Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Lineage

As the word Sensei means ‘one who has been before’, it is important to continue to teach students in the way you yourself were taught.  We can trace back our lineage right back to Hayashizaki Shigenobu Jinsuke, the man who is widely understood to be the creator of Shinmei Muso Ryu, the basis of most Iai schools.

Shinmei Muso Ryu

1. Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto Shigenobu (1242 – 1621) – regarded as the founder of Iaido because of his overwhelming influence on the art. He was a religious man and while praying to Hayashi Myojin in the village of Hayashizaki he claims to have had a revelation concerning the sword arts. He names his school the Shinmei Muso Ryu.

2. Tamiya Heibei Sigemasa (c. late 1500’s) – student of Jinsuke and others. He was the sword teacher to the first three Tokugawa Shoguns. He founded the Tamiya Ryu.

3. Nagana Muraku Kinrosai (dates uncertain) – a military man and student of first Jinsuke and then Tamiya. He developed Iai as a major part of the curriculum of the Muraku Ryu, which he founded in his own right.

4. Momo Gembei Mitsushige (dates uncertain)

5. Arikawa Shozaemon Munetsugu (dates uncertain)

6. Banno Danemon No Ju Nobusada (dates uncertain) – regarded as an important influence on subsequent headmasters.

7. Hasegawa Chikaransuke Eishin (a.k.a. Hidenobu) – a very important influence on the style being responsible for devising the Eishin Ryu set of forms. The performance of his forms was said to be Muso (without equal). This word now forms part of the name of our Ryu.

8. Arai Seitetsu Kiyonobu (dates uncertain) – taught in Edo (now Tokyo) after the departure of Eishin. He was thought to be a one time Ronin (masterless samurai).

9. Hayashi Rokudaya Morimasa (1661-1732) – studied under Omori Rokurazaemon Masamitsu. Omori introduced him to a set of forms beginning from seiza. At a later date after returning to Tosa these forms were incorporated into what was then known as Tosa Iaijutsu.

10. Hayashi Yasudaya Masanobu (Seisho) (? – 1776) – he was the adopted son of Rokudaya.

11. Oguro Motoemon Kiyokatsu (? – 1790) – had two highly skilled students who developed their own styles. After his death the Ryu split into two ha or branches names after these two students. The first of these men was known as Tanimura and his style was more closely associated with the Tosa Iaijutsu. The other man was known as Shimomura who introduced considerable changes (Muso Shinden Ryu).

Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu – The Tanimura-ha

12. Hayashi Mash mo ju Matamoras (? – c. 1818) – the great-grandson of Rokudaya.

13. Yoda Manzai Yorikatsu (? – 1809)

14. Hayashi Yadayu Seiki Masayori (a.k.a. Matsutaka) (? – 1823)

15. Tanimura Kame no jo Yorikatsu (a.k.a. Sugio) (? – 1862) – helped develop the Tanimura-ha.

16. Goto Magobei Masasuke (a.k.a. Seiryo) (? – 1898) – along with Oe Masamichi made significant contributions to the art.

17. Oe Masamichi (a.k.a. shikei) (1852-1927) – received instruction in both the Tanimura-ha and the Shimomura-ha. In fact he was for a time the 15th generation Soke of the Shimomura-ha but there was many differences of opinion with Nakayama Hakudo, and as a consequence another person is listed. Oe sensei officially names the school Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu and incorporates the Omori Ryu and Eishin Ryu into the forms along with the existing forms. Great innovations were made in training methods at this time and composite techniques in the form of Haya-nuki and the Bangai forms were included as part of the set. He trained many excellent swordsmen many of whom had their own ideas about the techniques and developed their own kai waza (alternative techniques). After his death there was a dispute about who should become the next Soke. This dispute has led to much confusion and variation in the practice of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu with other ha being formed.

18. Hogiyama Namio (1891 – 1935) – deshi (follower) of Oe Sensei considered to be the man who followed the teachings of Oe closely.

19. Fukui Harumasa (1884 – 1971) – deshi of Oe who developed many new interpretations and changed Iai from Oe’s teachings.

20. Kohno Hyakuren Minoru (1897 – 1974) – deshi of Oe but he did not follow with Harumasa and collaborated with Hogiyama Namio in trying to ensure the teachings of Oe Sensei were adhered to. He was also responsible for spreading the style beyond its traditional realms of Tosa and Kochi.

21. Fukui Tarao – follower of the teachings of Fukui Harumasa.

22. Ikeda Takashi (current Headmaster)

Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu – Our Lineage

After Oe Masamichi’s death, the ryu was thrown into disarray with more than one student claiming the title of headmaster.  What is shown above is the official Headmaster list of what is now known as Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu.  A number of headmasters changed Oe’s teachings to suit their own style as they became head of the ryu.  Our lineage branches off from this, as the list below shows how our teachings were passed down to us.

Haruna Matsuo Sensei (1925-2002)
Kyoshi 8th DAN

Oshita Masakazu Sensei
Kyoshi 8th DAN

Morita Tadahiko Sensei
Kyoshi 8th DAN


Oe Masamichi, the 17th Soke (see headmaster list above)

Yamamoto Harusuke (1894 – 1979) one of the most gifted deshi of Oe Masamichi

Yamashibu Yoshikazu (1922 – 1993)

Haruna Matsuo (1925 – 2002) student of the late Yamashibu Yoshikazu. He taught iaido at the Musashi Dojo, Ohara – the birthplace of the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi.

Oshita Mazakazu – Haruna sensei’s student

Fay Goodman – Student of Haruna Matsuo and Oshita Mazkazu

It is widely understood that after Oe’s death, MJER Iai techniques changed considerably, interpreted (or misinterpreted) by subsequent headmasters differently and taught accordingly.  Our lineage doesn’t follow these changes but continues in a simpler fashion, learning and passing on the sword techniques as they were practiced, remaining accurate to Oe sensei’s teachings, and perhaps a more traditional and historically correct study of Iai.