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The Ninja

KUKI NINPO ROOTS

“NINPO IS THE LIVING SCIENCE OF THE NINJA.”

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     Ariza Hanshi has devoted the last 35, out of his 40+ years in the martial arts, to the researching, training, studying and teachings of this unique, powerful and complete school of Ninja martial living.  He has written a comprehensive thesis reclaiming its true origins and physiology; thus being, perhaps, the only master to make a significant contribution to this school and its continued development in modern times.  Ariza Hanshi is a pioneer who has taken this school from a mere system of striking methodology into a complete tradition of Ninpo with a great deal of strategically Ninjutsu elements and without the religious influences but a re-introduction of the spiritual elements.  In an effort to maintain a relevant connection with the truest interpretation of this tradition, Ariza Hanshi calls this collective work as Kuki Ryu Ninpo.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

In 1335, when Ryushin celebrated his coming of age, he was ordered to participate in a war on the northern court side by Ashikaga Takauji. He and his men hence fought against the southern court. In June, 1336, when warriors of the northern court attacked Mt. Hiei, where the fort of the southern court was located, Ryushin and his men lead the band successfully, and the fort eventually fell. The treatment of the southern court Emperor Godaigo and his loyal vassals by Takauji was excruciatingly atrocious. Having seen this, Ryushin was quoted as saying, “It would be possible to lose the emperor from the harsh treatment he gets. I would like to plot his rescue.” With other plotters Ooe Gyoubu Daiyu Kageshige, Bessyo Saburou Takanori(Kojima Takanori), Hiyoshi Iga Nyudou and Kissuin Soushin Hougen, Ryushin quietly went into the former palace of ex-emperor Kazanin, where Emperor Godaigo was held captured, and abducted the emperor; taking him to Yoshino.

Tadayoshi, younger brother of Takauji, having realized the betrayal, sent as many as ten thousand pursuers.  Having been caught up with pursuers at Kuragari-Touge, a mountain pass situated at the border of Osaka and Nara prefecture, they put up a fight against them, each taking a weapon they liked. Kageshige took a sword, Takatoku a bow and arrow, and Ryushin a Naginata (a halberd-like weapon).  As warriors on the enemy’s side outnumbered them completely, it was a very hard fight for them; eventually, the spearhead of Ryushin’s Naginata was cut off. So Ryushin used the bar left in his hand, knocking down enemies near him, and putting enemies far away under control by drawing a special symbol, or yantra called Kuji in the air with the bar. Bojutsu in Kukishin Ryu is based on the techniques Ryushin used on this occasion and devised later.

 In the meantime, reinforcements came from Yoshino, and they safely took the Emperor Godaigo to a small temple-like hut at Mt. Kinpusen. Ryushin succeeded in getting back the real ‘Three Treasures of the Imperial House’ he had concealed in a scripture house at Yokawa in Mt. Hiei, for which the emperor was most grateful.  The Emperor Godaigo praised his dedication over and over again and asked about his secret techniques.aught up with pursuers at Kuragari-Touge, a mountain pass situated at the border of Osaka and Nara prefecture, they put up a fight against them, each taking a weapon they liked. Kageshige took a sword, Takatoku a bow and arrow, and Ryushin a Naginata (a halberd-like weapon).  As warriors on the enemy’s side outnumbered them completely, it was a very hard fight for them; eventually, the spearhead of Ryushin’s Naginata was cut off. So Ryushin used the bar left in his hand, knocking down enemies near him, and putting enemies far away under control by drawing a special symbol, or yantra called Kuji in the air with the bar. Bojutsu in Kukishin Ryu is based on the techniques Ryushin used on this occasion and devised later.

 In his reply to the question, Ryushin said, “It is a secret technique passed on in my family;  the secret art of Kuji.” The emperor then made a claim: “God knows your loyalty. You will change your surname Fujiwara to Kuki.”

The “Ku” of Kuki stands for number nine in Japanese, and “Ki” can be pronounced “Kami” if the Chinese character is pronounced in the Japanese way, meaning “Oni-gami“(holy spirits) as opposed to just “Oni”(evil spirits). “Ku-ki” should, therefore be officially called “Ku-kami.” However, it has been customarily called Kuki since the Edo period.

 

 

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