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

Jirinden(volume 1)

Jirinden(1)Bu is the natural abandonment of military force 

「Tō-ryū iai no michi wa, bujin masani okonau beki no michi ni shite, motte bu nasu tokoro no jutsu nari」(Heishū-Jirinden, Vol.1, Heishū-Jirin-Jo)
“The path of iai in the school must be pursued by the warrior at all costs and is a means of carrying out bu.”

The Heishū Jirinden (abbreviated hereinafter as Jirinden) begins with this verse. It is the opening passage written by the second generation head, Katayama Hisataka, in 1647.
「武を為す所の術」”Bu wo nasu tokoro no jutsu”, Just what does this mean?

In this introduction, Hisataka is saying that studying bu (the martial arts) in country at peace is like a wealthy family living frugally, while the preparation of bu in a country in conflict is like throwing water on a fire.
Frequently in the martial arts world “bu” is explained as “the stopping of arms”. However in Jirinden it is written that “Bu, the stopping of arms” does not mean subjugating military force with more military force, but that true “Bu” is the natural abandonment of the use of military force.
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner)

Jirinden(2) Mihatsu no iai and “Jirin no iai.

 Iai wa, shū to michi onajiu shite kokoroau no ii nari」Heishū Jirinden, Vol.1, Iai Wage
Iai is for everyone to carry out the roles they are meant to, keeping ones blade in the sheath of ones heart, harmonizing ones feelings and not drawing one’s sword.

  Wage (tr. Conciliation, mediation) is a chapter in which, when put simply, the meaning of iai is explained. The warrior follows the military arts, the farmer works in agriculture, the craftsman manufactures, while the merchant works in commerce. Each individual dedicates themselves to the role they are meant to serve. Everyone keeps their blade sheathed in the scabbard of their heart and no-one draws their swords. This, it is explained, is iai. This is called mihatsu no iai(iai without drawing)
Taking the initiative on a person ( “sen wo toru” meaning “to take the initiative”) is advantageous, but acting first also leads to conflict. Of course there also should be merits not causing conflict. This is called “fusō no ri” and is also called “sen no sen wo toru” (literally, “acting before the initiative is taken”). If one is able to act before the initiative has been taken, one can govern the country in peace without conflict. This is what is called “jirin no iai”.
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner)

Jirinden (3)  The waves on the shore retreat, leaving not a trace.

Iso no nami wa, sude ni uchite sumiyakani sonoba wo sari, are masani kyo no chi ni ankyo suru no kakushina nari (Heishū Jirinden, Vol.1, Ittō-jutsu)
“Iso-no-nami means waves beating upon the shore and immediately receding. It is a name with the hidden meaning of living tranquilly in the place one is originally meant to exist in “.

 “Iso no nami” (literally “waves on the shore”) is a symbolic expression particularly dear to those learning Katayama-ryu iai-kenjutsu and Hoki-ryu iaijutsu. The rocky places on the coast are called “, iso” and it means that like waves beating upon the rocks, disorder is quelled, and after being suppressed, one quickly recedes without a trace like a wave.
“Iso no nami” can also be written with the kanji , i-sono-nami. This says to abide by a world with no injustice, to be undisturbed and unwavering. One takes action and rests, ebbing and flowing like the tide. When the world is in disorder one acts, repressing injustice, and when peace has returned one disappears without a trace.
This is what is called “kiribiki ippon no iai”, (literally “iai that cuts and moves back”).
(Presented by Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner)

Jirinden (4)  Bu is not Strength and Violence.

「Toryū ni iu tokoro no bu to wa mōretsu no koto nite wa arazu, kankasokuchi no gi nari」Heishū Jirinden Vol.1, Iaidai zukai)
“In this school, what is called Bu is not something violent, but means to act decisively and quickly to subdue disorder. “

 The primary aim of Bu is to understand the meaning of “kankasokuchi ( 果 速 治)”, to act decisively and quickly to subdue disorder. If your defeat will bring about the resolution of a disturbance, then it is best to be defeated quickly. If victory would provide peace, then be victorious quickly and put an end the disorder.
When your
actions conform to the intent of the heavens it is called “Shōdō 正道 (the correct path)”. Using this Shōdō, discerning the good or evil of things, foretelling the merits and demerits of events, not prolonging disorder, and preventing disorder from even occurring is what is called “Budō”, the way of Bu.
(Presented by: Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner)

Jirinden (5)  Originally the length of the blade in the daisho is not decided.

Daisho-tō wa motoyori sunshaku no sadame nashiHeishū Jirinden Vol.1, Tōryū iai katana sunshaku)
There is essentially no rule regarding the length of the long and short swords.

Properly speaking there no established measurement regarding the length of the katana. As long as one makes use of a sword that is appropriate to one’s height, weight and physical characteristics, (any length) is fine. It is good if the tsuba covers the fist so a round shape is said to be appropriate.
In a poem we find the following verse:「Onore o ba kagame, katana nomi wa sorase. Gyōsa wa kaku ni tsuba wa marokare
“Crouching the body, only the katana extends in a curve. Making angles in movement and a round tsuba is good. “
“Making angles in movement” is when the opponent attacks, we receive it according to the angles of a triangle.

Note – The height of men during the Edo era is estimated to have been the lowest in Japanese history at 155 ~ 157cm. Although it is said that the typical length of the katana during this period was from 2 shaku 3 sun to 3 sun 5 bu (70.6 ~ 71.2 cm), there are many short blades of 2 shaku 1 sun 5 bu in the “Higo koshirae” style used in Hōki-ryū iai remaining. This is said to be because when cutting with one hand in iai, the kissaki extends approximately 8 or 9 sun (24 to 27 cm) further than during a two handed cut. Since one can draw a shorter sword more quickly it is said to be advantageous in iai where one instant determines victory or defeat. In modern times, there is a tendency to use swords longer than in those days because of the training in saya-biki (pulling the sword sheath back during the draw).
[Bu, Sun, Shaku: Japanese units that are respectively 0.3, 3.03 and 30.3 cm]
(Presented by: Yuji Wada, Costantino Brandozzi, Rennis Buchner)

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