Togakure-ryū (戸隠流) "School of the Hidden Door" (history from Masaaki Hatsumi 34th grandmaster of Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu) was founded about eight hundred years ago by Daisuke Nishina (Togakure), who learned shugendo practices as well as Hakuun ryu ninjutsu from Kagakure Doshi. Although the existence of Daisuke Nishina has been verified, in that a person by that name was found by Koyama Ryutaro in a period work, the history of the system has not been independently verified.

In 1182, during the Japanese Genpei War, at the end of the Heian Period, Minamoto no Yoshinaka, a general from the mountainous Nagano region of Japan, captured the capital city of Kyoto. After this victory, he found himself under attack by his cousin Yoshitsune. When Yoshitsune's troops successfully crossed the Uji river, a key strategic defense for the capital, Yoshinaka withdrew, only to be killed as his horse fell through the ice of a frozen rice paddy.

After Yoshinaka's defeat, one of his samurai retainers, Daisuke Nishina of Togakure Village escaped to the mountains of Iga in south central Japan. Nishina's native village of Togakure is now known as Togakushi, Nagano, and was an early center of Shugendo training. It may be that Nishina engaged in such training, but the records of the Togakure ryu do not mention it. The mountains provided an easy place to hide from the enemy troops, who still searched for Yoshinaka's forces. Daisuke Nishina, who subsequently changed his name to Daisuke Togakure, later became known as the first Sōke (family head) of Togakure-ryu ninjutsu.


  • Ninpo Taijutsu
* Kurai Dori – the postures, unarmed or with shuko.
* Ukemi Gata - Ninja receiving forms, used with Shuko.
* Shinobi Gaeshi – includes methods of moving undetected.
* Santo Tonko no Kata – vanishing forms: uses blinding powder, shuriken and other devices. These are also used in the case of discovery but this time the opponent attacks.
* Togakure Ryu Gontonpo - 5 Elemental methods of Evasion and Stealth
                * Mokuton-no-jutsu (wood evasion art)
                * Doton-no-jutsu (earth evasion art)
                * Katon-no-jutsu (fire evasion art)
                * Suiton-no-jutsu (water evasion art)
                * Kinton-no-jutsu (metal evasion art)
  • Ninja Bikenjutsu – methods of using the Ninja sword, which was shorter and straighter than the Katana.
* Kurai Dori – sword "postures", as well as five methods of attaching the sword to the body.
* Iaijutsu - sword drawing.
* Biken Kata – sword forms. (The Ninja method of using the sword is unusual and distinct.)
  • Sakkijutsu – developing the ability to sense intentions. This isn't an entire sub-discipline, however, but is developed through training in the other disciplines.
  • Kyoketsu shoge – a special blade on a long "lead," had no formal techniques.


According to the 34th Soke Masaaki Hatsumi, the school contained Yon-po Hiden (Four Secrets): Senban Shuriken (four-pointed throwing star), Shuko and sokko (spiked bands worn on hands (shuko) and sometimes feet (sokko), for climbing), Shinodake (a tube used as a snorkel or blowgun) and Kyoketsu shoge, an unusual blade attached to cord which is in turn attached to a heavy ring, and taijutsu or arts of the whole body.

Togakure Ryu Sanpo Hiden

“Three Secret Treasures of the Togakure Ryu”


Senban Shuriken - the four pointed throwing star. This resembled a tool used by carpenters to remove nails, called a kugi-nuki. It was a weapon to harass the enemy to assist in escape.

Shuko - commonly known as climbing claws, they were frequently used on both the hands and feet for combat as well, capable of delivering very serious injuries. They were made of metal bands around the hand and wrist with a strap of leather connecting them. Also called Tegaki.

Shindake - a bamboo tube around 4 feet long, used as an underwater breathing tube and a blowgun.


There are many martial arts researchers and Japanese historians that discredit the history of the Togakure Ryu and claims that this art never flourished in the Sengoku period of JapanTogakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu (from my understanding and what I share with my students) was transmitted to Toshitsugu Takamatsu from Toda Shinryuken along with other arts such as Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu and Koto Ryu Koppojutsu.  Takamatsu Sensei was an extremely gifted martial artist as well as inheritor of many classical Japanese fighting arts.

Lineage of the Togakure Ryu
From Masaaki Hatsumi 34th grandmaster of Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu
  • Ikai
  • Hogenbo
  • Sakabe, Tendo
  • Hachiryu, Nyodo.....Tenei era - 1110
  • Kimon, Hyobei.....Ninpei era - 1151
  • Kasumigakure, Doshi
  1. Togakure (Nishina) Daisuke.....Oho era - 1161
  2. Minamoto no Kanesada.....Shima Kosanta - 1180
  3. Togakure, Goro.....1200
  4. Togakure, Kosanta
  5. Koga, Kosanta
  6. Kaneko, Tomoharu
  7. Togakure, Ryuho
  8. Togakure, Gakuun
  9. Kido, Koseki
  10. Iga, Tenryu
  11. Ueno, Rihei
  12. Ueno, Senri
  13. Ueno, Manjiro
  14. Iizuka, Saburo
  15. Sawada, Goro
  16. Ozaru, Ippei
  17. Kimata, Hachiro
  18. Kataoka, Heizaemon
  19. Mori, Ugenta
  20. Toda, Gobei
  21. Kobe, Seiun
  22. Momochi, Kobei
  23. Tobari, Tenzen
  24. Toda, Nobutsuna Seiryu.....Kwanyei era 1624 - 1644
  25. Toda, Nobuchika Fudo.....Manji era 1658 - 1681
  26. Toda, Kangoro Nobuyasu .....Tenna era 1681 - 1704
  27. Toda, Eisaburo Nobumasa.....Hoyei era 1704 - 1711
  28. Toda, Shinbei Masachika.....Shotoku era 1711 - 1736
  29. Toda, Shingoro Masayoshi.....Gembun era 1736 - 1764
  30. Toda, Daigoro Chikahide.....Meiwa era 1764 - 1804
  31. Toda, Daisaburo Chikashige.....Bunkwa era 1804 - ?
  32. Toda, Shinryuken Masamitsu.....b.1824 - d.1909]
  33. Takamatsu, Toshitsugu.....1907 - 1968  b.1887 - d. 1972
  34. Hatsumi, Masaaki (Yoshiaki).....1968 - ... b.1931 -

        "The essence of all martial arts and military strategies is  self-protection and the prevention of danger. Ninjutsu epitomizes the fullest concept of self-protection of not only the physical body, but the mind and spirit as well. The way of the ninja is the way of enduring, surviving, and prevailing over all that would destroy one. More than merely delivering strikes and slashes, and deeper in significance than the simple out-witting of an enemy; ninjutsu is the way of attaining that which we need while making the world a better place. The skill of the ninja is the art of winning".

                                   -Toshitsugu Takamatsu

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HISTORICAL DISCLAIMER:  When searching for information regarding secret societies and old martial arts schools of training, it is very hard if not impossible to find all of the information regarding the history of the arts.  The information that I have placed on all of the seven traditions (ryuha) that are studied within the Budo Ryu Kai (Koka-ryu Kempo, Tenjin-ryu Jujutsu, Tomo-ryu Shinobijutsu, Eishin-ryu Iaijutsu, Koto-ryu Koppojutsu, Gyokko-ryu Kosshijutsu & Togakure-ryu Ninpo Taijutsu) may be entirely wrong & inaccurate.  The information that I have listed is the information that I gathered from my teachers, my training and my personal research of the arts.  This historical information of the seven traditions taught within the Budo Ryu Kai I feel is correct based on my personal training and research.

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