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

Jirinden(volume 2)

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)

Jirinden 21 TheŌhen Hakkyokuis responding to a variety of changes

Ashita ni okite hiru wa tsutome, kure ni shimaite yoru fusu wa, hen ni ōzurunari」(Heishū Jirinden, Vol. II, Ōhen Hakkyoku)
・Waking in the morning, working in the day, finishing in the evening and sleeping at night, this is responding to change.

 Justice changing into injustice or fortune into misfortune happens like morning turning to evening or day turning to night. If one does not know the morning, they cannot know the evening. If one does not know day, obviously they cannot comprehend night. One who, like a child, does not understand the way of things is unable to respond to change. Naturally responding to change is waking in the morning, working in the day, finishing in the evening and sleeping at night.  If nothing comes to an end, there is no change. Winter comes to an end and becomes spring. Summer comes to an end and becomes fall. For something to end means it has reached its limits. Something good becomes something bad and something bad becomes something good.
( Katayama-ryu Gli insegnamenti / Ōhen hakkyoku )

 The Hakkyoku is a pattern with eight variations made in ancient China to represent nature, the heavens and earth. When one reaches the end of one section, you proceed into the next. “Ōhen Hakkyoku” is adapting to the changes of the hakkyoku, in other words responding to a variety of changes.
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner)

Jirinden (22) Having proper perception is called Seigan.

Using perception correctly is the teaching known as Seigan」(Heishū Jirinden, Vol. II, Ōhen Hakkyoku)
・Using perception correctly is the teaching called Seigan.

 The proper use of the eyes is the teaching called “Seigan”. When discussing the eyes, it is like how a person’s eyes react quickly, opening and closing to avoid dust and dirt. It has been passed down that it is important to be able to adapt quickly to coming events. One must always correct one’s actions like the sun always rising in the east and crossing to the west. Depending on one’s character, it is common for one to become upset or surprised. If one always remains unaffected in all things, one’s astute heart will be calm and there will be no mishaps.

 This does not mean that one’s perception becomes correct when they come in contact with something. Rather it means to not lose the correctness one always has. If one’s perception is always correct, one will be able to instantly deal with a situation when viewing it anew. There is no reason consider a situation more than this and become confused thus this reaction is fast. This is what is called Seigan.
( Katayama-ryu The Teating / Ōhen hakkyoku )
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner)

Jirinden (23) To keep the sword sheathed and undrawn. This is called Garyū.

「To be kept at ready but in the end unused, this is what is called Garyū(Heishū Jirinden, Vol. II, Ōhen Hakkyoku
・To keep the sword sheathed in the scabbard, undrawn in the end. This is called Garyū.

What is called carrying a sword is to keep the blade well-honed and stored firmly in its scabbard, unused to the end. That is to say one does not carry the sword to be drawn lightly. The sword is a tool to chastise injustice and should not be used for any other purpose.

To keep the sword sheathed and undrawn, this is called Garyū . Keeping the sword in its scabbard and not drawing it to the end means that while the blade is at rest, the mind is not negligent. Garyū  is a dragon lying quietly.  For example, even if there is an enemy, if he is not actually attacking, there is no need to engage him.

 The posture of Garyū is a posture of having the edge of the blade is lain downward (the edge facing downward in a manner unthreatening to the enemy) with the pommel climbing up to the left side of the chest, touching near the breast. As the enemy approaches, it is likened to a dragon with no in attentiveness from head to tail and its true form remaining hidden.  ( Katayama-ryu The Teating / Ōhen hakkyoku )
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner)

Jirinden 24 “The sword protects us from and corrects the wicked.”

The sword’s true purpose is a tool to prevent wickedness(Heishū Jirinden, Vol. II, Ōhen Hakkyoku)
・The sword’s true purpose is a tool to protect from evil

In the ancient past, it is said that when an evil giant serpent hid a treasured sword called “Murakumo-no-ken”in its tail, the tail was always covered in clouds. However since the giant snake was a wicked serpent who knew nothing of the ways men should follow, in the end it was killed by Susanou-no-mikoto. That is to say, even though it is said that virtues are said to inhabit the clouds, when the sword is in the hands of the wicked it is of no use.
( Katayama-ryu The Teating / Ōhen hakkyoku )

 The The sword’s true purpose is to prevent wickedness in one’s heart. One will not make company with unjust colleagues. There is no virtue in the sword. It is through the virtue of those that wield it, that virtue comes into the sword. Those who wield the sword should not lessen its virtue in the manner of that giant serpent. Even if it is unavoidable, the act of drawing one’s sword and killing another lessens one’s virtue. The warriors of old honored the direction of the right as exalted, while looked down upon the left as being coarse or lowly. Humbling  oneself into action when it is unavoidable is therefore called Saryū (literally “left dragon”).
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner, Constantin von Richiter)

Jirinden (25) A tiger in a bamboo thicket does not show its weapons, like fangs or horns.

Hiding in the tiger’s bamboo thicket and defending against various creatures, it does not show its weapons like a lion’s fangs or an ox’s horns.」(Heishū Jirinden, Vol. II, Ōhen Hakkyoku)
・A tiger in a bamboo thicket does not show its weapons, like a lion’s fangs or an ox’s horns.

  The tiger lives in a bamboo thicket and defends itself against various animals. It does not threaten others by showing its weapons, like a lion’s fangs or an ox’s horns. In the same way, we defend ourselves from the folly of stupid people by placing emphasis solely on our own correct actions and not quarreling with such people. A person who can accomplish this has “bun” (scholarship, knowledge) on the outside and “bu” (martial skill) on the inside are the bravest among all the beasts. This is called Koran.
( Katayama-ryu The Teating / Ōhen hakkyoku )

 Those who have bun on the outside and bu on the inside are gentle among the people and are not despised by anyone. He has no intent to be ready to attack an enemy on his own, nor takes part in any selfish actions that would confuse an ally. His way of using the sword is to not attack, nor defend but, as if his sword has no scabbard, to have no wasted attacks and to be able to attain victory when defending against the enemy’s blade. Having bun on the outside and bu on the inside means that one has the ability to instantly respond to events. To govern (to calm confusion) should be just like this.
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner, Constantin von Richiter)

Jirinden (26) Avoid the unjust person and wait for the arrival of opportunity

Avoid the unjust person and wait for the arrival of opportunity」(Heishū Jirinden, Vol. II, Ōhen Hakkyoku)
・Avoid the momentum of an evil doer and wait for opportunity to arrive.

 The waterwheel’s carrying of water or the pinwheel’s spinning in the breeze happens because the wheel (kuruma or sha in Japanese) effectively utilizes the power of the wind or water. A waterwheel collapsing and being carried away when struck by water or a pinwheel breaking and being blown away when blown upon by the wind is the result of the not effectively making use of the wind or water’s power. Because the role of the wheel is to rotate, the spinning of the wheel is said to be like one steadily carrying out one’s own role.

 When an evildoer comes and intrudes upon one’s self, one’s life will be extended and the evildoer will be subdued if one can effectively make use of opportunity and evade the evildoer, as if rotating like a wheel effectively making use of the power of the wind or water. This happens not because you subdue the attacker with your own power, but because you tap into the power from the heavens and the evildoer is defeated. This is called “sha”.
( Katayama-ryu The Teating / Ōhen hakkyoku )

 When the momentum of the incorrect is strong, keep the sword on one’s self at all times, avoid the momentum of the incorrect, abide by correct actions and wait for the coming of opportunity. Never have the idea of trying to win in your heart, advance to good positions and avoid disadvantageous ones.
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner, Constantin von Richter)

Jirinden(27)Within bu there is the art (techiniques) and there is reason (principles).

 Within bu there is the art and the way. The art is the technique while the way is reason」(Heishū Jirinden, Vol. II, Iai hakkyoku hen)
Wthin bu there is the technical art and the way. The art is the technique while the way is reason.

  Within bu there is the art and the way. The art is technique and the way is reason. A man who understands technique but does not understand reason is one who tests his skill with the sword on another person. A person who understands reason but not technique is unable to use his sword.  A person who possesses both technique and reason is one whose blade is finely honed but kept firmly in its scabbard. One who has quality of character in addition to having a well-honed blade kept firmly in its scabbard will not be defeated if an enemy appears. ( Katayama-ryū The Teachings / Iai Hakkyokuhen)

 One must do everything firmly and with rigor. Even if one keeps things of importance in a storehouse, they will be lost if one does not does not keep it locked. A thief enters by finding a gap, so if there is no gap, they cannot enter. If one invites misfortune by having some gap in one’s self, that is a crime against yourself. There is no one you can blame but yourself.
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner, Constantin von Richter)

Jirinden(28)Being where one should be and leaving a place one should leave

 Oru beki ni wa orisaru beki ni wa saru(Heishū Jirinden, Vol. II, Iai hakkyoku hen)
・Be where one should be and leave a place one should leave

 A circle (en) is a natural shape containing no corners or boundaries. This means that one must not obstinately fixate on any one particular corner or section of a matter while being ignorant of the whole. Nami ( nami or ha/pa- literally “wave”)  means to not go against the ebb and flow of water. One should exist naturally in a situation and not fight against it. Being intimate with those close to you and distance with those who are not. Being where one should be and leaving a place one should leave. There is no reason to talk about reason with those who are unable to understand it. It is good to peacefully keep company with another party without arguing on the topic.

 If one’s sword is in its scabbard, one will not be feared or doubted by others. Keeping the way of the heavens hidden inside one’s spirit and conducting oneself in the same manner as the rest of society is the usual way of conduct for Enpa. If there is someone who is trying to destroy the way of the heavens, destroy that person. If there is one who raises their fist, it matters not at all if you kick him back. It is important in swordsmanship to adapt to one who is trying to instigate. Enpa is used as a technique to strike back.
(Katayama-ryū The Teachings / Iai Hakkyokuhen)
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner, Constantin von Richter)

Jirinden (29) – Neither oneself nor the other wins.

Ware mo katazu, hito mo katazu(Heishū Jirinden, Vol. II, Iai hakkyoku-hen)
・Neither I nor the other attains victory.

Ai () is to mutually face one another, au () is to encounter and become one with another, Neither you nor the other wins, rather both parties gain something and resolve things peaceably.  This is called zensho (全処). Zensho is preferable in all things. This zensho is the most important aspect of Aiai (相合).

  A person who acts upon the will of the heavens (that is to say, one who follows the correct path in accordance with the principles of nature and does not live according to their own selfish desires) is one who does not exceed his own social status or ability. Because of this, even if they are affluent, they will not give in to extravagance. As a result, even the poor will not resent such a person. One invites and incites resentment and hatred by oneself. A person who knows this seeks the way of gattai-ikka (合体一和 making a peaceful world together with others). If, after one’s own use, one has surplus, it should be donated to others to help those in need.
(The Teachings of Katayama-ryū / Iai Hakkyoku-hen)
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner, Constantin von Richter)

Jirinden (30) The tiger always finely sharpens its claws.

 Tora wa… tsuneni itari wo togu(Heishū Jirinden, Vol. II, Iai hakkyoku-hen)
・The tiger is always the most prepared.

 Kosō (虎掻) means a tiger sharpening its claws. The tiger, of which there is no stronger beast, is always precisely sharpening its claws. It is always making such preparations. Proper administration should be carried out starting with the unfortunate ( the poor, those with no relatives), and it is for such people that the privileged warriors should first serve. Adjusting the sun (approx. 3 cm), fixing the jin (approx. 1.8 m), preventing the infestation of ants, perfecting the bank. Any one of these are examples of small, minute details giving birth to large results.   

 Being exceedingly conscious of the finest of details is of the most importance in kosō. One must not believe it is fine to simply mimic the customs of society to a certain degree and then secretly take pleasure in the fact that there is no one who finds fault with your bad deeds. If one is pained by just the nail on one’s little toe, one cannot walk and will be unable to do that day’s work. With supreme technique is one does not capriciously enter a duel.
(The Teachings of Katayama-ryū / Iai Hakkyoku-hen)
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner, Constantin von Richter)

Jirinden (31) If one becomes too lofty one will become disconnected from the world.

Kōen ni haseba…segai no hito to naru (Heishū Jirinden, Vol. II, Iai hakkyoku hen)
・If becomes too ambitious in one’s refinement, one will become a person disconnected from the rest of the world.

 The waves surge in according to the tide. The wave that crashes over the height of a cliff will accumulate in the cliff’s depressions, not returning to the sea and becoming dead water. If the warrior does not act in accordance with the norms of society no one will listen to him. Talking about difficult things in a complicated manner is like throwing away a treasure. It is important to be able to discern one’s own faculty and measure and act in accordance to the ability of others.

  If one does not understand one’s own ability and goes too far being lofty and grandiose, one will be scorned by society and end up a person separated from it. One cannot guide others in this way. One must treat hard things softly and difficult things tenderly like the raising of an infant. One who says only lofty things is one who has not mastered oneself. If one tries to demonstrate things to the people of the world which one has not mastered oneself, they will not be believed by anyone. A master skillfully does things according to the situation to an appropriate degree.
(The Teachings of Katayama-ryū / Iai Hakkyoku-hen)
 (Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner, Constantin von Richter)

Jirinden (32) Make Ukifune the center of one’s spirit. 

Ukifune wo motte chūshin no rei to nasu(Heishū Jirinden, Vol. II, Iai hakkyoku hen
・ Make Ukifune the core of one’s soul.

 “Ukifune” means a small boat without cargo floating on the surface of the water. It is an example of a spirit that has abandoned any selfish or devious thoughts.
An empty boat can be loaded with the necessary baggage and put to use when needed. But at the necessary time one cannot add the needed baggage to a boat that is already been loaded. In the same way, a heart that is already filled with evil ideas has no space of important thoughts when needed.

 When one does an action, a person’s heart becomes “real” (that is to say “full”), but a heart that has already been filled with something is not able to accommodate anything else. That warriors do not fill their hearts with evil or trivial things is so that they are able to fill it with the necessary things when needed. What is fulfilled is unfulfilled, while what is unfulfilled is often actually fulfilled.
Those who make many errors do not have ukifune as the core of their soul. In other words, a person whose heart is filled with wicked and trivial thoughts is one who is off guard. A person who makes ukifune the center of their heart is one who has the leeway to make the correct conclusion at the necessary time, makes few errors and can respond adeptly to “change” (that is to say accidents or incidents).
(The Teachings of Katayama-ryū / Iai Hakkyoku-hen)
 (Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner, Constantin von Richter)

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