Toda-ha Bukō-ryū

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Toda-ha Bukō-ryū
FounderToda Seigen (戸田 清眼)
Date foundedc. 1560
Period foundedLate Muromachi period (1337-1573)
Current information
Current headmasterKent Sorensen (sokedairi)
Arts taught
naginatajutsuGlaive art
sōjutsuSpear art
bōjutsuStaff art
kenjutsuSword art
kusarigamajutsuChain-and-sickle art

Toda-ha Bukō-ryū (戸田派武甲流) is a Japanese koryū martial art which has its roots in the Toda-ryū, founded in the late Muromachi period c. 1560 by Toda Seigen (戸田 清眼).[1]: 64–66 

The ryū contains an extensive curriculum of weapon-arts centering on naginatajutsu (naginata, kagitsuki naginata (a naginata with a small cross-bar beneath the blade, used for deflecting, trapping and breaking enemy's weaponry), & nagamaki, but also sōjutsu, bōjutsu kenjutsu and kusarigamajutsu.[1]: 64 

Toda-ryu was adopted by the Suneya family in the mountainous Chichibu region. Among other weapons, the clan apparently focused on the naginata, and its study, over many generations, was known as Suneya-kei naginatajutsu. In the mid-1800s, Suneya Ryosuke and his wife Suneya Satō initiated a renaissance of the naginata. This became the Toda-ha Bukō-ryū. From Ryosuke and Satō, Toda-ha Bukō-ryū divided into two lines, one located in its ancestral home in Chichibu and the other in Tokyo. The Chichibu line died out in the first part of the 20th century. The Tokyo line was continued by Komatsuzaki Kotō and Yazawa Isaō, two students of the Suneya. Most of their students are unknown, and with one exception, there is little evidence that any of their students continued teaching in subsequent generations. The sole exception was Murakami Hideō, who was first a student of Komatsuzaki and then Yazawa. Only one of her students, Kobayashi Seiō continued the line, which she then passed to Nitta Suzuō, the 19th generation sōke.[1]: 64 

After the untimely death of 20th generation sōke, Nakamura Yoichi, Toda-ha Bukō-ryū is currently under the direction of sokedairi, Kent Sorensen, in Tokyo, Japan with the assistance of a number of shihan in the United States, Europe and Australia. Information on the current status of the school, with a signed/sealed letter from Nakamura Yoichi to Kent Sorensen as soke-dairi can be seen on the official website of the school.


  1. ^ a b c Skoss, Diane, Sword & Spirit: Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan, Vol. 2, Koryu Books, 1999.

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