Japanese Sword Fighting
Secrets of the Samurai
Hidden Essence of the Martial Arts and the Spirit of the Samurai
Japanese history is replete with great sword masters. Legendary figures such as Koizumi Isenokami, Tsukahara Bokuden, Yagyu Munenori, Miyamoto Musashi, and Ito Ittosai have been revered as deities for countless years, forged into the history of Japan’s martial arts. But there were also many lesser known samurai who carried the spirit of Bushido, Tirelessly devoting themselves to Japan’s martial traditions and mastering their many fighting forms. Japan's rich legacy of swordsmanship has been passed on through these generations of samurai, who developed many techniques using the long sword, short sword, and Ninja sword, among others.
In this book, Masaaki Hatsumi, the most renonwned Budo and Ninja grandmaster in the world, explores the venerable history of Japanese sword fighting, sharing with the reader his reflections on the hidden essence of this revered martial art. He covers a variety of classical techniques including Ninja kenpo, Yagyu Shinkage-ryu, as well as two-sword techniques. Drawing on his deep knowledge, the author demonstrates advenced, practical applications of the art, using the stick, spear, naginata, and kusarigama. More mysterious, secret techniques are also discussed, including those involving armor, and the variety of renowned mutodori (no-sword) forms—the ultimate martial skill of the samurai. Works of calligraphy by famous samurai masters, such as Asari Matashichiro and Yamaoka Tesshu, accompany the descriptions, as well as important historical scrolls and an array of lavish illustrations that help demonstrate the grace and beauty of Japanese sword fighting.
After his highly acclaimed works The Way of the Ninja and Advanced Stick Fighting, Masaaki Hatsumi continues to pursue his life’s ambition of fostering and spreading Budo throughout the world, with this definitive book on the art of Japanese sword fighting. Within his technical descriptions and musings on the history of Bushido, Hatsumi’s philosophy of promoting a world of peace and tolerance is ever present, as is his firm belief in the universality of Budo, espoused in his own words: “. . . if the seed of Japan’s Budo is planted anywhere in the world, it will continue to grow and flourish.”
“[Masaaki Hatsumi] explores the history of bushido and its legendary figures, and covers a wide variety of classical techniques as well as the famed two-sword fighting techniques. ... The text is enhanced with works of calligraphy by famous samurai masters, important historical scrolls, and lavish illustrations that convey the grace and beauty of sword fighting.”
“. . . Japanese Sword Fighting, a truly ‘must-have’ manual for Japanese swordsmanship enthusiasts.”
About the author
Dr. MASAAKI HATSUMI was born in 1931. After progressing through various martial arts, he found his life’s mentor, Takamatsu Toshitsugu, and studied under him for the next fifteen years, becoming the 34th Grand Master of Togakure-ryū Ninjutsu and eight other arts, which he unified into the Bujinkan system. Dr. Hatsumi has taught thousands of individual students as well as instructing at law enforcement agencies all over the world, and has received numerous accolades from politicians and spiritual leaders of many nationalities. He has also worked as a professional osteopath, acted in a popular television series, is the author of many books and DVDs on Ninjutsu and Budō, and was for many years Chairman of the International Department of the Japan Literary Artists’ Club.