As part of the only official study group in Canada, our classical Japanese swordsmanship focuses on Japan’s most famous style of swordsmanship, Yagyū Shinkage-ryū, known as the
"life-giving sword", with extra training in Katori Shintō-ryū as well as Ona-ha Ittō-ryū.
What is Kenjutsu?
Kenjutsu (literally "sword technique") is a term which refers to the classical styles of Japanese swordsmanship which blossomed in Japan during her Civil War period (c.1300-1600). Since battlefield fighting was a reality at that time, warlords needed a way to train their warriors in the use of the sword. Schools of swordsmanship were created to meet this need. At the height of the Warring States Period, schools of kenjutsu numbered in the hundreds.
The superior styles have survived to this day, relatively intact and unchanged. At Kushindokai, we study Japan’s most famous style of Japanese swordsmanship: Yagyū Shinkage-ryū.
Wednesdays @ 8:15-9:30pm
Fridays @ 8:15-9:30pm
About Yagyū Shinkage-ryū
Yagyū Shinkage-ryū was created around the late 1500s by the pre-eminent sword master Kamiizumi Nobutsuna. The style was originally created out of a fusion of Katori Shintō-ryū and Kage-ryū styles of swordsmanship.
A key principle of the style is to use the sword to save lives, not take them. In other words, they seek not to win but also, not to lose. Hence they believe in a “life-giving sword”, not a "death-dealing blade".
Yagyū Shinkage-ryū was the first sword style to fuse Zen with swordsmanship. Munenori composed a book in 1632 called the Heiho Kaden Sho, in which he fused many ideas in Zen Buddhism with those of swordsmanship. This book would
become one of the Bibles of Japanese swordsmanship.
The Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu was so impressed with the style and its philosophy that he appointed its master instructor, Yagyū Munenori, to be the official sword instructor for his family. Yagyū Shinkage-ryū then became the most famous style of swordsmanship in the land.
About Sensei Tong
Sensei Douglas Tong began his Kenjutsu training in 1990 in Japan, where he studied in some of the most illustrious schools of classical Japanese swordsmanship.
He now runs the only official study group, Tokumeikan, for Yagyū Shinkage-ryū in Canada.
Tokumeikan is proud to be the only official study group for Yagyū Shinkage-ryū in Canada under Master Yasushi Kajitsuka, soke of Yagyū Shinkage-ryū (Ohtsubo Branch).
For more information about Tokumeikan, visit their website: www.tokumeikan.org