Takamatsu Sensei taught Hatsumi Sōke with 42 hands

At the training yesterday Sōke said that he had been taught by the 42 hands of Takamatsu Sensei. He was referring to 千手千眼観自在菩薩 Senju-sengen Kanjizai Bosatsu that had 1000 hands and 1000 eyes. The deity emphasizes the compassion that sees suffering (with 1000 eyes) and acts to relieve it (with 1000 hands).

千手観音Senju Kannon appears in the 虚空蔵院 Kokūzōin of the 胎蔵界曼荼羅 Taizōkai Mandara, with 27 faces and 42 main arms, while innumerable small arms fan out behind. Since it is difficult to portray one thousand arms, images usually show Senju with two principle arms in 合掌印 Gasshō-in (Sk: anjali mudra) in front of his chest and 40 arms, holding attributes and forming mudra, on the sides (altogether 42 arms, or shijūnihi 四十二臂). This number can be justified because each hand saves the beings of 25 worlds, and 40 times the 25 equals 1000.

Takamatsu Sensei died when Hatsumi Sōke was 42 years old. 42 years later we had a big Taikai in Japan to celebrate Takamatsu Sensei and starting a new cycle. In Japanese culture, the number 42 is considered unlucky because the numerals when pronounced separately—shi ni (four two)—sound like the word “death”.

Many cultures around the world recognise the number 42 in interesting ways.

There are 42 questions asked of persons making their journey through Death in the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead.

42 is the number with which God creates the Universe in Kabbalistic tradition.

42 is also the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything according Douglas Adams in his science fiction book Hitchhikers Guide to the galaxy.

Funny fact; in 1996 Cambridge astronomers said that Adams was right. Dr Richard Saunders, who led the research, sounded a trifle abashed by the result. “We have taken two measurements for the constant, and the average of them is, well, it’s 42.”

Sōke showed us antique small miniature weapons. He said it is important to appreciate the quality and details, and we should study them.

文殊 MONJU – Bujinkan Theme 2018

文殊 MONJU (Guardian of the Law, Voice of the Law) is one of many meanings. Monju is considered the wisest of the Bodhisattva, and thus acts as the Voice (Expounder) of Buddhist Law.

Japanese sculptures of Monju often depict the deity sitting atop a roaring lion or shishi, which symbolizes the voice of Buddhist Law and the power of Buddhism to overcome all obstacles. Shishi are also commonly found guarding the entrance gate to shrines and temples. Monju typically holds the Sutra of Wisdom in the left hand and a sharp sword in the right, which Monju uses to cut through illusion and shed light on the unenlightened mind. In some artwork, Monju carries a lotus flower and sits atop a shishi (mythical lion).

Monju’s cult was introduced to Japan by Ennin 圓仁 (794-864 AD; also spelled 円仁), a Japanese monk who visited Wutaishan (a five-terraced mountain in China’s Shanxi Province that today is still a major center of the Monju cult) during his travels to China (838-847 AD).

Mañjuśrī is a bodhisattva associated with prajñā (insight) in Mahayana Buddhism. In Tibetan Buddhism, he is also a yidam. His name means “Gentle Glory” in Sanskrit.[1] Mañjuśrī is also known by the fuller name of Mañjuśrīkumārabhūta,[2] literally “Mañjuśrī, Still a Youth” or, less literally, “Prince Mañjuśrī”.

A mantra commonly associated with Mañjuśrī is the following:

oṃ arapacana dhīḥ
The Arapacana is a syllabary consisting of forty-two letters, and is named after the first five letters: a, ra, pa, ca, na

A is a door to the insight that all dharmas are unproduced from the very beginning (ādya-anutpannatvād).
RA is a door to the insight that all dharmas are without dirt (rajas).
PA is a door to the insight that all dharmas have been expounded in the ultimate sense (paramārtha).
CA is a door to the insight that the decrease (cyavana) or rebirth of any dharma cannot be apprehended, because all dharmas do not decrease, nor are they reborn.
NA is a door to the insight that the names (i.e. nāma) of all dharmas have vanished; the essential nature behind names cannot be gained or lost.

Tibetan pronunciation is slightly different and so the Tibetan characters read: oṃ a ra pa tsa na dhīḥ (Tibetan: ༀ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱི༔, Wylie: om a ra pa tsa na d+hIH).[14] In Tibetan tradition, this mantra is believed to enhance wisdom and improve one’s skills in debating, memory, writing, and other literary abilities. “Dhīḥ” is the seed syllable of the mantra and is chanted with greater emphasis and also repeated a number of times as a decrescendo.

Bujinkan Keiko 2018
As far as the training goes, it is basically the same as previous years. A lot of Mūtō-dori against knife, sword and rokushakubō. Very often Sōke uses his fingers to “walk” across the hands, which finally captures a finger lock. He makes the attacker to forget he got a weapon in his hand and he just pick it out of the hand of the surprised Uke.

Even when it is Taijutsu, the concept of Mūtō-dori is the same principles used.

More about Monju.
More about Manjushri.

Masaaki Hatsumi: Dojo Art (Kickstarter Project)

Masaaki Hatsumi: Dojo Art will be a professionally designed book of paintings and calligraphy by Bujinkan Soke, Masaaki Hatsumi.

This is a book in the planning by Steve Olsen, he is looking for people backing his book on Kickstarter. If he gets enough backers he will make the book, if not it won’t be a book. It is up to you if there will be one.

BACKGROUND

During break in his martial arts classes at the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo in Noda City, Japan, Hatsumi-Sensei paints for his students. He paints calligraphy and pictures. His art contains advice to his students and historical influence from the nine Japanese martial traditions he is the head instructor of

BOOK DESIGN

7504d495979ea290e9e6588215adb469_largeOur designer, Dan Saal, is a real pro. He’s an award-winning art book designer and he knows how to design beautiful books that bring the essence of topics to life. Dan’s sample layouts already look great and I look forward to working with him to finish the project.

For an idea of the quality you can expect, take a look at some of Dan’s work here:
http://www.studiosaal.com
http://www.studiosaal.com/awards.html

Support the project here… http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1780878098/masaaki-hatsumi-dojo-art

Hatsumi Soke’s new Budō no Gokui book

The Essence of Budo: The Secret Teachings of the Grandmaster The new book Budō no Gokui by Hatsumi Soke is available for pre-order now for only $23.60, it will be shipped in the end of June.

Hardcover: 208 pages

Publisher: Kodansha International Ltd (May 1, 2011)

ISBN-10: 4770031076

ISBN-13: 978-4770031075

In a quick hirameki of what is to come in this book (without giving too much away) is the artistic look at the bigger picture of the mindset of Hatsumi Soke in his interpretation of the Pinnacle of Martial Arts. The message to Bujinkan practitioners will be standardly consistent as ever, if you are of the “Keep Going” tribe in the sense that the secret to martial arts can be found in…

Doug Wilson (one of the translators of this book)

Budo transcends simple combat techniques to ultimately attain a world of peace. Budo includes an array of martial arts developed in Japan, among them Aikido, Judo, Karatedo, Kyudo, and Kendo. In this book, grandmaster Hatsumi explores the essence of Budo, and demonstrates a range of important techniques relating to this essence. The author also reveals secret techniques and the hidden principles of the martial arts, and elucidates the words of his master, Toshitsugu Takamatsu, on Budo and life. Including some three hundred beautiful pictures depicting the author demonstrating his techniques, and around one hundred pictures of rare works of calligraphy, illustrations, and hidden documents on the martial arts and their role in Japanese culture, this book will be relevant and insightful to practitioners of all martial traditions including Judo, Aikido, Karatedo, Kendo, Kenjutsu, Jujutsu, Iaijutsu, and other various fighting sports.

About the Author

Masaaki Hatsumi was born in 1931. After progressing through various martial arts, he found his life’s mentor, Takamatsu Toshitsugu, and studied under him for the next fifteen years, becoming the 34th Grandmaster of Togakure-ryu Ninjutsu and eight other arts, which he unified into the Bujinkan system. While travelling the world, teaching thousands of individual students as well as law enforcement agencies, he received numerous accolades from politicians and spiritual leaders of many nationalities.

Click here for more of my recommended Bujinkan book!s

大光明祭2009 才能魂器 (Daikomyousai 2009 – Sainoukonki)

Here is a trailer from the coming Daikomyousai 2009 DVD from Quest, yes that’s me in the picture behind the guy in glasses, and Duncan Stewart as the Uke for Soke.

最後の実戦忍者高松寿嗣より古武道9流派を受け継ぎ、古の技を今に伝える現代の武神・ 初見良昭。その初見宗家の誕生日にちなくで開催される年に一度のセミナーが、大光明祭 である。その教えを求めて世界中から集まった高弟たちに、初見自ら武神館武術の奥義を 伝授するセミナーが大光明祭である。3日間にわたり行われるその模様を完全収録。20 09年11月30日-12月2日・東京。

Here is a rough translation of the above. Three day Kobudo seminar held by Masaaki Hatsumi Soke, the successor of the last Ninja, Takamatsu Sensei. People from the whole world attended. Complete recording of all three days. November 30, 2009 Dec 2, Tokyo.