Preserving the techniques of Katayama-ryu iai-kenjutsu today and passing the tradition down to the future.

Jirinden(volume 2)

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Jirinden (16) Only in our school do we not use the term tōjutsu (刀術), calling (our art) kenjutsu (剣術)

Tōryū hitori tōjutsu to iwazushite moppara kenjutsu to iu(Heishū Jirinden, Vol. II, Kenjutsu Mokuroku Jo)
・Only in our school to we refuse to use tōjutsu (刀術), and solely use the term kenjutsu (剣術]

 The character “ken” (剣- sword) contains the meaning of the character “ken” (検- to investigate). In “ken” (検) there is the meaning of to supervise or correct. Our refusal to say tōjutsu (刀術) and use kenjutsu (剣術) is so that we do not forget the true meaning of “bu” (武martial). “Bu” is to naturally stop the use of violence, but if we do not firmly keep this correct meaning in our hearts at all times, we are apt to cut and kill others. Therefore we use the term kenjutsu, keeping our hearts and the hearts of others firmly in mind in our daily lives.
 The katana (刀) has a single edge, but a ken (剣) is something with two edges. If one edge faces another, the other faces ourselves. This carries the meaning that one who goes to cut also bears half of the guilt.
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner)

Jirinden (17) If there are things, then inevitably there are rules

Mono areba kanarazu soku arunari, ri areba kanarazu waza arunari」 (Heishū Jirinden, Vol. II, Kenjutsu Mokuroku Jo)
・When a thing exists, there invariably are rules. When there is theory, there invariably is technique.

 It is difficult to predict what will happen in the future and respond to it. Therefore it is important to be careful in how one responds when a thing is beginning to occur. When something is occurring, there is some reason for it and that reason is grounded in some fixed rule.
For example, one can say to build a temple is one thing that can be accomplished, however to build it level, one must use the necessary tools to level the ground. Before the order to build a temple comes, one normally must be familiar with the theory and laws involved and be familiar with the work. One should prepare so that when the carpentry work begins, there is no cause for embarrassment.
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner)

Jirinden (18) To value life and hate death

Ten-Chi-kan no michi to ieru mono wa, sei wo yomi shi shi wo nikumo koto zo(Heishū Jirinden, Vol. II, Kenjutsu Mokuroku Jo)
・The truth of the heavens and earth is that (everything) values life and despises death.

 The birds, beasts, insects, fish and all in the natural world prefer love and cherish life. Death brings fear and sorrow and so it is detested. From this law of nature, it is only natural at no one enjoys killing. However, because people mistakenly value only their own life, they will, in the end, kill others and having lost that treasure, will kill their lord or father.
 If you take the initiative and cultivate a spirit that does not quarrel, bloodthirsty altercations will not occur. It is the correct path of the heavens and earth that one can rule without fights or arguments. As long as this world exists, even for thousands of years, one must not move according to one’s own selfish desires.
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner)

Jirinden (19) Shugyō is the correcting of behavior.

Shugyō to ieru wa, gyōsa wo shuri suru koto (Heishū Jirinden, Vol. II, Kenjutsu Mokuroku Jo)
・What is called shugyō consists of the correcting of behavior.

 To mistake (one’s) true nature of cherishing life and despising death by being fond of death and delight in killing is a great error. Shugyō is to steel oneself to not make mistakes each and every day, at times reflecting (on one’s actions) , and to spread the feeling of gratitude towards life everywhere each day with a fresh feeling of spirit. In other words, shugyō means to correct one’s own actions. However, if one mistakes how they enter this path, one will also end up arriving at an incorrect place.
 The path that uses the long and short sword is called kenjutsu. The sword is the object the bushi is most intimate with. Therefore, by using kenjutsu which makes use of this most intimate sword, if one trains with the idea that the most important thing is to cherish life, we believe that understanding will come more easily and that conflict is bound to disappear. Fish in the ocean are naturally large, birds in a small forest are naturally small. This is a truth of nature. If one does not follow the laws of nature, one cannot hope to accomplish (anything). Through the kenjutsu of the Katayama-ryū, we study in depth, we learn the most truths for man.
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner)

Jirinden (20) Even high mountains are accumulated handfuls of dirt

Yama no takaki to iedomo issatsu no tsuchi wo tsumu nari (Heishū Jirinden, Vol. II, Kenjutsu Mokuroku Jo)
Even if we say a mountain is tall, it is an accumulation of handfuls of dirt.

 Even if we say a mountain is tall, it is an accumulation of handfuls of dirt. Even if we say the sea is deep, it is an accumulation of mere drops of water. Therefore not discarding small things is the basis of accomplishing something enormous. If for the time being, one does something crudely, one accumulates crudely done results and as a consequence one can only achieve crude outcomes. If one attempts to produce thorough and carefully done results from the beginning, one’s preparations will be flawless and there will be nothing left undone.
 If one devotes oneself to one’s practice, one can respond to sudden occurrences with no particular difference between normal times and times of emergency. This is the same as how there is no difference between daytime and night for those who are passing on a road they are familiar with. Enemies and allies are both the same human beings and both prefer life. Therefore if we correct our behavior and show no tendency towards killing, showing that our true feelings are for letting the other party live, there is no one who will become your enemy and come to you with blades drawn. True budo is to not kill your enemy nor kill your ally, but to only kill the roots of people’s conflict.
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner)

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