The Bujinkan (divine warrior training hall or warrior god training hall), is an international Ninjustu organization based out of Noda City, Chiba prefecture, Japan and is headed by Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, the 34th Togakure Ryu Soke (Grandmaster). Founded in 1974, the Bujinkan contained the knowledge of nine ryu (schools); three were ninjutsu ryu and six were samurai ryu.
young takamatsu toshitsugu
Takamatsu Toshitsugu – 33rd Soke
The nine schools were inherited by Dr. Hatsumi from Toshitsugu Takamatsu after his passing in 1972. Toshitsugu was taught Shinden Fudo Ryu by his grandfather Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu who was Soke of this ryu and direct descendant of Tozawa Hakuunsai, founder of Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu. Young Toshitsugu was also taught Togakure ryu and Koto ryu which he mastered by age thirteen. By age seventeen Toshitsugu received the Menkyo Kaiden (license of total transmission), of Takagi Yoshin Ryu from Mizuta Yoshitaro Tadafusa. He also learned Kuki Happo Biken no Jutsu, Hon Tai Takagi Yoshin Ryu, and Gikan Ryu Koppojutsu from Ishitani Matsutaro Takekage. By age 22, Toshitsugu received Menkyo Kaiden from his grandfather Toda.
While in his twenties, Toshitsugu traveled to China participating on both combat situations and challenges to the death and also sport competitions. Toshitsugu also served as a personal bodyguard to the last emperor of China Pu Yi. He returned to Japan in 1919 and became a head monk of esoteric Buddhism at a mountain temple in the Yamato district. While teaching martial arts in the Nara prefecture in 1957 he met Hatsumi Yoshiaki who would later change his name to Masaaki Hatsumi under the suggestion os Toshitsugu.
At the time Yoshiaki, a bone doctor in the Chiba prefecture was in search of martial art that reedited the sport versions that he practiced until this point. At the time Yoshiaki had no idea that Toshitsugu Takamatsu was the last “combat ninja” trained in the ancient arts of Ninjutsu tradition.
Toshitsugu once told Yoshiaki that he had, in fact, been waiting on Yoshiaki. Maybe not him specifically, but someone whom he thought would be worthy to pass so much knowledge to. After may years or training, Hatsumi sat with Toshitsugu one weekend when without notice, the master left the room while Hatsumi patiently waited sipping tea. Feeling that a threat was near, he ducked to the side as the sharp blade of a sword pierced the space where he once was. It was a test, and Hatsumi passed as Toshitsugu bestowed upon him the title 34th Soke of Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu. THis ryu was one of the last schools of ninjutsu to survive roughly 900 years of turmoil and change in Japan. Hatsumi would go on to earn eight more of the ancient traditions.