History of Sword Schools

Origins: Edo Period

新無念流 Shintō Munen Ryū is a descendant sword school of Shintō Munen Ryū. Shintō Munen  Ryū was founded by Fukui Hyōemon Yoshihira at the Izuna Gongen Shrine around 1730. Fukui Hyōemon was originally a practitioner of Shintō Shinkage Ichiden Ryū before he created what was to be called Shinto Munen Ryū.

Togasaki Kumataro Teruyoshi as a teenager joined Fuikui Hyōemon's dojo in Edo (Tōkyō). He taught for a few years in Edo at his own dojo until giving management of the school, Gekikenkan to Okada Jumatsu Yoshitoshi.

Saito Yakuro Yoshimichi was another student at the Gekikenkan. He took over the dojo when Togasaki Sensei became ill and passed away. Yakuro decided to move to a new dojo in the Kudanshita area of Tokyo. He opened the Renpeikan in 1885, and it was to become one of the 3 famed dojo of the Edo period. the three famous dojo with their three famous teachers were Saito Yakuro, Momonoi Shunzo and Chiba Shusaku.

Saito Yakuro

Negishi Shingoro, a student of the Renpeikan became its successor. He eventually closed the Renpeikan and re-opened his school as the Yushinkan. It is there that the famous sword master Nakayama Hakudo began his study. Nakayama Hakudo is one of the most famous names in Kendo and budo. He inherited Shinto Munen Ryu from Negishi however World War II caused many hardships in Japan. For those wanting to continue kendo and kenjutsu practice it became all the more harder due to the restrictions placed upon occupying United Sates Armed Forces.

Shinto Munen Ryu was passed down to his son, Nakayama Zendo and then passed officially to the last head, Saeki Soichiro.

During the Edo period Shinto Munen Ryu spread throughout Japan ranging from the northern to the southern regions.  It has spawned other schools such as Enshin Ryū, Shinto Muteki  Ryū, and Shin Munen Ryū.

 

 

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