Toda identified?

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Bonesdoc, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. Bonesdoc

    Bonesdoc Valued Member

    Sean Askew has been doing some extensive research to try and identify Takamatsu Sensei's teacher, Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu.

    This is crossposted from his Facebook post, but hopefully of interest if you haven't seen it. Not absolute proof but certainly looks likely to have identified him:

    ***UPDATE*** See Below

    OK this will be very long and boring but for those who have been following this research, here is a summary of some new finds….

    According to Takamatsu Sensei, Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu Sensei was recruited by Matsudaira Noriyasu (remember this family name, it’s the family of the Shogun) to help establish the Kobusho military academy in Edo and instruct swordsmanship. Due to political changes, he left the Kobusho in 1858. He then travelled the Kinki area, possibly as a monk, to lay low from all the upcoming troubles and wars and never took an official position again. Late in life he taught his grandson Takamatsu Toshitsugu until his death.

    Now, of all the possible locations to build the Kobusho in Edo (Tokyo), why was it built so near to a satellite shrine of Togakushi Shrine? It is only a 20 minute walk from the gate of the Kobusho to the Togakushi Shrine. Keep in mind Toda Sensei was the 32nd headmaster of the Togakure Ryu of Ninjutsu. Could this simply be coincidence? Considering Togakushi only has two satellite shrines in all of Japan, one in Iga founded by the Togakure Ryu ninjutsu Fujibayashi clan and the other in Edo near the Kobusho, I would say that that the odds of this being a coincidence are extremely slim.

    The next thing I would like to discuss is Toda Sensei’s name. Now, this is only pure speculation but again I do not think that the following could possibly be a coincidence. I covered this in an earlier post but it seems that quite a few could not follow what I was trying to say. So, I will try to explain it again.

    At the founding of the Kobusho there is a Toda family member by the name of Toda Hisajiro (戸田久次郎). He was the first and only Toda to be listed as a Chief Swordsmanship instructor (Gekiken) when the Kobusho was established.

    But soon he disappears from later lists of instructors at the Kobusho. This fits with our Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu as he resigned from the Kobusho in 1858 and the Kobusho continued to operate for several years after that.

    Important points to keep in mind about Hisajiro is that we know for sure that his father or possibly grandfather, Toda Gosuke (戸田五介), was involved with the super-secret Oniwaban spy network formed from the ninja families of Iga.

    He was adopted by Hattori Sukesaburo (服部介三郎) from the Iga Ninja Hattori Clan.

    Both Gosuke and Hisajiro held the high position of head falconer to the Shogun. Falconry being one of the major careers that ninja would use to disguise themselves. I have discussed this in an earlier post.

    Now, to the name of Hisajiro and how I think this strongly suggests he is Takamatsu Hisatsugu’s (Toshitsugu) grandfather.

    Hisajiro’s name is written with the following characters; 久(Hisa) 次(ji) 郎(ro)

    Takamatsu Sensei’s birth name was Hisa(壽)tsugu (嗣)
    (壽嗣old style/寿嗣modern style).

    NOT Toshitsugu.

    Later in life he changed the reading of the same characters to Toshitsugu.

    The interesting thing about these names is that both characters for “Hisa” in their name means something along the lines of “a long time” or “longevity”.

    While “ji”, the 2nd character in Hisajiro, and “tsugu”, the 2nd character in Hisatsugu both have the meaning of “next”, or “heir” or “to inherit”. Now for the confusing part…the “Ji” in Hisajiro is usually read as “tsugu”.

    SIMPLY STATED, if you remove the last character from Hisajiro, or remove the “ro” and pronounce the second character as usual, you have Takamatsu Sensei’s birth name EXACTLY with different characters but still means the exact same thing. HISATSUGU.

    I feel that this is beyond the realm of a possible coincidence.

    So, could Hisajiro be Hisatsugu’s grandfather and the name was to represent that he inherited or will carry on the teachings of his grandfather??? Or is this really all simple coincidence???

    It is very common for Japanese to receive names based on variations of their ancestors, especially when they were great people of power or position. I feel that Hisajiro may have had a daughter who married Takamatsu Sensei’s father. But so far, no evidence. This is just my own speculation.

    Another key point to keep in mind is that Hisajiro has disappeared from history after the fall of the Shogun. I cannot find any information what he did after his position at the Kobusho and we have no information on a date of death and or grave location.

    This is very mysterious for a man who held the high position of chief falconer to the Shogun and was a founder of the Kobusho. A grave for this man should be very easy to find but it’s not.

    This also fits in very well with why we have no grave location now for our Toda Shinryuken.

    So, in summary of this topic I would like to propose the idea that Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu could very well be Toda Hisajiro Masamitsu.

    Shinryuken would have been a warrior name that he used when competing. To get the job as chief sword instructor and keep it he would have been very skilled in Gekiken, the style of swordsmanship that was taught at the Kobusho. This style relies heavily upon full contact sparring with shinai and includes heavy competition. It also allows kicks, throws, joint locks, chokes, etc. The Kobusho regularly held contests to find new recruits.

    OK, to the next topic…

    %%%% correct name is Toda Shichinai, not Toda Saiuchi. I found a clearer image of the map and could read it better today.

    Not only was there a satellite shrine of Togakushi just outside of the Kobusho, I have also found the home of Toda Shichinai (戸田七内) just down the street. And guess what….it is right across the street from a Matsudaira (Shogun’s family name) family member. Remember Toda Sensei was asked to help establish and teach at the Kobusho by Matsudaira Noriyasu.

    Could this again be coincidence???

    Could this be a family home for several of the Toda who worked at the Kobusho???

    Lastly, in my search I came across some history about the Kobusho that is quite unusual. The area around the Kobusho was full of young samurai from wealth and status. Being a member of the Kobusho was a very sought-after privilege and many young courtesans were said to frequent the area in search of finding a “patron”. What we may call today a “sugar daddy”.

    The area around the Kobusho and the Kobusho itself is recorded to have kept brothels with ladies of the night in abundance. Some of them were so popular they made it into a book titled “Famous Courtesans of Japan Flower Well – Volume 1 (日本名妓花く良べ.第1集) I have included a few pictures of the “famous” women from the book who were courtesans at the Kobusho.

    As the best of the Shogun’s men were gathered at the Kobusho, you can be sure that there would have been some courtesans working as Kunoichi and gathering information.

    It is a fact that the young samurai of the Kobusho were surrounded by entertainment districts where they could spend their wealth and be lured in by desire. Maybe it was part of their training, to be immune to such worldly passions.

    I wonder if Toda Sensei kept tabs on these women when looking after his men….

    The search continues

    ***Keep in mind, Kuki Takahiro, was the head of the whole program at the Kobusho. He was the Chief Professor of Military Science until 1861. He was directly involved with the selection of the instructors at the Kobusho and must have gave the final OK for the position of Kyocho to be awarded to Toda Sensei.


    His Son, Kuki Takatomo, married the daughter of Toda Mitsutsune, the Daimyo of Matsumoto Castle that ruled over the Nagano and Togakushi region. The same Toda clan that produced Toda Hisajiro, the Shogun's head falconer and first Toda sword instructor at the Kobusho in 1855. (The man I think is Shinryuken Masamitsu)

    Are Takatomo's wife and Takamatsu Sensei's mother related? Are they cousins possibly?

    Then Takatomo's son, Kuki Takaharu and Takamatsu Sensei were close friends since childhood. Kuki Takaharu is the family line Soke of the Kukishin Ryu. Takamatsu Sensei belongs in a class called Shike (師家) or Shihan-ke (師範家).

    Again is this really all just coincidence???

    Sean Askew
    Bujinkan Kokusai Renkoumyo
    Dunc and Dead_pool like this.
  2. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Matthew 7:6

    It is now confirmed that the original name of “Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu” is Toda Hisajiro.

    Dunc and Dead_pool like this.
  3. Dunc

    Dunc Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    We now have Toda-sensei verified as an instructor in 1856 when the kobushi was set up

    Does that mean we can categorically state that his ryhuha are koryu (ie predating the Meji restoration in 1868)?
  4. baby cart

    baby cart Valued Member

    err.. what documentation? that toda hisajiro exists at the same time toda masamitsu was said to?

    what and where is the documentation that hisajiro and masamitsu are one and the same?

    and where is the documentation that toda hisajiro and takamatsu chosui (or more specifically, takamatsu's relatives) were related?

    it's just coincidences after the fact, just like nishina daisuke's name on old records don't IMMEDIATELY mean that he is related to togakure ryu.

    where is the third-party source that has no gain on proving such connections? the yoshioka ryu has no gain (in fact it's a loss of face) when they have to mention miyamoto musashi. and yet they did. niten ichi ryu has no gain to mention Shinto muso ryu, yet they still recorded that the second duel between musashi and muso gonnosuke was a draw, while on Shinto muso's side they recorded it as a win.

    where are the sources that say hisajiro and masamitsu were one and the same that is not written by those affected by takamatsu's legitimacy?
  5. skuggvarg

    skuggvarg Valued Member

    Hold your horses. As stated, Sean is looking into the identity behind Toda and has come to some very interesting conclusions. However, much work remains to be done. There are no indisputable proofs but rather several interesting points. Some of which have been on the "radar" before. The Toda-Matsudaira clan is the most interesting lead. This clan surely had a lot of exciting members who were involved in the changes in society. The best thing with the current lead is that it may give us a reasonable explanation as to why our mysterious Toda kept his history secret. Trails were left that could be followed for those who knew what to look for...

    Exciting times indeed!
  6. Bonesdoc

    Bonesdoc Valued Member

    If you are interested in what and which documents Sean found, read or looked at then why not contact him and ask. He’s fairly easy to find through either FB or on the web.
    He is planning to turn what he found into a book following a discussion he had with Soke.
  7. baby cart

    baby cart Valued Member

    from the looks of it, he references kobusho documents. the thing is, certain people exists; whether that certain person is connected to you (general you) is another matter entirely.

    either he physically access the takamatsu family records for a relative surnamed toda or better yet the government records tying the takamatsu and the toda together.

    add to that the records of toda family of toda hisajiro of kobusho, whether toda hisajiro is related to a toda daisaburo chikashige.

    two generations of relationship. cut off one and the tradition is marred, especially the toda-takamatsu connection.

    what made me reply to this thread is the people who has a vested interest in takamatsu's legitimacy

    quoting askew as per your post:
    it's a SPECULATION.

    now why is it that there is crowing of "it's confirmed!"

    just because you (general you) said so, it's true (just like that scene in jungle book)?

    reading comprehension fail much?
  8. Bonesdoc

    Bonesdoc Valued Member

    That was why I titled the thread ‘Toda identified?” as I agree that this link is not confirmed beyond doubt. That said Sean has made significant progress towards identifying Toda and possibly uncovering why it has been difficult to trace him so far, plus there is now is significant number of coincidences/circumstantial evidence suggesting a link. More work is needed, but the information is of interest to those studying the Takamatsuden arts. There will always be some who get over excited by these things, personally it doesn’t affect my training whether we do identify him or not.

Share This Page