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Date founded1925
Country of originJapan
Arts taughtIaido
Descendant schoolsMorinaga-ha, Nakamura-ha, Yamaguchi-ha

Toyama-ryū (戸山流) established in 1925 by a committee of senior experts of several sword traditions for the curriculum of the Rikugun Toyama Gakko.

The special school for training army personnel founded in 1873, called Rikugun Toyama Gakkō or "Toyama Army Academy" in Toyama, Tokyo, Japan, led to the establishment of Toyama-ryu.[1] Today, separate lines of Toyama-ryū are primarily located in the Kantō, Tokai and Kansai region of Japan.[citation needed]


After the Meiji Restoration, officers in the Japanese army were required to carry Western-style sabres. During the 1920s Japan went through a phase of Militant Nationalism that lasted until defeat in the Second World War. By adopting the katana, the traditional sword of the samurai, the Japanese were allying themselves with the samurai military tradition. Adopting the katana also served to calm discontent among the more politicized sections of the army who had been outraged at mechanization (another lesson learned from World War I) which had de-emphasized the role of infantry and cavalry.[citation needed]

In 1925, since not all officers had sufficient background in kenjutsu to deploy these weapons in combat, a simplified form of sword technique was devised that emphasized the most essential points of drawing and cutting. The army iai-battō kata differ from those of many koryū sword schools in that all techniques are practised from a standing position. Also, this modern ryū has a strong emphasis on tameshigiri, or "test-cutting."[citation needed]

At the end of World War II, the Toyama Military Academy became the U.S. Army's Camp Zama. Nonetheless, the military iai system was revived after 1952. By the 1970s, three separate organizations represented Toyama-ryū Iaido: in Hokkaidō, the Greater Japan Toyama Ryu Iaido Federation (established by Yamaguchi Yuuki); in Kansai (Kyoto-Osaka area), the Toyama Ryu Iaido Association (established by Morinaga Kiyoshi former Head Instructor of the Toyama Academy); and the All-Japan Toyama Ryu Iaido Federation (established by Nakamura Taizaburo). Each of these organizations was autonomous and retained its own set of forms; the Hokkaido branch even included sword versus bayonet exercises. Today, there are many active instructors of Toyama-ryū outside Japan, in California, the Czech republic (Czech Toyama Ryu Federation - Gunto no Soho & All three main line Moringa-ha, Nakamura-ha and Yamaguchi-ha), Poland, Australia, England and Italy.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Draeger, Donn F. (1974) Modern bujutsu & Budo - The Martial Arts and Ways of Japan. (Vol. III). New York: Weatherhill. Page 65. ISBN 0-8348-0351-8