Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu

Name Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu can be loosely translated as school of two heavens which are as one. This school is primarily known as the techniques with two swords – katana and wakizashi.

Niten Ichi 二天 一 – two heavens as one or Nito Ichi 二 刀 一 – two swords as one.

The school was founded between the years 1604 – 1640 by Miyamoto Musashi. In 1640 Miyamoto Musashi passed the school to three followers who chose from several thousand of his students. Among them were Terao Magonojo, his younger brother Kyumanosuke and Furuhashi Sozaemon.

Magonojo was excelled in the techniques but lacked sound reasoning, while Furuhashi was excelled in the correct reasoning, but lacked technique´s skills. Magonojo got a book Go Rin no Sho from Musashi but with the proviso that when he will read it so will burn it. But Furuhashi lent from him for a few days and to order Hosokawa Mitsuhisa made ​​two copies, one for Hosokawa and one for himself, which was then passed under the name Ihon Go Rin no Sho. Today the most famous editions are from the Hosokawa copy.

Magonojo then gave the role of successor to his younger brother Kyumanosuke who received from Musashi Hyoho San Jugo. It was also Kyumanosuke, who then passed on to their students document with added seven instructions. This document is named Hyoho Shiji ni Kajo.

Shortly before his death wrote Musashi Dokkodo (“go my way”). It was a list of rules on how one should proceed in life. In essence every rule has a very deep meaning steeped in Buddhist commandments.

Terao Kyumanosuke (Motomenosuke) got the complete list of Musashi school, certificate with two swords from Musashi and became a follower of this school. Kyumanosuke in the beginning refused to teach this school and sent everything back to the adopted son of Musashi – Iori. Iori also refused succession because this honor has not been awarded to him. In the end Kyumanosuke agreed and took the school to show respect to Musashi.

Succession in Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu (the name given to a school by Musashi in the end of his life) does not work as an inheritance. Witness the two artifacts. Scroll on which are written the names of the techniques that must be passed if the school really be kept a wooden sword, which made by Musashi and which he trained and used it as a stick in the last years of his life. This sword is now owned by the city, where is the shrine Usa.

In the 20th century became the 8th Soke Aoki Soke Kikuo. In 1961 Aoki Kikuo named Gosho Motoharu, his closest student as Shihan and Soke Daiken – additional Soke  of 9th generation. Title 9th Soke then gave to Kiyonaga Tadanao to make sure that the techniques will be passed on to future generations. In 1955 Gosho Motoharu also received Menkyo Kaiden of the school and also Menkyo Kaiden of Sekiguchi Ryu, where he was also. Aoki Kikuo died in 1967. In the following years these two masters continued to represent the school in Japan.

In 1976 Kiyonaga Tadanao suddenly died and did not leave another follower. Therefore Gosho Motoharu as an additional Soke continued to represent this school. After 8 months without Soke was Gosho Motoharu asked by Kiyonaga´s family to prepare Imai Masayuki – kendo teacher from their city – as the 10th Soke. Imai Masayuki also studied Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu but was particularly interested in Bojutsu of this school. Thus it was decided that Imai Masayuki will be Soke of school then Kiyonaga Fumiya, son Kiyonaga Tadanao will be able to be 11st Soke.

Gosho Motoharu taught Imai Masayuki and also Kiyonaga Fumiya curriculum throughout the school which was his primary responsibility towards the school. Together all three represented the school at many events in many countries.

At the end of 1980 was the ways of Imai Masayuki and Gosho Motoharu divided. By this time also became Gosho Motoharu as 8th Dan Hanshi in Iaido ZNIR and was also responsible for Sekiguchi Ryu.

The most famous record of original techniques was recorded in Nippon Budokan in 1981 where Gosho Motoharu is Uchidachi and Imai Masayuki as shidachi.

In November 2003 decided Soke Imai Masayuki to cancel titles of Soke and decided that for future generations will be three successors who will be called DAI JUICHI. They were Kiyonaga Fumiya – son of the 9th Soke Kiyonaga Tadanao from Oita city, Chin Kin – oldest student of Soke Aoki Kikuo and Iwami Toshio from Kokura.

Imai Sensei also gave Jisso Emman no Bokuto – wooden sword of Miyamoto Musashi to shrine Usa so any Dai Juichi or future followers could have access to it.

In 2004 Kiyonaga Fumiya died and his line was continued by Gosho Motoharu. So was established a subsidiary line of Niten Ichi Ryu. The current representative of this line is Yoshimoti Kiyoshi – son of Gosho Motoharu.

 10. Soke Imai Masayuki died in 2006.

During the inauguration of the 20th December 2003 in Kokura, the school was transferred to the Iwami Toshio from previous Soke Imai Masayuki. This became Iwami Toshio 11th Soke of main line of Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu. This day was dubbed as Seishin Chokudo no Hi – Day of choice right path throughout life.

During the inauguration of the 24th November 2013 in Kokura, the school was transferred to the current Soke Kajiya Takanori from previous Soke Iwami Toshio. This became Kajiya Takanori 12th Soke of main line of Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu. This day was dubbed as Seishin Chokudo no Hi – Day of choice right path throughout life.

If you are interested in trainings of this unique martial art do not hesitate to contact Filip Bartoš – filip@bujin.cz or +420 736 534 469 who regularly study Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu under current 12. Soke Kajiya Takanori. 

Iwami Toshio – 11st Soke Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu

Kajiya Takanori – 12nd Soke Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu