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The Ichikukai Dōjō (一九会道場) is a place for training in Misogi-no-kokyu-ho (a Shinto purification through breathing practice) and Zen meditation. The Misogi practiced at the Ichikukai traces its roots to Inoue Masagane.
The dojo was founded in 1922 by members of the Tokyo University Rowing Team along with Ogura Tetsuju, the last disciple of swordsman and calligrapher Yamaoka Tesshu. The Ichikukai is perhaps best known for its severity and for the martial artists (esp. aikido) who have trained there . The purpose of training at the Ichikukai is explained by the following, an excerpt from a treatise written by the founding members of the dojo in 1922:
Toward the Building of a New Dojo
Our practice of misogi shugyo is the desperate, ravenous, fierce and relentless seeking of truth and purity. In order to bring forth and strengthen that core most essential to humanity, we break our bones in training. This training is a way to devote body and soul to that quest.
Today’s world is a mess of mixed-up ideas, and young people feel lost. While misogi shugyo does not necessarily solve the problem completely, we believe it does offer a way out of the confusion. Materialistic and emotional concerns have become convoluted and strange, leaving a world populated by masks and empty husks. Many people still huddle behind those masks; alone, afraid, and without hope.
Misogi shugyo is about exploding this dualistic life, and distilling from it the true, genuine and natural state. There is nothing for us now but to strip ourselves naked to the bone, jump in boldly with both feet, and see with our bare eyes what lies at the ground of our being.
Training at the Ichikukai continues to this day.
- P. 58-88, Practical Pursuits: Religion, Politics, and Personal Cultivation in Nineteenth-Century Japan, Janine Anderson Sawada