Japanese Cultural and Martial Arts Academy
The knowledge and disciplines of Iga Ryu Ninjutsu originated from the studies and practices of a group of monks and scholars living in a monastery founded in the early century AD, in the rugged mountains south west of modern day Osaka. The town and monastery of Iga was founded by Lord Ienaga Hattori (1150 to 1185), the disciple of Heike's Shinchunagon Tomomori. Tomomori was the forth son of Kyomori Taira, the head of the Heike clan.
Lord Hattori's seventh descendant was Yasunaga Hanzo Hattori, the founder of Iga Ryu Ninjutsu in its' organised form.
Sometime between 1532 and 1555, Yasunaga Hanzo Hattori served the Ashikaga Shogunate and then the Tokugawa Shogunate, becoming the first head of the Tokugawa's Ninja, working as the Shogun's intelligence service, an elite fighting unit. After Yasunaga Hanzo Hattori's death in 1596, his son, Masanari Hanzo Hattori became the second soke of Iga Ryu Ninjutsu, followed by Masatsugu Hanzo Hattori.
While employed by the Tokugawa Shogunate, every Iga Ryu Ninjutsu soke used the name Hanzo Hattori, generation after generation.
Once the Tokugawa Shogunate ended and the peaceful Meiji period began, the Hanzo Hattori name was no longer used and the 14th Soke of Koga Ryu Ninjutsu (Iga and Koga are the same school) was Seiko Fujita.
At the time that Seiko Fujita (14th Soke) passed the school to Heishichiro Okuse (15th Soke) it was decided to return the name of the school back to Iga Ryu due to the location of residence of the new soke.
Fujita was followed by the 15th Soke of Iga Ryu Ninjutsu, Heishichiro Okuse, who was in turn followed by the 16th Soke of Iga Ryu Ninjutsu, Kazuo "Crando" Saito.
Okuse Sensei handed down the title and duties of Soke to Kazuo Saito in January 1992.
Okuse Sensei's master was Fujita Sensei and when Fujita Sensei passed away all of his ninja belongings (weaponary, literature and makimono) were passed (by way of donation) to Okuse Sensei.
When Okuse Soke built the Iga Ryu Ninjutsu Museum in Iga Ueno (Mie Prefecture) he called the library the "Fujita Bunko" and donated all of the Ninja belongings of both Fujita Sensei and himself to the library.
The only photographs of modern Iga ninja that appear in the Fujita Bunko are photographs of Okuse Soke and Saito Soke.
|This is a photograph of Okuse Soke displaying Iga Ryu Ninjutsu artefacts to the Japanese Prince and Princess (the Emperor and Empress of Japan)||The 15th and 16th Grandmasters of Iga Ryu Ninjutsu, Okuse Soke and Saito Soke|