There's no smoking gun yet, for anybody. Hi; I'm adding 2 cents. Simply to provide background - not, really to argue about who's right. Please, I'm not. I would explain The statements on the Banke Shinobinoden Kensyujo website by simply saying that they are quite proud of the level of legitimate acceptance they've been able to achieve. The "no representatives" statements, I've explained in other threads. Look; I LIKE and admire Mr. Kawakami and I think well of his student Kiyomoto. I've heard, at length, the description of how Kawakami met Ishida. He's friendly and matter of fact about it. BTW, at the end of his statements in our panel discussion, he unequivocally stated that he had no desire to disparage anybody else's martial practice. And he was sincere. Kawakami is an utter stickler for historical accuracy. Kiyomoto serves Kawakami so totally that he becomes a bit difficult, at times. I think that the utter focus on historical accuracy might not be primarily attractive to those who simply want to practice martial arts. I'm addressing some of the issues with numbered answers - that's not to categorically show how authoritative I am, but rather because there's so much to address. I'm just trying to keep it straight. 1. Kawakami does have RELATIVELY more recognition in Japan at this time, BUT to be fair, Mie (Iga) and Shiga (Koka) prefectural recognition isn't national recognition. Kawakami isn't a "Living Cultural Treasure". He isn't in the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten (which has not been revised or updated for 30 years and newly discovered and evaluated densho DO appear-though rarely), but he does have scrolls which have been accepted by the Iga Museum (which is government sponsored, hence takes its duties seriously and has Cred), but no statement has been made about them by the Koryu Bujutsu Kyokai or the Koryu Bujutsu Shinkokai. 2. Kawakami stated that the "Shinden Fudo" martial practices he does and those of the Bujinkan dakentaijutsu/jutaijutsu are similar in name - not the same systems. I have no way to evaluate this statement, nor did I suspect anything of it. 3. Kawakami is late middle-aged, quiet, reclusive, RETIRED (which is the really mundane reason why he doesn't take students; his student Kiyomoto does) and he's been around a lot longer than many think. There was even a special ...one of the TV specials..Discovery Channel, I think, where a show which centered around the Bujinkan, began with a tour of the Iga Museum. Who was Giving that tour? Kawakami He was never mentioned. He was already an honorary curator. What he wasn't, was someone who wanted to expand his student base. Kawakami isn't really a mysterious figure; he just really couldn't be bothered with things outside of his focus on historical Ninjutsu. He has expressed his wishes really only to be involved in academic style activities with concern to Ninjutsu. Kiyomoto has a school to "spread" (heck; legitimately so, as with anyone who teaches martial arts, et al, he believes in); the Banke Shinobinoden. He is so fanatically loyal to his teacher's desire for grounded historicity that he is careful not to teach actual Ninjutsu to anyone who hasn't been in the Ryuha for 10 years. Then there is a blood-oath, much like Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu. One *****s one's finger next to one's signature, as a sign of commitment to "keep things in the Family". 4. The Now famous statement "Ninjutsu isn't Bujutsu" came from Kawakami before Mr. Cummins said it on Youtube. Nor, Mr. Kawakami said, point blank, in response to Meik Skoss' question, is Ninjutsu (the way he finds it) a Koryu. NOT A KORYU (IMHO, HOW WONDERFUL). According to Kawakami, Shinobi were Bushi already; they learned Bujutsu skills and were taught Ninjutsu on along with/top of them. In Kawakami's view, Ninjutsu is large, living and very adaptive. It really shouldn't be limited only to the repetition of a static syllabus of preserved techniques. And yes; Mr. Kiyomoto's fanatical devotion to utter historical accuracy does seem at odds with that. A counterpoint would be if Fujita Seiko's instruction at the Nakano Intelligence School helped produce "Showa Era Shinobi" you can bet they used every modern method of espionage. 5. According To Kawakami, Shinobi were Samurai. HOWEVER - in extended discussion, it was further explained that "The Government/Shogunate/Bakufu may have disagreed that they were Samurai". Hmm...they were Ji-Samurai, i.e., warriors during the Sengoku Jidai (Warring States Period), before the classes were stratified tightly. This opens the door again to the "Robin of Locksley" image, at least for Koka area Shinobi - that they were former Samurai families which were in some way "outlawed". That, of course re-opens the question as to whether or not they were samurai.... 6. Ishida wasn't that well known. Sorry. (look; Takamatsu wasn't as stunningly famous as people seem to think. Fujita Seiko was the "Phenom" to be envied) BUT Kawakami has given give a complete lineagle - I'm still trying to get the whole transcript translated. 7. A lot has been made of some of the publicly displayed Bujutsu techniques Mr. Kawakami and Mr. Kiyomoto displayed at the Drew U. Seminar. My own view as that they displayed a good amount of well-performed, interesting stuff that centered around actual Ninjutsu as they saw it; silent walking, ways of hiding/infilitration/escape-evasion, confusing their body-outlines by quickly producing and dropping underneathdark linen cloth (impressive). Some of it I couldn't see, ironically; Kiyomoto kept me running with surprise requests. The Bujutsu proper looked like they hadn't practiced it together for some time. It wasn't s bad as it was "shakily not recently rehearsed". To be fair I've seen the same level from X-Kans, et cetera. I've also seen/participated in excellent X-kan practice. I have to thank Mr. Muramatsu (Myo-Fu An), especially for such an opportunity; I didn't know how big it was. 8. Look, please, it is so that most Japanese scholars believe, without certainty that NO Ninjutsu Lineage has survived, though they allow for the possibility. That they politely "allow for the possibility", especially in the Japanese cultural context means that they generally haven't accepted the Takamatsuden and possibly even the Banke Shinobinoden, though the Banke folks have presented a University Symposium in Japan, other than the less formal one at Drew U. 9. It is so that IN ANY MARTIAL PRACTICE - people can come and go from Japan and encounter wildly different experiences. Koryu people are often the worst; some seem to live in an "alternate Japan" for years on end. My wife, Miyako and I will go to Japan, visit Kono Yoshinori, The Japan Sambo Federation HQ in Shibuya, visit a Fencing Master in the same district who gives his lessons entirely in French, occasionally train with teachers of Budo (I still love and do Judo - but not in Japan, oddly; there's so much to do that I can't do at home), Bujutsu and occasionally Chinese Martial Arts (I-Chuan mostly, called Kanshi I-Ken" in Japan. My wife does this a bit). Then we'll talk with people who've gone there, even lived there and really mostly experienced the training in their particular area or of their charismatic instructor(s). We've come to actually look at each other and say "What Japan did they live in???". It is true that Bujinkan isn't widely regarded in Japan, even though Hatsumi's videos are for sale in Kinokuniya. It is true that the Bujinkan seems to be mostly gai-goku-jin, not Nihon-jin and is known for this. IS THAT TERRIBLE? I've seen the TV shows in which Hatsumi participated - y'know? It's nice to see that at least somebody in the martial arts can be tongue-in-cheek about himself. The line between dignity and pomposity is fine and easily crossed especially by Martial Arts Masters. Hatsumi presents a wonderful counter-point example to those who would "drink the Kool-Aid" in his name. 10. Mr. Kawakami, in his home country, is seen as historically more "hardcore" than Mr. Hatsumi (which is not to say he's looked upon as "normal" either), but both are still open to the observation (cum accusation) that they are more historical re-enactors than they are actual lineage holders. My personal take is; practice what you practice. If it's research not lineage, it would be best (simplest at least) just to say so; if you're GOOD, the World is now sophisticated enough to perceive that. IMHO. The world is both bigger and smaller than it was; walking down a Tokyo street one can find signs for Taekwondo (very popular! Japanese have taken World Gold Medals), BJJ and "No-Gi MMA" (In English). Being legitimate in one's lineage really isn't a guarantee that one is very good at what one does. Wishing you all well!