|Born||December 2, 1931|
|Residence||Noda, Chiba, Japan|
|Notable students||Stephen K. Hayes|
Masaaki Hatsumi (初見良昭 Hatsumi Masaaki, born December 2, 1931), formerly Yoshiaki Hatsumi, is the founder of the Bujinkan Organization and claims to be the 34th Togakure-ryū Soke (Grandmaster). He currently resides and teaches in the city of Noda, Chiba, Japan.
Hatsumi was born in Noda, Japan on December 2, 1931. He heavily participated in sports during his school years, along with martial arts and theater, including becoming "captain of the football team". While attending the Meiji University, he continued learning judo and eventually rose to Yudansha or Dan rank. He also began teaching Judo during his time at the university to American soldiers at the nearby Yokota Air Base. After graduating, Hatsumi began to search for a teacher to further his study of martial arts and when he was 26 he met Toshitsugu Takamatsu, known as "the Tiger of Mongolia". Hatsumi was accepted as Takamatsu's student and spent fifteen years on Honshu Island learning various ninjutsu styles from Takamatsu and other members of the Takamatsu family, also he continued to learn judo, Shito Ryu karate, aikido, and kobudo.
Takamatsu died in Nara, Japan in 1972 after advancing Hatsumi from student and bestowing on him "all the art of the nine schools", three of which he indicated were ancient ninja schools and six samurai jujutsu schools of martial arts. Hatsumi went on to found the Bujinkan Dojo in Noda, Japan to teach the nine schools to other students. His first trip to the US was in 1982 and he has since continued to participate in the ninjutsu Tai Kai (gathering), which was held in Atlanta in 1994.
Hatsumi also worked as a bonesetter after his graduation and was chairman of the Writers Guild of Japan at one point in time. He is the writer of a martial arts magazine Tetsuzan, which is "distributed in 18 countries."
- Togakure-ryū (戸隠流)
- Gyokko-ryū Kosshi jutsu (玉虎流骨指術)
- Kuki Shinden Happō Biken jutsu (九鬼神伝流八法秘剣術)
- Kotō-ryū Koppō jutsu (虎倒流骨法術)
- Shinden Fudō-ryū Dakentai jutsu (神伝不動流打拳体術)
- Takagi Yōshin-ryū Jūtai jutsu (高木揚心流柔体術)
- Gikan-ryū Koppō jutsu (義鑑流骨法術)
- Gyokushin-ryū Ninpō (玉心流忍法)
- Kumogakure-ryū Ninpō (雲隠流忍法)
Masaaki Hatsumi focuses the training of the Bujinkan on the "feeling" of technique or what he terms the feeling of real situations. Hatsumi has a non-standoffish teaching approach, leading Black Belt magazine to call him "wild, funny, unpredictable, and a cross between Charlie Chaplin and Obi-Wan Kenobi."
He has also served as a martial arts advisor to various films and television productions, including the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice, and in the first film from the highly popular Japanese series Shinobi no Mono. He also appeared in and was the stunt coordinator for the Japanese tokusatsu television series Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya as the titular hero's mentor and father figure, Tetsuzan Yamaji.
The 1963 Bugei Ryūha Daijiten states that Hatsumi's ideas and lineage are only his ideas and that he has no proof to support them. Editor Kiyoshi Watatani has this to say regarding Takamatsu's Togakure-ryu:
this genealogy refers to various written records and oral transmissions and there are many points/places where embellishments have been added and people appearing in the genealogy are also made older than they actually are. Thus the genealogy can be considered to be something that (Toda) Shinryūken newly arranged around the end of the Tokugawa shōgunate.
In the words of Donn Draeger:
- 1986 - Instructor of the Year, Black Belt magazine
- 1993 - Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy, World Association of Universities and Colleges
- 1994 - Knighthood, Germany
- 2000 - International Culture Award, Japan Cultural Promoting Association (physically issued by the Japanese Imperial Family)
- 2001 - Lifetime Achievement Award, USMA International Hall of Fame.
- Masaaki Hatsumi, The Essence of Budo, The Secret Teachings of the Grandmaster (2011), Kodansha International, 978-4-7700-3107-5
- Masaaki Hatsumi, Unarmed Fighting Techniques of the Samurai (2008), Kodansha International, ISBN 978-4-7700-3059-7
- Masaaki Hatsumi, Japanese Sword Fighting (2006), Kodansha International, ISBN 978-4-7700-2198-4
- Masaaki Hatsumi, Advanced Stick Fighting (2005), Kodansha International, ISBN 978-4-7700-2996-6
- Masaaki Hatsumi, The Way of the Ninja (2004), Kodansha International, ISBN 978-4-7700-2805-1
- Masaaki Hatsumi, Ninpo: Wisdom for Life. 1999, Kihon Press, ISBN 978-1-58776-206-2
- Masaaki Hatsumi, Essence of Ninjutsu. The Nine Traditions 1988, Contemporary Books, ISBN 0-8092-4724-0
- Masaaki Hatsumi and Quintin Chambers, Stick Fighting (1981), Kodansha International, ISBN 978-0-87011-475-5
- Welzenbach, Michael (April 30, 1988). "Japan's Hatsumi Will Highlight Burbank Martial-Arts Event". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
- Hayes, Stephen (1989). Lore of the Shinobi Warrior. Ohara Publications. ISBN 0-89750-123-3.;
- "Lethal weapon: Hanging with the world's last living ninja". CNN. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
- "Bujinkan Hombu Dojo Contact Information". Honbu Dojo. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- Staff writer (May 5, 2006). "Masaaki Hatsumi, el culto al último maestro ninja". El Mercurio. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- Green, Thomas A. (2001). Martial arts of the world: an encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 732. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
- Sandra E. Kessler (November 1994). "Ninja in the 20th Century/The Man Behind the Ninja Mask". Black Belt (Active Interest Media) 32 (11): 38–43. ISBN 0277-3066 Check
|isbn=value (help). Retrieved July 9, 2012.
- Staff writer (August 2000). "Top Ninja Honored In Japan". Black Belt (Active Interest Media) 38 (8): 10. ISBN 0277-3066 Check
|isbn=value (help). Retrieved July 4, 2012.
- Groak, William (August 1986). "Black Belt Times: Ninja Leader Hatsumi Returns to U.S.". Black Belt Magazine. p. 16.
- Ollhoff, Jim (2008). Ninja. ABDO. pp. 28–29. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
- Masaaki Hatsumi at the Internet Movie Database
- Sekai ninja sen Jiraiya at the Internet Movie Database
- Phelan, Stephen (12 October 2011). "Lethal weapon: Hanging with the world's last living ninja". CNN.
- "FAQ". Iga-ryū Ninja Museum. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- Watatani Kiyoshi and Yamada Tadashi (November 1963). Bugei Ryuha Daijiten. Various. p. 293.
- Draeger, Donn F.; Smith, Robert W. (1969). Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts. Kodansha International Ltd. pp. 130–131.
- Staff interviewer (July 1994). "Ask Ninja About Ninja Things!!". B-Club (Bandai) 104. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
- "Dr Masaaki Hatsumi Ph.D., Soke Bujinkan 34th Grandmaster Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu". Ninpo Properties cc. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- "USMA International Hall of Fame: 2001 Inductees". United States Martial Arts Association. 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2013.