Kumogakure ryu, Hidden school Ninjutsu

By Yossi Sheriff

Kumogakure Ryû, 雲隠れ流, “Hidden School” was founded in the mid 1500's by Iga Heinaizaemon No Jo Ienaga who was said to have changed his name to Kumogakure Hoshi. It may have originated as a school of thought based on non-violence. It is said that the phrase "Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo" comes from this ryu and reflects both Buddhist and Shinto attitudes.


Characteristics

This is one of the three ninpo ryuha in the Bujinkan and is known for its Tobi (jumping techniques) and Kamayari (sickled spear). The kamayari and another special weapon, Ippon Sugi Noburi (a 25cm long metal tube with three spikes, and a long chain with hooks at its ends throught it) were used for combat and for climbing - often on ships.

This Ryu is famous for its Demon Masks that were worn to play on the myth surounding ninja and scare the enemy. A technique rarely if ever seen in other systems was Kikaku ken - demon horn strike (head butt).

When going into battle, ninja of this ryu wore armored sleeves to protect themselves Kumogakure Ryu also taught various survival techniques such as making fire in wet weather This school is scarcely seen today and some believe that very little of it has survived to the present day.



History of Kumogakure Ninpo

Kumogakure Ryu Ninjutsu was founded in the mid 1500's by Iga Heinaizaemon No Jo Ienaga who was said to have changed his name to Kumogakure Hoshi. It may have originated as a school of thought based on non-violence. It is said that the phrase "Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo" comes from this ryu and reflects both Buddhist and Shinto attitudes.

The taijutsu of Kumogakure Ryu is very similar to Togakure Ryu. The Kumogakure Ryu may have been created by the Toda family (also of Togkakure Ryu) in the 1600's, as a ninjutsu school of thought- centering it's techniques on the non-violent side of Ninpo. (The Togakure Ryu teaches that violence is to be avoided). The ninja of Kumogakure Ryu went into combat wearing armored sleeves to protect themselves. Another interesting feature of the ryu was the Demon Mask, sometimes worn by members of the system. Kikaku-ken (Demon Horn Fist, or head butt) gives rise to another theory of the Demon Mask. One of the special weapons of the style is the kamayari, or hooked spear. Used in combat against swordsmen, the hooks were used to parry and trap the incoming blades. It was also used to hook opponents from above. The Kumogakure Ryu densho mentions a ninja named Sarutobi Sasuke, who used the kamayari when leaping from tree to tree, hooking it onto the branches.

Another Kumogakure Ryu speciality involved survival training, and being able to light fires under all conditions.

Iga Heinaizaemon had a son, Kami Hattori Heitaro Koreyuki, who was the ancestor of Hattori Hanzo, the famous ninja.



Soke of Kumogakure Ryu

  1. Iga Heinaizaemon no jo Ienaga Tenmon Era (1532-1554)
  2. Toda Sagenta Nobufusa
  3. Toda Gohei Nobunaga
  4. Toda Noriyoshi
  5. Toda Seiryu Nobutsuna Kwanyei Era (1624-1644)
  6. Toda Fudo Nobuchika Manji Era (1658-1681)
  7. Toda Kangoro Nobuyasu Tenna Era (1681-1704)
  8. Toda Eisaburo Nobumasa Hoyei Era (1704-1711)
  9. Toda Shingoro Masayoshi Gembun Era (1736-1764)
  10. Toda Daigoro Chikahide Meiwa Era (1764-1804)
  11. Toda Daisaburo Chikashige Bunkwa Era (1804-1818)
  12. Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu b. 1824 - d. 1909
  13. Takamatsu Toshitsugu b. 1887 - d. 1972
  14. Hatsumi Masaaki b. 1931 -

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