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Founder Sōma Shiro Yoshimoto (相馬 四郎 義元, fl. c.14th century)
Date founded 1368
Period founded Nanboku-chō period (1336–1392)
Location founded modern day Nagano Prefecture
Current information
Current headmaster None
Current headquarters None
Arts taught
Art Description
Kenjutsu Sword art
Ancestor schools
None identified
Descendant schools
Chujō-ryūToda-ryuIsshin-ryūIttō-ryūManiwa Nen-ryū

Nen-ryū (念流) is a traditional (koryū) school of Japanese martial arts founded in 1368 CE by the samurai Sōma Shiro Yoshimoto (c.14th century) in modern-day Nagano Prefecture, where Yoshimoto is said to have taught only fourteen students until his death.


The school taught primarily the art of using the katana (kenjutsu), and it is a root art of many other koryū schools of swordsmanship, including Shinkage-ryū, Chujō-ryū, and Ittō-ryū. It has been known as Maniwa Nen-ryū since 1591, when it was named as such by Higuchi Matashichiro.[citation needed]

Later history and legacy[edit]

Yoshimoto eventually joined the Jufuku-ji, taking the Buddhist name Nen Ami (念阿弥), Jion (慈恩), before traveling to teach in Okinawa. Today, many traditional schools of karate, including Shotokan, practice a kata named "Jion" after him. Yoshimoto is also frequently credited with founding the martial art of Isshin-ryū kusarigamajutsu, but this may not be literally true. Some historians believe that Tan Isshin (c.17th century), who may have studied Maniwa Nen-ryū with Yui Shōsetsu (1605–1651), was the true founder of Isshin-ryū kusarigamajutsu. They believe that he was inspired by Yoshimoto's teachings and chose to credit him as the founder of the art to honor him.[citation needed]