Araki ryu Torite Kogusoku

The Mainline – Mori Kasuminosuke: 2nd Gen

Mori Kasuminosuke Katsushige:  The Second Generation

Chigirikijutsu - Isezaki Araki-ryu, circa 1954 - photo courtesy of Hal Sharp

In all but a very few Araki-ryu lineages,  Mori Kasuminosuke Katsushige is the only known disciple of Araki Muninsai.  With the exception of those few, which will be discussed below, all Araki-ryu passes from Araki Muninsai through Mori Kasuminosuke and onwards.  Mori Kasuminosuke had a number of students, each of whom formed their own line of Araki-ryu, but they have much the same kata, with the same names and more importantly, the same gokui - the final techniques which enable the practitioner to "become" an Araki-ryu man, to experience, from the inside, the process through which Fujiwara and Araki made Araki-ryu their flesh and bone.  It is quite possible that Araki-ryu was actually consolidated by Mori Kasuminosuke, under the supervision of Araki Muninsai.  Mori was a volcanically creative man, also creating another ryu of his own, Kasumi Shin-ryu. There are also explicit records of some of his instruction within another ryu, the Seishin-ryu.   At any rate, it seems clear that the "mainline" of the ryu, the trunk from which almost all of the branches emerged, passed first through Mori Kasuminosuke.

A few other men have been mentioned as disciples of Araki Muninsai,, but there are questions any of them having any actual direct connection with him :

  • Nakamura Taizo Yukiharu  (中村大蔵行春)   is designated in some records of the Takeuchi Santo-ryu as a disciple of Araki Muninsai who is designated as a disciple of Takenouchi Kaganosuke, the 3rd generation headmaster.  This cannot be possible, as Nakamura seems to have lived about 100 years after Muninsai.  See the essay on "Takeuchi Santo-ryu."
  • Araki Buzaemon (荒木武左衛門)   is considered the chuko no so (reinitiator or 2nd founder) of two ryu, the Araki Shin-ryu and Araki-ryu Gunyo Kogusoku.  Both ryu are discussed in the essay entitled,  "The Ryu Descending from Araki Buzaemon." His connection to Muninsai, despite the same family name, is also quite unclear, as he may have lived at least half a century after him, something noted by the particular faction of Araki Shin-ryu with which he is associated.
  • Finally, there is a school of Iai, which claims a lineage that passes through the descendents of Araki Murashige.  This, too, seems to be a rather doubtful proposition.  The clan was destroyed by Nobunaga during the Tensho period.  It is very difficult to shoehorn the presence of either Fujiwara Katsuzane or Muninsai among the decimated combatants of the clan, nor based on the chronology, when either would have had time and accessibility to have taught the Araki family.  This will be discussed in more detail in the essay on "Araki Mujinsai-ryu Iaido."

There seems to be a significant dividing point among the various lines of the ryu entered the Kozuke district, where there is a clear difference in the way the kogusoku mokuroku is arranged, that is characteristic to this area alone.  In addition to this major change in Kozuke, the ryu did not remain identical among its various branches. Beyond the techniques of close combat - brutal grappling on one's knees  or feet with sword, short sword and dagger - each sub-group supplemented this core set with a body of kata, often extensive using such weapons as spear, naginata, bo, nagamaki, kusarigama, chigiriki, ryofundo and others.

Isezaki Araki-ryu, circa 1954 - Photo courtesy of Hal Sharp

Yet most sub-groups, completely separate from those in other locale, retained the same name.  However, at a certain "tipping point," of creativity, a shihan or high ranking student might create a new line using a different appellation, such as Araki-ryu jujutsu, or Araki-ryu kenjutsu.  If their changes were more extensive, they would found a new ryu, such as Kasumi Shin-ryu or Seishin-ryu.

Araki-ryu Through the Third Generation


  • Araki Muninsai Minamoto Hidetsuna (荒木夢仁斎源秀縄)


  • Mori Kasuminosuke Katsushige  (森霞之助勝重)    Founder of Kasumi Shin-ryu

THIRD GENERATION:  An examination of the extant mokuroku from lines from these third generation teachers reveals that Araki-ryu was already consolidated in much its present form, establishing that this was Araki-ryu from the 2nd generation,  Mori Kasuminosuke (and possibly from Araki Muninsai as well).

  • Miyamoto Heiuemon Akihisa  (宮本平右衛門秋久)    Miyamoto is listed in some lineages as a third generation shihan ahead of Yamamoto Kasuke.  In most lineages, he is not mentioned, with Yamamoto in the 2rd position.  It is possible that he was a senior to Yamamoto, and had some role in teaching him.  Perhaps, later, Yamamoto wished to give full credit only to Mori Kasuminosuke as a teacher, but this is pure speculation.
  • Yamamoto Kasuke Katsuyuki (山本嘉助勝之)   Source of many of the major branches of the mainline.  Yamamoto Tabei Katsuhisa  (山本太兵衛勝久) and Takeuchi Kuroemon Katsuyoshi  (竹内九郎右衛門 勝吉) were his two major disciples, the source of most lineages of the ryu throughout Japan.
  • Tanaka Chouemon Katsuhisa  (田中長右衛門勝久)     Initiator of Dewa  Araki-ryu, in present-day Akita
  • Ota Harubei Yoshiuji  (太田治部義氏)   Initiator of Morioka-han Araki-ryu