Buyouken Kensai

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by garth, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. garth

    garth Valued Member

    just digging through my library the other day in preparation for moving and came across a book by Boyouken Kensai and translated by Tsuneyoshi Matsuno.

    It claims it was published in 1916

    Its called "Nin-jutsu, working at once, a secret teaching of Kiai-jutsu"

    anyone any knowledge of this work?
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  2. George Kohler

    George Kohler Valued Member

    I have that book too.
  3. garth

    garth Valued Member

    Do you know anything about it George?
  4. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    Would like to necromance this thread as this work has just crossed my Radar.

    Number 36 mentions in the index mentions about Jesuit Missionaries, and Doshi Shingestu's work Senjustu to Ninjutsu mentioned Jesuit Missionaries, particulary their skills in Kajustu. Its just a curiosity of mine. Anyone have a overview on this? I would love to know what section 36 talks about.
  5. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    I finally got round to writing something on the copy of the English translation I laid my hands on. Regreattbly I don’t read Japanese, nor do I believe a copy has floated around on the internet so I’m taking it on faith that the information is somewhat accurate, but I have no idea on how faithfull the translation actually is. (perhaps something for budding scholars out there to research)

    Nin – Jutsu (1916) was written by the author Ken-Sai Buyoken An English Translation was done by - Tsuneyoshi Matsuno in 1991, who apparently was a 5th Dan in Iai-tameshigiri – Do. In his translation he was assisted by a Ms Debbie Brown wife whose Husband who was head instructor of Kogen-Ryu Brown dojo in Harrogate. The work isn’t long but it is set out in perculiar fashion andI have no idea if it reflects the layout of the original document. Book is then divided into two sections.

    1. Secret training in Ninjutsu with sub-section on black magic (hypnotism really

    2. The Mysteries of Kiaijutsu (with a small interesting sub-section on Kouga ninjas

    Each section/paragraph is annoted numerically (1,2,3..) which is really strange. Again I’m not sure if this is how the original book was. The whole publication seems low budget and made for short run publication. I know physical copies turn up on e-bay ever so often, but my digital copy give me the idea that it was a quick affair with little editorial oversight.

    Anyway…the Interesting points. Much of the stuff has been covered in a whole lot of other books, but there are a couple of juicy things to wet my appetite which I have not come across before. I’m only going to focus on the nin-jutsu section, though the kiaijustu section is interesting in itself (for a couple of other curious reasons) I’ve put in bold and italics all the bits I’m quoting directly from the book.

    · Preface and Foreword: “To our greatest surprise 10000 copies have been sold out in just three months after publication”. Curiously it predates some of Gingetsu Itohs own works…

    · Characterised as a ‘Self defence art (that) had long existed though once neglected. Recently it has come into fashion and is being talked about…appearing in film or on the cover of picture books” This firmly illustrates that there were 3 ninja booms the 1910’s, 1960’s and 1980’s(USA)

    · The prohibition of using ninjutsu for own means is stressed much like in the historical denshos/manuals. Quite frequently infact.

    · Author (uncharacteristically for the time and subject matter) actually references the material he drew upon, though unfortunately he does not always cite these in the text (academia teeth are grinding….). Some will be familiar to aficionados of ninjutsu. Some are more obscure texts I have yet to look at. Regrettably no author’s names or even dates are given for these works. Some of them are for the kiaijutsu section.

    1. Bubi-shi (defences)

    2. Sho-nin-ki (ninjutsu)

    3. Kiai Jutsu (highest degree martial art – volume ‘water’ –the art of the spirit)

    4. Sen-Jutsu and Nin-Jutsu (hermit and ninja arts)

    5. Secret Aiki-Jutsu (Self study of mesmerism)

    6. The great magic in Nin-Jutsu

    7. Buke-mei-Mokushou (A register of Buke, samurais)

    8. Secret Martial strategy’s

    9. Freehand Kiaijutsu

    10. Sword and its history

    11. Tengu-gei –jutsu ( a long nosed goblins art)

    12. Japan Encyclopedia

    Interesting points in the Secret teaching of Nin-Jutsu

    · Described as “the art of mystification”. Has the alternative name of In-Shin-Jutsu. Possibly a variation on the Bansenshukai’s Innin/yonin dichotomy.

    · An art belonging to Samurai of “getting out of difficulties or making frequent appearances or disappearances from the ranks of the enemy”. Later he describes the application as “mainly for the purpose of spying upon or assassinating the enemy” which is curious as modern historians tend to play down the assassinating part nowadays.

    · Constantly repeats the Sho-Nin-Ki’s edict of not using nin-jutsu for private gain.

    · A bit of confusion. The author asserts that Nin-Jutsu is a peculiar blend of Scientific knowledge, (self) Mesmerism but not as mystical as it is commonly (in the authors time) as it is made out to be. By way of explanation he shoes how Kuji-In and the supplemental use physical tool and scientific methods are combined. The author devotes a whole section on Kuji un and Kuji Kiri.

    · A history of nin-jutsu is given, a bit sparse and nothing which hasn’t been mention elsewhere. However the Goton- no –Jutsu is described as “not of our originality but traditionally came from china” There is short section with examples, but nothing too different from Gingetsu Itohs later works.

    · The schools of nin-jutsu. This is interesting:

    The most significant schools on nin-jutsu are Iga, Kouga and Akugawa. In Iga school they mainly used mice, Kouga school cats. The creative schools are Negoro, Haguro, Takeda Akiba and so on” Using mice as distraction is well known. But cats? No explanation is given for what is meant by ‘creative’. Akugawa incidentally is the school that Jinichi Kawakami maintains he is the inheritor of. I’ve never seen Akugawa put on the same importance level as Iga or Koga anywhere else.

    · “Ninjustu, different from other martial arts such as kenjutsu, jujutsu, soujutsu or archery, left nothing written systematically on its methods or mysteries….Ninja seldom taught many at a time, neither did he confer full mastership easily. Most mysteries were transmitted from father to son, from master to proficient disciple….besides they were taught orally, not by written text” Author goes on to say that only the Sho-Nin-Ki is left as a ninja manual which patently untrue, but may be the only material he was aware of at the time. Much of the work quotes from it extensively much like Gingetsu Itoh.

    · The Sho-Nin-Ki’s six tools are described, nothing new except for some extra explanations that are not in the old book. The Rope can be used for “going up or down a fence, bind an enemy, close a door, or in any way. He also had another small rope to be used for saddle”. Clothes were “dyed brown, covered in mud, dyed black or deep blue. Deep blue has many kinds, and it was convenient when disappearing. A raincoat was used in many ways, with a single sword inserted under his belt. He usually painted the blade black, and had is black loop blindstiched which could be used in any way in emergency

    · Metsubushi “this method is to escape from enemy by throwing a mist before his eyes, taking the enemy unawares. With plenty of practice and much experience, the realization of the method will be easy for an ordinary person, and it can also be the safest defence art” again similar stuff is written elsewhere and echoes some of Gingestu’s later work.

    · There is section on the physical training for ninjustu. This section is interesting as there is stuff which has been written by Fujita Seiko and Gingetsu Itoh but little details I personally haven’t come across before.

    1) Jumping up and down: “According to the traditional training in nin-jutsu, the method of jumping down is started by laying a ‘futon’ (a thick bed quilt) or soft straws or sands, on which one jumps down. Increase its height gradually step by step. Jump down and roll over…. In case of jumping up, he used flax plants, whose seeds they sowed on the ground of about two square metres. As the flax grows, he jumped them over for about thirty minutes every day.”

    2) Travelling quick pace: “ I would like to introduce it to you from a book on mysteries of nin-jutsu which Mr Ihachiro Tanimura in Nagaoka learned from the author. Its way of stepping forward is different from our usual walking” then it goes on to describe the Ninjutsu Yoko Aruki ‘x’ style walk that is also present in Gingetsu Itohs works. This is perhaps the most interesting bit for me: Ihachiro Tanimura, one of Gingetsu Itohs own sources is here described in what may be ( but see comments later…) a third source confirming his existence.

    · Jesuit Missionaries method: One of the more bizarre reasons I undertook this research. Doshi Shigetsu work maintained that the Jesuits practiced a kind of ‘ninjutsu’ connected with katon-no-jutsu (fire technique). Well in this book the author states that “In the 16th century, some countries in the west tried to propaget Christianity in Japan, but people didn’t like it. Their last resort was to make use of hypnotism or some kind of scientific knowledge. They had a device of the missionary’s head emitting light or illustrating his lecture with color slides. It was a kind of child’s trick, which had struck people” Well so much for a secret tradition Jesuit ninjutsu like subterfuge! More like a Renaissance era powerpoint for gullible heathens. That being said it is consistent with Jesuit missionary of spreading Christianity by use of scientific knowledge used in the new world to awe natives.

    Ninja Tools

    · A blinder: “mix the powder of red pepper and ashes, and put it in an egg shell” similar to Bujinkan tradition.

    · A Ninjustu sword: “Shorter than a normal one, as long as two feet. Its cord is very long, for it is used for climbing up a wall etc etc…” the classic using the sword as a foot rest. However much more interesting is the later assertion that “it’s tsuba is larger with a rougher surface”. The larger tsuba is to my knowledge new information (please correct me if I’m wrong), the rougher surface according to Gingetsu itoh in his works was to enable the ninja to find purchase with the straw sandals when wet. In case it needs repeating, heavy rainfall was one of the best times for ninjas to infiltrate, and this has been mentioned in many historical manuals. Then “It is said that a ninja never used a fine sword with the name of a swordsmith. When assassinating an enemy, the ninja usually used a newly made thick sword to thrust. He never pulled it out after thrusting and killing the enemy, leaving it there so it might not revive.” Thrusting technique anyone? Was this the original source of the ninja weapon as a stabbing blade? Food for thought.

    · A black cloth: “0.944 square feet in order to conceal oneself in it” This is a bit new. It is not the tenugui scarf.This is described later in the same section and very much like in Gingetsu Itohs work, right down to the Sappanwood dye with water purification properties.

    There is plenty more, but much of it I think can be found in other books and sources. There is quite a lot of historical materials and examples, but I’m not nerd enough to cross reference them all. Besides is a bit all over the place in the text. I just drew out the things that caught my eye.

    However I have a sneaking feeling that much like author/translator Eric Saha posited that Doshi Shingestu was a pen name for Gingestu Itoh, I think our fellow Ken-Sai Buyoken could also be another earlier penname for the same author. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility:

    1) He mentions being taught Yoko Aruki Iachiro Tanimura, much, like Gingetsu Itoh did.

    2) Repeats much of Gingestu’s ideas on Ninjustu being a blend of physical skill, mysticism and scientific method.

    3) Relies primarily on the Shoninki as a historical source but omits the Basenshukai, like Gingestu Itoh.

    4) Large section on the Gotonpo and insistence on it being a Chinese import. Like Gingetsu.

    I rather hope it is a separate author though…

    Anyways. I’ve done my good deed for the day.
    Dunc and CMM like this.
  6. Dunc

    Dunc Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Interesting read - thanks

    There is a poem in Togakure Ryu Biken that goes something like "Thrust as if to cut" or "A cut becomes a thrust"

    There are a few uses of this idea, but one is that your opponent overestimates the length of your blade, making his block "miss" and creating an opening for a thrust

    Seems strange not to withdraw the blade 'though...

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