Kiichi Hogen’s Book of Tactics – 鬼一法眼の三略巻

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According to legend, Yoshioka Kiichi Hogen, ran away from his home while still a young boy due to a tumultuous relationship with his father. His family had served the Genji clan for many generations but when they went to war with the Taira clan, he ran away from his father and his home and fought for the Taira.

He became a great military leader and strategist but, after the war,  as he was still connected to the Genji clan he never received the recognition that he felt he deserved from the Taira leadership, especially Taira Kiyomori.

Kiichi is then said to have secluded himself in Kurama mountain and compiled his great work on military strategy in three volumes. Heaven, Earth and Man.

The legend continues that as time goes on Kiichi comes to regret leaving his family and his allegiance to the Genji clan, and even worse he hears that Taira Kiyomori has become extremely interested in his now famous book of tactics. After his recent change of heart, he did not want his masterpiece to fall into the hands of the Taira clan.

But, to not turn over the text would be an act of defiance against the Taira lord. So, Kiichi’s younger half-brother, Kisanta, comes up with an idea and talks his lord Ushiwakamaru (Minamoto no Yoshitsune) into stealing the Book of Tactics from Kiichi’s home. In this way Kiichi Hogen would not be implicated as everyone believed he was on bad terms at the time with both Ushiwakamaru and Kisanta.

In the end, Kiyomori’s representative, Kasahara Tankai, was sent to get the Book of Tactics and upon arriving he overhears through the wall Kiichi’s daughter discussing the plan to steal the book with Ushiwakamaru and Kisanta.

Immediately Tankai attempted to draw his sword as he came into the room but Ushiwakamaru was too fast for him and cut him down before he was able to get the blade out of the scabbard.

When Kisanta took the blade from his Lord and cleaned it, the two noticed Kiichi Hogen in the doorway holding his book of tactics, offering his true Genji Lord, Minamoto no Yoshitsune (a.k.a. Ushiwakamaru and Torazo) the Book Of Tactics.

Our Gyokko Ryū Ninpo founder, before taking on the name Tozawa Hakuunsai, is said to have been one of the eight Tengu that served Kiichi Hogen at Kurama Mountain and taught Minamoto Yoshitsune the arts of kenjutsu and ninjutsu.

Who were these Tengu that served Kiichi Hogen?

And what did they represent?

I will cover much more information in detail regarding the identity of this important Tengu in my upcoming book, Hidden Lineage – The Imperial Tigers. Look for it out in a few more months.

The search continues…

Sean Askew – 導冬 Dōtō

Bujinkan Kokusai Renkoumyo

January 21st, 2020

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