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Moto-ha Yoshin Ryu - Hontai Yoshin Ryu-Takagi Ryu
     
Ryu-so
  Takagi Oriemon Shigetoshi
2nd
  Takagi Umanosuke Shigesada
3rd
  Takagi Gennoshin Hideshige
4th
  Okuni Kihei Shigenobu
5th
  Okuni Yakuro Nobuyoshi
6th
  Okuni Tarodayu Tadanobu
7th
  Okuni Kihei Yoshisada
8th
  Okuni Yozaemon Yoshisada
9th
  Nakayama Jinnai Sadahide
10th
  Okuni Buzaemon Hidenobu
11th
  Nakayama Kazaemon Sadayoshi
12th
  Okuni Kamaji Hidetoshi
13th
  Yagi Ikugoro Hisayoshi
14th
  Ishiya (Ishitani) Takeo Masatsugu
15th
  Ishiya (Ishitani) Matsutaro Masaharu
16th
  Kakuno Hachiheita Masayoshi
17th
  Minaki Saburoji Masayoshi
18th
  Inoue Tsuyoshi Munetoshi
Moto-ha Yoshin Ryu-so, Soke Yasumoto Akiyoshi
The history of Hontai Yoshin Ryu-Takagi Ryu has several branches and with each branch there are some differences. As the early history was transmitted orally it should be considered as folklore or legend. Hontai Yoshin Ryu-Takagi Ryu has several branches and any conflicting sources of the legend should not be considered as either incorrect or a historical fact.

Hontai Yoshin Ryu-Takagi Ryu began in the Edo period originating in Oshu (present day Miyagi prefecture), then moving to the Shiroishi district (Okayama), then the Owari district (Nagoya), then the Tosa district (Koichi), and then finally to the Ako and Himeji districts (Hyogo). The ryu was especially prominent in the Himeji-han and Ako-han.

The founder of Hontai Yoshin Ryu-Takagi Ryu was Takagi Oriemon Shigetoshi (also recorded as Takagi Oriemon Shigenobu), whose childhood name was Umon. Umon was born on January the 2nd 1635, the 12th year of Kannei (although other sources claim the 2nd of April 1625). He died on October the 7th in first year of Shotoku (1711). He was the second son of the Inatobi (or Inatomi) family, serving Katakura Kojuro, the Lord of the Shiroishi castle in Mutsu no Kuni.

According to the legend Umon's father was attacked in the dark and murdered. Umon later avenged his father and embracing his father's teaching of "Yoboku wa tsuyoku, Takagi ga oreruzoyo" (a willow tree is flexible, but a tall tree can be broken) he later renamed himself Yoshin Ryu Takagi Oriemon Shigetoshi. Takagi Oriemon was well known for his great physical strength and is still legendary in the former Shiroishi district.

In 1993 (the fifth year of Heisei) the 18th Soke of Hontai Yoshin Ryu Inoue Tsuyoshi Munetoshi and his students studied a grave located in former Shiroishi district and confirmed that the grave belonged to Oriemon. They performed kata at the spot in commemoration of the founder.

In the lineage of grandmasters the 2nd and 14th sokes were among the most famous. Takagi Umanosuke Shigesada, the 2nd soke, appears in Japanese legends as a kind and warm man as well as a great martial artist. He is famous for formulating one of the earliest styles of Jujutsu.  

The 14th soke Ishiya Takeo Masatsugu, born 1845, was known as a master of masters in the Edo period. His most famous teachings are the words "1st eyes, 2nd speed, 3rd courage, 4th strength" and "Soft on the surface, strong on the inside". These two sayings remain chief teachings of Moto-ha Yoshin Ryu encouraging us to keep a calm heart as we continue training. He continued these teachings during his tenure as soke.

In 1980 Hontai Yoshin Ryu was chosen as one of the subjects for a series of documentaries on the existing schools of traditional martial arts. Currently in Japan there exist about 400 styles of martial arts but only a few styles have continued in an unbroken lineage into the present era.

Moto-ha Yoshin Ryu Jujutsu is a branch of the Hontai Yoshin Ryu-Takagi Ryu lineage and continues the teachings of Minaki Saburoji and Kanazawa Ichizu. Soke Yasumoto Akiyoshi is the first Soke and founder (ryuso) of Moto-ha Yoshin Ryu. Click here for part 2.
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