Soke Hisashi Nakamura Minamoto-no-Hisamitsu
Soke Nakamura is the current head (Soke) of the Takeda-ryu Nakamura Ha. He is the 44th Soke of Takeda-ryu.
The source of Aiki
The art of AIKI of the TAKEDA School is first documented in the 12th century as "TAKEDA RYU AIKI NO JUTSU", but its origins go much further back in history. SOKE NAKAMURA, current head of the school TAKEDA RYU NAKAMURA HA, quoted the following passage from the records on the TAKEDA School:
In the 27th year of the reign of the twelfth TENNO (emperor) by the name of KEIKO (KEIGYO), the KUMASO tribe rebelled. As a result, the heir to the throne, YAMATO TAKERU NO MIKOTO, was sent on an expedition to punish the KUMASO. On his way, he performed a cleansing ceremony at KAMIYO waterfall. He placed his feet on the rocky floor of the waterfall, spread his arms wide, was filled with the power of the spirit and gathered the entire strength of his body in his fingertips. Turning towards heaven, he executed several upward blows, then let his hands drop and struck out powerfully several times with his arms. After the prince had completed these movements, he decided to attack the KUMASO. Disguised as a woman, he crept into the enemy’s camp and there roused the sleeping leader of the KUMASO. When the leader tried to attack him, the prince opened his arms, was filled with spiritual strength and threw the KUMASO leader to the ground, having already snatched his sword from him. This technique of spreading one’s arms and throwing down one’s opponent was the beginning of AIKI.
The document continues:
Thereafter, the prince studied diligently and passed on his skills to TAKEDA NO KIMI NO MIKOTO for the protection of the palace.
Passed on by the sixth son of emperor SEIWA, called SADAZUMI, this knowledge was transferred by his son TSUNEMOTO in turn to the father of the famous general MINAMOTO NO YOSHIMITSU (from the GENJI = MINAMOTO family) and finally to YOSHIMITSU himself, who is considered the father of AIKI. Tradition has it that in Emperor SEIWA’s day and even more so during the reign of his son SADAZUMI, with their bare hands warriors executed blows like sword strikes on parts of the body either unprotected or poorly protected by armour. To this day, such techniques are a characteristic part of AIKIDO in the TAKEDA style, for example in the form of the AIKI-UCHI (AIKI form of strikes).
Under General YOSHIMITSU from the powerful MINAMOTO family who founded the KAMAKURA shogunate, the traditional techniques of AIKI were further improved and developed into a system for the first time.
His son YOSHIKYO added techniques that could be used against assailants bearing both long and short swords. For practice, he had his warriors fight unarmed against well-trained sword fighters as well as against men armed with NAGINATA (halberds) and other weapons of different lengths. Through this practice, they learned to observe carefully but quickly, they also perfected their coordination between eye and movements, as well as the ability to gauge distances accurately and to move quickly aside, a method that was customary in some cases under TSUNEMOTO.
YOSHIKYO was ordered to move to the province of KAI (now YAMANASHI) to protect it. He settled there, changed his name to TAKEDA, founding the branch of the family called "KAI-GENJI-TAKEDA". From then on, the family’s fighting skills became known as "TAKEDA RYU AIKI NO JUTSU" (the art of AIKI of the TAKEDA family).
The 16th century
Saw the heyday and the end of the supremacy of the TAKEDA family, whose most famous prince was TAKEDA SHINGEN. At that time a second branch of the Takeda family began, which like the original branch (GENRYU) also exists to this day.
NOBUTORA was the head of the TAKEDA family in the first half of the 16th century. In about 1570, the records of the TAKEDA School were given not to his first son SHINGEN, but to his ninth son NOBUTOMO, who in turn passed them on to his son KATSUCHIYO. KATSUCHIYO moved to the KURODA tribe in ECHIZEN (now FUKUOKA) where he secretly trained his descendants in the art of AIKI. By doing so he helped preserve the existence of the main branch (GENRYU) of the TAKEDA School to this day.
Development of the collateral branch
TAKEDA SHINGEN became one of the most famous men in the history of Japan because of his victories in the civil war. However, he was of minor importance to the survival of the TAKEDA School.
SHINGEN died in 1573 in the civil war. His death marked the end of the power of the TAKEDA family. A year later one of SHINGEN’s brothers, TAKEDA KUNITSUGU, went to the principality of AIZU to serve the tribe by the same name. Through him, aspects of the art of AIKI were passed on to the AIZU clan. Due to the losses suffered by the TAKEDA family, KUNITSUGU decided to change his name to DAITO. This new branch of the family was therefore called the DAITO branch (DAITO-RYU).
The DAITO School, founded in the 16th century, still exists today, as does the main school, which has been called the TAKEDA School since the 12th century. This passing on of the tradition, writes SOKE NAKAMURA in his book on AIKIDO, is also described in the "NIHON BUDO JITEN" (reference work on schools and martial arts).
The 19th century
After the ravages of the civil war in the 16th century, which affected the development of the school, the TAKEDA School remained hidden in the shadows of history for more than 300 years. When a historically decisive shift occurred during the MEJI restoration and the government forbade the carrying of swords in 1876, the TAKEDA School revived. Its teachings came to light again when in era of the 41st generation of the TAKEDA family (the era of TAKEDA TADAKATSU) a few young men formed a group called "GENYOSHA" (Association of the Black Ocean) for political reasons and started doing AIKIDO exercises. In the 42nd generation, the school was transferred to the NAKAMURA YOSHITOSHI family and in the 43rd generation to the OBA ICHIO family.
The 20th century
In the 20th century an outstanding individual, SOKE HISASHI NAKAMURA, influenced the TAKEDA School.
He was born in SHINSHU in 1932 and moved to live with his aunt in northern KYUSHU in 1949. He had found out that a DOJO (school) for TAKEDA martial arts existed on YAGURA Mountain. It was the school run by SOKE OBA ICHIO, headmaster of the 43rd generation. In spring 1950 NAKAMURA, with two recommendations, became a student of master OBA. SOKE OBA ICHIO always ensured that the school’s teachings were passed on only to a small group. After three years (in 1953) NAKAMURA became an UCHI-DESHI ("in-house student"), living with SOKE OBA ICHIO. Soon after that, ICHIO moved to Tokyo, where he founded the SEIBUDEN DOJO as the new headquarters of the TAKEDA School and the NIPPON BUDO RENREN, an association for the revival of the BUDO.
The young NAKAMURA was not called to Tokyo until 1957. Master MORIMOTO, ICHIO’s deputy, had to move back to the country due to family obligations, and so NAKAMURA assumed his position as deputy, which had been his greatest wish.
OBA died in 1959 without naming a successor. The SEIBUDEN DOJO had to be closed, but in 1960 NAKAMURA, who now lived only for the BUDO, started to build his own organization to keep alive the great, old tradition of TAKEDA RYU.
When he became head of the school, the decision on passing on its teachings were solely in the hands of the new SOKE NAKAMURA. He realized that the school could only survive if a larger group of people had access to the school’s teachings. As a result, he decided to teach the TAKEDA School on a widespread basis.
Thus began ten very difficult but latterly fruitful years, in which individual schools and associations (including those at universities) and organizations like the independent "BUDOKAI" were established. In 1970 it was renamed the "Japan Complete Martial Arts Association", "NIHON SOBUDO RENGOKAI" (NSR), with its headquarters HONBU SOBUKAN in Tokyo.
In 1978 SOKE NAKAMURA officially registered the school as TAKEDA RYU NAKAMURA HA. His name accordingly became inextricably linked to the school.
Today his organization includes numerous schools, clubs and youth and student organizations. While in the Seventies his work focused on reviving the school and spreading its teachings in Japan, the Eighties saw internationalization and the establishment of schools outside Japan. As the preserver and reviver of the TAKEDA school, with his lifework SOKE NAKAMURA already has a place in the history of BUDO, the traditions of which are part of Japan’s cultural legacy.
All SOKES (= leaders) of the TAKEDA RYU
Founder Shinra Saburo ( Saburo = third son) Minamoto no Yoshimitsu
Takeda Kajya Yoshikyo
Takeda Kurogenta Kyomitsu
Takeda Tarou Nobuyoshi
Takeda Gorou Nobumitsu
Takeda Kotarou Nobumasa
Takeda Yaroku Nobumune
Takeda Gyobudayu Nobunari
Takeda Shurinosuke Nobuharu
Takeda Tarou Nobumitsu (Tarou = first son)
Takeda Tarou Nobushige
Takeda Yasaburou Nobumori
Takeda Gorou Nobutsuna
Takeda Nobutora (Tokushusai = budoname)
Takeda Kouzukenosuke Nobutomo (Ousai = budoname)
Takeda Takeou ( or "buo") Nobukatsu
Takeda Jiro ( JIRO = second son) Kiyokata
Takeda Gorou Nobuhide (Gorou = fifth son)
Takeda Nobutada Hisamiki (or "Kyukan")
Takeda Teruyo Kogetsuni (= the only woman, the ending NI - stand for a female priest)
Takeda Hisayo Mitsunobu
Takeda Morinosuke (Ouatsu = budoname)
Takeda Tadakatsu Oudou
Nakamura Aikisai Oukitchi Takeda
Proof of origin: Bugei Ryuha Daijiten; Page 534 - 535; 54. Edition year of Shouwa (1979)
Editor: Wataya (Watatani) Yuki (or Setsu) and Yamada Tadashi