Kempo is an appellation adopted by the Isezaki Araki-ryu Torite Kogusoku sometime in the late Edo/Bakamatsu period. In this revolutionary time, foreign knowledge had a particular cachet - and it is my theory that the ryu changed the name to move with the times. Araki-ryu has never been a pugilistic system, although strikes and kicks, called kachimi, are part of the curriculum of many lines of the ryu. Several of the shihan of the 14th and 15th generations used the character for "fist" as part of their name, which indicates the importance it had for them.
The history of Isezaki Araki-ryu can be found in the section entitled Kozuke Araki-ryu. This section will only note the current status of Araki-ryu in the Isezaki area.
There are currently two factions of Araki-ryu Kempo in Isezaki. One faction is headed by several individuals: Suzuki Seiichiro, the son of 17th generation shihan, Suzuki Isematsu, and another long-time practitioner, Nishimura Keisuke. A second faction is headed by Kikuchi Kunimitsu, the son of 16th generation shihan, Kikuchi Genkichi. Both groups have attempted to continue Araki-ryu Kempo as they were taught by the last generation.
It should be noted that until this generation, there were no "factions" in Isezaki, merely a number of shihan, some of slightly different lineage, who trained together. Suzuki Isematsu was, in fact, Kikuchi Genkichi's direct student.