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示現流
示現流の稽古風景

示現流兵法

示現流は、東郷重位(1561-1643)により創始された鹿児島独自の剣術で、現在でも鹿児島の精神文化に大きな影響を与えています。

示現流は、400年以上にわたって父から子へ、そして現在13代目宗家である東郷重賢へと変わることなく受け継がれてきました。示現流は、島津藩主から門外不出とされ、薩摩藩士だけが密かに稽古していた武術でした。

1995年、第11代宗家・東郷重政の遺志により、示現流を後世に伝えるため、財団法人示現流東郷財団が設立され、1997年には示現流稽古場と史料館が完成し、400年の歴史の中で初めて未公開資料が公開されました。

このツアーでは、薩摩藩士が実際に行っていた伝統的な剣術の稽古を体験できる貴重な機会をご提供します。

示現流の演武
示現流の演武

示現流の演武を見る

示現流の道場に入り、道場内を見渡せる舞台へ。二人の先輩が、木の幹を木刀で左右に力強く打つ「立木打ち」や、様々な武器を使った型を披露してくれます。かつての武士は、朝に3,000回、夜に8,000回、立木を打ったそうです。立木を素早く打つと煙が出始めるという言い伝えもあるそうですよ。

ガイドが示現流の歴史や創始者である東郷重位について説明し、修行方法の一部や演武の型に込められた意味についても解説します。演武の後、直接先生方に質問をして、流派とその哲学をより深く知ることができます。

示現流体験
示現流の体験

道場へ

示現流の演武の後は、実際に道場で立木打ちを体験していただきます。

練習は裸足、普段着で行います。これは、いつでも戦闘態勢に入れるようにという考えからきています。(体験前に、動きやすい服装に着替えるスペースを準備しております。)

示現流の基本的な作法を学んだ後は、武器の持ち方、持ち替え方、木刀の扱い方、示現流の基本姿勢、刀の打ち方などを学びます。基本を確認したら、立礼打ちの基本稽古に挑戦してみましょう。

体験終了後はオプションとして、開祖・東郷重位が剣術に適した精神状態を得るために役立てた密教の修行法「阿字観」を体験することもできます。

示現流古文書
示現流の古文書

歴史的資料

示現流の創始者である東郷重位は、長年の厳しい修行の中で、仏教、儒教、神道を例にとり、流儀の理と心得を説きました。稽古終了後、専門家の案内で400年以上前の開祖の文献を見ることで、武士の武術をより深く理解することができます。

jigen-ryu kenjutsu kodachi
Jigen-ryu kata practice

Jigen-ryu Swordsmanship

Jigen-ryu is a style of swordsmanship unique to Kagoshima founded by a samurai named Togo Tobei Bizen no Kami Chui (1561-1643). Even today Jigen-ryu has a profound effect on the mentality and culture of Kagoshima.

Jigen-ryu has been passed down unchanged from father to one son over the past 400 years to the 13th generation headmaster, Togo Shigetaka. Jigen-ryu was designated mongai fushutsu (lit. not to pass beyond the gate) by the lords of the Shimazu clan and was practiced in secret only by samurai of the Satsuma domain.

In 1995, on the dying wish of the 11th headmaster, Togo Shigemasa, the Jigen-ryu Togo Foundation was created in order to preserve and promote Jigen-ryu for the benefit of future generations. The Jigen-ryu practice hall and museum of historical documents was completed in 1997 and private documents were made available for public viewing for the first time in the 400 year history of the school.

This is a rare opportunity to experience training in a traditional style of swordsmanship that was actually practiced by the samurai of the Satsuma domain.

watching Jigen-ryu
Watching a demonstration of Jigen-ryu

Watch a Demonstration of Jigen-ryu

Enter the Jigen-ryu dojo and make their way onto the stage overlooking the dojo floor. Two senior practitioners will show a demonstration of tategi-uchi – the basic striking practice where a tree trunk is struck powerfully on the left and right sides with a wooden sword, and kata using various weapons. The samurai of the past used to strike the tategi 3,000 times in the morning and 8,000 times at night. Some say that smoke would start to start to appear if the tategi was struck rapidly enough!

A guide will explain the history of Jigen-ryu and the founder Togo Chui, as well as some of the aspects of the training methods and meaning behind some of the kata being demonstrated. Pose questions directly to the teachers directly after the demonstration to find out more about the school and its philosophy.

Training in Jigen-ryu

Enter the Dojo

After the demonstration of Jigen-ryu, come onto the dojo floor and try tategi-uchi in a rare opportunity to be taught directly by masters of one of Japan’s most well known yet secretive schools of swordsmanship.

Learn the basic etiquette of the school before starting. Students only bow when entering the dojo and taking and replacing weapons. This is a major difference compared to other martial arts schools. Everyone in the dojo is seen as an enemy, and showing the slightest opening or weakness is not permitted.

Practice is carried out barefoot and in regular everyday clothing. The idea is that the practitioner should be ready for combat at any time – not only when wearing a special uniform. Space to change into easy to move clothing will be provided in advance.

Learn how to take and replace weapons, how to handle the wooden sword, the basic postures in Jigen-ryu, and how to strike with the sword. Once the basics have been reviewed, try your hand at the basic practice of tategi-uchi.

After the training experience is completed, try optional training in the esoteric Buddhist practice called Ajikan, which founder Togo Chui found useful in attaining the correct mental state for swordsmanship.

Historical Documents

Founder of Jigen-ryu, Togo Chui, used examples from Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shinto to explain the reasoning and psychology of his school based on his many years of hard training. Once training is completed take a look at some of the documents written by the founder over 400 years ago with an expert guide to gain deeper insight into the martial practices of the samurai. ⁣