Kawasaki Kaginosuke (川崎鑰之助)

Kaginosuke KAWASAKI (year of birth and death unknown) was a military strategist during the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States). He was regarded to have established Togun-ryu school of Kenjutsu (the art of the sword). His given name was Tokimori. He was also called Yukimori or Kiyosada. He was commonly known as 賀義助 (Kaginosuke), which uses different kanji characters from 鑰之助 (Kaginosuke).


He was the son of Tokisada KAWASAKI (Shinkuro), a Goyonin (officer handling domestic economy) of the Asakura clan in the Echizen Province. His father Tokisada was skilled at the Kyohachi-ryu school (one of eight schools of Kenjutsu in Kyoto) of Kenjutsu. Kaginosuke started to learn kenjutsu when he was 13. He learned sojutsu (the art of the spear) from Ushifu TOMITA, and learned kenjutsu from Seigen TODA. At the age of 17, he was known as one of the `three iron-hearted young brave samurai' of Asakura along with Sanemoto MAGARA (Juro-Saburo) and Nagataka MURAKAMI (Shozo). Kiyoshi WATATANI, the writer of "the 100 best swordsmen in Japan," however, regarded that as possibly being fiction.

After Kaginosuke's father turned ronin (a masterless samurai), Kaginosuke was looked after by Togun (Eastern camp) Gon no sojo (a highest ranking priest, next to a sojo) on Mt. Hiei. He was said to have learned inherited secret teachings of art of wielding swords in there, and founded a school. Kaginosuke didn't refer to himself by 流名, but people called him `a person of the Togun' (Eastern camp).

According to the "Bugei Shoden," Kaginosuke prayed to the God of Mt. Hakuun (the old name of Mt. Myogi) in Kozuke Province, and founded the Togun-ryu school.

The Togun-ryu school

Starting with the Togun (Eastern camp) Gon no sojo (a highest ranking priest, next to a sojo), who was the founder of the Togun-ryu school, the ways of the school was passed down from Kaginosuke KAWASAKI to Goro KAWASAKI to Taro KAWASAKI and to Munekatsu KAWASAKI (Jiro-dayu). The Togun-ryu school became known through an heroic story, which speaks of Munekatsu, who was traveling during his training, was attacked by a large number of enemies in Oshi, Musashi Province (present day Gyoda City, Saitama Prefecture), but miraculously made his way through his enemies using his Togun-ryu school Kenjutsu techniques.

[Original Japanese]