Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto-ryu

Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto-ryu is a comprehensive strategic art encompassing martial arts training in kenjutsu (swordsmanship), iaijutsu (sword drawing), naginatajutsu (halberd art), sōjutsu (spearmanship), bojutsu (staff art), jujutsu (unarmed combat), shurikenjutsu (throwing spike art), and ninjutsu (espionage) to chikujojutsu (fortifications and fieldcraft), gunbaiho (troop logistics implemented with a battle fan) and tenmon chirigaku (astrology and geography). The tradition went on to influence a large number of other traditions, and today is known as one of the sources from which Japan’s martial arts have developed.

The tradition’s founder, Iizasa Choisai Ienao, is said to have prayed to the deity enshrined in Katori Shrine for a thousand days at the age of sixty, engaging in purification and relentless martial arts training, and received a sacred scroll from the deity of the shrine before going on to found Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto-ryu.

The Iizasa family have maintained a dojo here in the Katori region for the past twenty generations, and have passed Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto-ryu on to the present.


Founder: Iizasa Choisai Ienao – Morichika – Morinobu – Moritsuna – Morihide – Morishige – Morinobu – Morinaga – Morihisa – Morisada – Morishige – Moritsugu – Morikiyo – Nagateru – Moriteru – Morishige – Morifusa – Morisada – Kinjiro (Morishige) – Yasusada

Blood oath

The candidate makes a pledge regarding matters to be upheld as a practitioner of the tradition to the Deity of the Katori Shrine, signs a blood oath (known as “the Respectful Oath to the Supreme Deities”), and submits this blood oath to the tradition’s Soke (headmaster) to become a practitioner. These blood oaths are carefully preserved by the Soke. Even blood oaths from much earlier in history are still carefully preserved to this day.

The tradition’s shihan (teaching master)

Following the retirement of Otake Risuke-shihan, Kyoso Shigetoshi was appointed in September 2017 as Shihan.