Award-Winner in the Multicultural Non-Fiction category of the 2018 International Book Awards
The Japan Book Design Award 2018 FINALIST
Introducing the four most distinctive Japanese martial arts; Ogasawara-ryū for Mounted archery, Yagyū Shinkage-ryū for Sword, Tendō-ryū for Naginata, and Hōzōin-ryū for Spear, with beautiful pictures including original interviews with the masters.
Yagyū Shinkage-ryū: Yagyū Shinkage-ryū has been one of the leading schools of swordsmanship in Japan for over 450 years, and was started in the early 16th century by master swordsman Kamiizumi Ise-no-kami. The Yagyū Shinkage-ryū style was preserved by the Yagyū family and the feudal lords of Owari province for centuries thereafter. The teachings have been handed down from generation to generation to Yagyū Kōichi Toshinobu, the current and 22nd head of the school.
Tendō-ryū: Tendō-ryū, which provides the basis for modern naginata practice, has a 450-year history dating back to its founding by Saitō Denkibō. The naginata techniques that many women learn today under Kimura Yasuko, the 17th head of Tendō-ryū, preserve those traditions.
Ogasawara-ryū: Ogasawara Nagakiyo founded Ogasawara-ryū over 830 years ago as a school of archery, mounted-archery, and etiquette. The Ogasawara family has served as instructors to generations of Shoguns in these disciplines. The secrets of Ogasawara-ryū have been passed down from father to son throughout the centuries, and are preserved by the current and 31st generation head of the school, Ogasawara Kiyotada.
Hōzōin-ryū: Hōzōin-ryū Takada-ha Sōjutsu is a school of spearmanship with a history of over 460 years. It was founded by the monk Kakuzenbō In'ei for Hōzōin, a branch temple of Kohfukuji. Hōzōin-ryū is a martial art passed down from preeminent spear master Takada Matabei Yoshitsugu, and continues to this day under Ichiya Junzō, the 21st head of the school.