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FounderAkiyama Shirōbei Yoshitoki
Date foundedmid 17th century
Period foundedEarly Edo period
Current information
Current headmasterNone (Extinct.)[1]
Arts taught
JujutsuClassical – Grappling art
Ancestor schools
None identified
Descendant schools

Yōshin-ryū (楊心流) ("The School of the Willow Heart")[2] is a common name for one of several different martial traditions founded in Japan in the Edo period. The most popular and well-known was the Yōshin-ryū line founded by physician Akiyama Shirōbei Yoshitoki in Nagasaki in 1632.[2] The Akiyama line of Yōshin-ryū is perhaps the most influential school of jūjutsu to exist in Japan. By the late Edo Period, Akiyama Yōshin-ryū and its descendants had spread all over Japan. By the Meiji era, Yōshin-ryū had even spread overseas to Europe and North America.


This line of Yōshin-ryū is noted for a curriculum including kyūsho-jutsu atemi (vital points striking) and the development of internal energy, teachings most likely influenced by Chinese sources. It is believed that these teachings were eventually absorbed by many other jujutsu traditions.

Only the Yōshin-ryū buki/naginata school in Hiroshima currently headed by Koyama Takako and attributed to Akiyama has been successfully transmitted and survives. The school was prolific, however, with its teachings surviving in many descendant ryū.


Schools descended from Akiyama Yōshin-ryū jūjutsu include:

Danzan ryu, Shin Yōshin ryū, Shin Shin ryū, Sakkatsu Yōshin ryū, Shin no Shindō ryū, Tenjin Shin'yō-ryū, Shindō Yōshin-ryū, Takamura ha Shindō Yōshin ryū, Wadō-ryū (a modern Jūjutsu Kenpo/Karate school based on Shindō Yōshin-ryū), Ryushin Katchu ryū, Ito ha Shin'yō ryū, Kurama Yōshin ryū, Kodokan Judo.

Hontai Yōshin ryū – Takagi ryū Lineage[edit]

The schools of Hontai Yōshin ryū – Takagi ryū are not really Yōshin ryu lineage schools but are instead descended from Takenouchi-ryū.[3] They are said to originate from an earlier unnamed tradition. It is thought they may include later influence from the Akiyama Yoshin-ryu but this is not supported by documentation.

Today there the Hontai Yōshin ryū – Takagi ryū is separated in several Lines and branches under different names:

  • Hontai Yōshin ryū
  • Takagi ryū
  • Motoha Yōshin ryū
  • Kukishin ryū

The Takagi Yoshin ryū which is used by the Bujinkan, Genbukan, Jinenkan, and Gi Yu Kyo Kai is related to the Hontai Yōshin ryū – Takagi ryū Line

Schools descended from Hontai Yōshin ryū – Takagi ryū:

Shingetsu Muso Yanagi ryū.


  1. ^ Bugei Ryuha Daijiten,(1970)
  2. ^ a b YoshinRyu
  3. ^ Takagi Yoshin Archived May 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine