Hōzōin In'ei

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Hōzōin In'ei (宝蔵院 胤栄, 1521 – October 16, 1607) was a Buddhist monk and sōhei, abbot of Hōzōin temple, and guardian of all the temples of Nara. He is famous for having founded a school of Sōjutsu called Hōzōin-ryū.

In'ei was a connoisseur of the martial arts, having practiced Nen-ryū under Toda Yosaemon and Iizasa Ienao's Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū. In'ei was noted for having arranged the meeting between Kamiizumi Nobutsuna and Yagyū Munetoshi, being the catalyst for the creation of Yagyū Shinkage-ryū.

He passed on leadership of the school to other Buddhist monks of his order, including Hōzōin Inshun (1589-1648), Hōzōin Insei (1624-1689), Hōzōin Infū (1682-1731), and Hōzōin Inken (1746-1808).

The school was revived and updated in the nineteenth century by Takeda Sōkaku (1858-1943), who introduced the use of bamboo practice swords (shinai).

In'ei and his school feature in the manga series Vagabond, in which he has retired as master of Hōzōin-ryū, only to train Miyamoto Musashi to defeat his successor.


  • Frederic, Louis (2002). Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
  • De Lange, William. Famous Swordsmen of the Sengoku Period."