One of the nine schools of ninjutsu -its taijutsu is similar to that of the Togakure Ryu and dates back to around the early part of the 16th Century.

One the ryu's special weapons is the kamayari or hook spear. Designed initially for ship boarding, it was also useful for fighting swordsmen. Like the Jutte and Sai it was able to trap and control the sword, clothing or the opponent's legs.

Also used was the Ippon Sugi Noburi, a foot long metal tube with three rows of metal spikes on the outside, and a chain running through its middle, a hook on its ends. This was placed around a tree and was used for climbing, much in the same way lumberjacks do now, although it could be used as a flailing weapon if needed.

Kumogakure Ryu also used the Demon mask, bringing into play the head as a valid combat element, part of the body not normally associated with Japanese fighting systems.

Although this school has some specialised weaponry, it has been said that it was more a school of thought than a violent school, teaching survival skills and jumping techniques.

Soke of Kumogakure Ryu:

  • Iga Heinaizaemon no jo Ienaga (1532-1554)
  • Toda Sagenta Nobufusa
  • Toda Gohei Nobunaga
  • Toda Noriyoshi
  • Toda Seiryu Nobutsuna (1624-1644)
  • Toda Fudo Nobuchika (1658-1681)
  • Toda Kangoro Nobuyasu (1681-1704)
  • Toda Eisaburo Nobumasa (1704-1711)
  • Toda Shingoro Masayoshi (1736-1764)
  • Toda Daigoro Chikahide (1764-1804)
  • Toda Daisaburo Chikashige (1804-1818)
  • Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu b. 1824 - d. 1909
  • Takamatsu Toshitsugu b. 1887 - d. 1972
  • Hatsumi Masaaki b. 1931 -
Source - Paul Richardson