradition of Omori Ryu
and Hasagawa Eishin Ryu
within Tanimura-ha to create modern-day MJER. He is one of the last members of the ryu-ha to have seen actual combat with a sword during Hamaguri Gomon no Ikusa
(The Clam Gate War
The current lineage has split with multiple senior students, all recipients of the Kongen no Maki
(MJER's version of the menkyo kaiden
), claiming to be the headmaster. With multiple lineages, MJER is one of the most widely practiced extant koryu bugei
Muso Shinden Ryu
(MSR) is another art that shares many simularities with MJER. MSR was formulated circa the reformulation of MJER by Nakayama Hakudo
, a man with connections to the Shimomura-ha tradition. They both contain Omori Ryu, Eishin Ryu, and the same Okuden
Omori Ryu is considered the shoden
or beginning set. It consists of eleven kata
and is referred to as seiza no bu
, the seated set. Seiza
is a traditional Japanese
sitting posture involving tucking the legs and sitting on the heels in an upright way.
Eishin Ryu is the chuden
or middle set. It is known as tate-hiza no bu
and contains ten kata. Tate-hiza
is transliterated as 'standing knee' and is similar to seiza; assume seiza, then the right foot is placed next to the left knee so that the right knee is standing.
This is the secret set, sometimes referred to as Shigenobu Ryu
, available to practitioners who have shown loyalty and perseverence in learning the entirety of the shoden and chuden sets. It is broken into i waza
and tachi waza
, seated (tate-hiza) and standing, respectively.
There also exists a set of three kata called itomagoi
. They are considered seiza no bu, and are cuts from variations of seated bowing
The MJER tradition continues with paired kata that, though not quite considered kenjutsu
, are iai-derived forms. There are six sets of paired kata:
Tachiuchi no Kata (7 kata)
Tachiuchi no Kurai (10 kata)
Tsumeai no Kurai (11 kata)
Daisho Tsumeai no Kurai (8 kata)
Daisho Tachizume no Kurai (7 kata)
Daikentori (10 kata)
These sets include various kata with the swords sheathed, swords drawn, standing, kneeling, one standing-one kneeling, grappling and throws, and work with kodachi
, or short sword.
These forms exist to provide a more practical side for the school, with concerns of ma ai
and other combat related principles being drawn in.
In the past, Itabashi Ryu Bojutsu
and Natsubara Ryu Yawara
) were subsumed in the MJER curriculum. Even in Japan, only tiny bits and pieces are currently known and the ryu-ha as a whole have vanished.