Re: Ichi no ken ?
Carsten, Inaba's relation to Kashima Shin ryu is not a simple as you put it.
Karl Friday wrote:
This is not really an issue that reduces to opinion; the facts could not be clearer. There are currently only two places in Europe (one group in Helsinki and one in Frankfurt) where KSR is taught under authorization by the current (or past) KSR headmasters.
The swordwork taught at various Aikido schools in England and France that Ulf refers to derives from Kashima-Shinryu, via Inaba Minoru, the head Aikido instructor at the Meiji Grand Shrine in Tokyo. It is NOT, however, Kashima-Shin ryu--in either a formal or a practical sense.
Inaba has worked a bit of Kashima-Shinryu kenjutsu and some other weapons training into his aikido curriculum at the Meiji Grand Shrine. Neither he nor his teacher, Tanaka Shigeo, however, has any formal connections with the current Kashima-Shinryu soke or shihanke, and neither has any Kashima-Shinryu license or credentials from either Kunii Zen'ya (the previous soke/shihanke) or Seki Humitake (the current shihanke).
The Inaba connection with KSR began when Tanaka wished to learn Kashima Shinryu from Kunii, because he was teaching Aikido at the University of Tokyo, and his students were becoming discouraged by their inability to hold their own in friendly matches with the karate club students, who practiced at the same time. Determining that what his students needed was some weapons training, he went to Kunii to learn kenjutsu. But, as he was already 40 at the time, he found he was not learning well, and so he brought one of his senior students, Inaba, at the time an undergraduate university student, to study with Kunii as well.
Inaba studied KSR for less than a year, and never received any diploma from Kunii Zen'ya, from Seki, or from the Kashima-Shinryu Federation of Martial Sciences. Sometime after Kunii's death in 1966, however, one of Inaba's supervisors asked Kunii Zen'ya's widow for permission for him to teach Kashima-Shinryu to the shrine attendants, arguing that Shinto authorities did not recognize Aikido as proper martial training for shrine attendants, because it lacks any form of *harai* (exorcism). Under the circumstances, it was determined that this request could not be refused.
Nevertheless, because his period of training was far too short to learn and understand the arcana of Kashima-Shinryu, the permission granted Inaba extends only to the teaching of fundamental kenjutsu techniques (but NOT other weapons; he had never actually trained at any KSR weapons other than the sword), at the dojo of the Meiji Grand Shrine. He has no authority to issue Kashima-Shinryu diplomas, nor does he have any right to use the name Kashima-Shinryu or to allow any of his students to use it.
Thus Inaba's formal status within Kashima-Shinryu is that of teaching basic sword techniques within the framework of Aikido instruction at the Meiji Grand Shrine dojo. His students and the students of his students have no formal relationship whatsoever to KSR.