Ninja Cavemen- 忍びの穴居人

Togakure’s 33 Sacred Shugendo Caves of Antiquity

戸隠の三十三所の聖なる修験道の古窟

When talking about the history and origins of the Togakure Ryū, we must inevitably look at the Hakuun Ryū and the Gyokko Ryū. These three legendary individual lineages of ninjutsu are so closely interrelated that it is often difficult to tell them apart.

戸隠流の歴史や起源を語るとき、必然的に白雲流と玉虎流に目を向けざるを得ない。この3つの伝説的な忍術の系統は、相互に密接に関連しているため、見分けるのが難しいこともあります。

Gyokko Ryū, according to Bujinkan tradition, is the original martial art to be practiced in Japan and is the origin of nearly all the classical schools of Japanese martial arts. This martial art was known by many names, Kyohachi Ryū, Kurama Hachi Ryū, etc. This is the school said to have been taught to Minamoto no Yoshitsune by Kiichi Hogen at Kurama Temple. In Bujinkan lore this lineage is known as Gyokko Ryū Happo Bikenjutsu.

玉虎流は、武神館の伝統によれば、日本で行われている武術の元祖であり、日本の古典的な武術のほぼ全ての流派の源流である。この武術は、京八流、鞍馬八流など多くの名称で知られていました。鞍馬寺で鬼一法眼が源義経に教えたとされる流派です。武神館の伝承では「玉虎流八法秘剣術」と呼ばれている。

According to the legends, ninjutsu at that time was known as Hicho Ongyo no jutsu and was brought to Japan by a mysterious warrior wizard named Ikai. He was said to have fled from Kudara (an old Kingdom in Korea) when it fell to its enemies and escaped to Japan to live as a recluse in a cave in the mountains of Takao in Iga.

伝承によると、当時の忍術は「飛鳥隠形の術」と呼ばれ、日本に持ち込まれたのは謎の武者の魔術師・異匀(いかい)であったという。敵に倒れたクダラ(朝鮮の旧王国)から逃れて日本に逃れ、伊賀の高尾の山中の洞窟で隠遁生活をしていたと言われています。

At this remote cave he taught his art to an ascetic known as Gamon Doshi, who later became the infamous Fujiwara no Chikata, a leader of rebels against the imperial court who was said to have controlled several demons to do his bidding.  

この人里離れた洞窟で、彼は牙門道士として知られる修行者に自分の芸術を教えました。牙門道士は後に悪名高い「藤原千方」となり、朝廷への反乱軍のリーダーとなった。自軍の味方として戦うために複数の鬼を操っていたと言われています。

From here the art of ninjutsu was passed on to Garyu Doshi, the founder of Hakuun Ryū ninjutsu. After mastering ninjutsu under the guidance of Chikata, Garyu founded his school of ninjutsu on Takatsuma Mountain in Shinshu, just across a small valley from Togakushi or Togakure Mountain. Here in the valley of Togakushi, hidden away in the mountainous terrain and cliff faces, Garyu trained in the ways of Shugendo in the 33 ancient caves known as “Sanjusangutsu”.

ここから、白雲流忍術の創始者である牙竜道士に忍術が伝えられました。 千方の指導の下、忍術を習得した後、牙竜は信州の高妻山に忍術の流派を開いた。彼の拠点は、戸隠山から小さな谷を越えたところにありました。牙竜は、この戸隠山の谷間にある三十三窟で修験道の修行をしました。

Hakuun Ryū ninjutsu, due to its complex knowledge of herbal medicines and hallucinogenic plants, specialized in both healing people and poisoning them. The Hakuun Ryū is said to have mastered a poison that with even just the smallest of dose would kill a man instantly with no hope of an antidote. Kunoichi were even said to have been able to deliver this poison through the act of sexual intercourse.

白雲流忍術は、生薬や幻覚作用のある植物の複雑な知識から、人を治すことと毒を盛ることの両方に特化したものである。白雲流は、わずかな量でも人を即死させる毒を習得したと言われています。くノ一は、この毒を性交の行為でも出したとも言われています。

Even now these Togakushi meditating and ritual caves which were used by Shugendo practitioners still exist. Some of them have names such as “Hannya-kutsu” or “cave of perfect wisdom” and “Ryukutsu” or “Dragon Cave”, but now since Shugendo at Togakushi has basically died out, the mountain paths are not clear and it is not easy to get to them.

修験道の修行者が使っていた戸隠の瞑想洞や祭祀洞は、現在でも現存している。中には「般若窟」や「龍窟」などの名前がついているものもあるが、戸隠の修験道は基本的に廃れてしまったため、山道がはっきりしておらず、行くのも容易ではない。

Starting with the Okusha or the “inner shrine” and the Kuzuryusha or “nineheaded dragon shrine”, as these are both built over top of caves at Togakushi that belong to the set of 33 sacred shugendō caves, the shugenja of the time would stop to perform rituals and meditations at each cave to pay their respects and homage on this mountain mandala.

奥社(奥社)と葛龍社(九頭龍社)に始まり、いずれも戸隠の修験道三十三窟に属する洞窟の上に建てられているため、当時の修験者は、この山中曼荼羅に敬意を表し、各洞窟で儀式や瞑想を行っていました。

Around these caves, wizard-like warrior ancestors of the shinobi passed on ancient military texts along with rigorous secret ascetic rituals for generations that later formed the basis for the philosophy and methods of ninpo and ninjutsu in the Togakushi area.

この洞窟の周辺には、魔法使いのような忍びの祖先が、古代の軍記や厳しい秘儀を代々伝え、後に戸隠地方の忍法や忍術の思想や方法の基礎となったといわれています。

During the Warring States period, the Uesugi and Takeda clans competed for supremacy in Shinano and the neighboring provinces. During this time, Togakushi and Iizuna shrines had many practicing shugenja and faithful followers. The Shugenja were a group that both clans would want to have on their side. Shugenja, held a wide range of information about various places and their knowledge of medicinal herbs gave them high reputations for serving as physicians.

戦国時代、信濃国とその近隣では上杉氏と武田氏が覇を競ったが、この時期の戸隠神社や飯綱神社は多くの修験者と信仰者集団を抱えており、両氏にとってぜひ味方につけたい存在であった。特に修験者は、広く各地の情報に通じていたことや、薬草の知識があったことにより従軍医師としての期待が大きかった。

So, as you can see, Shugendo had a very large impact on the development of ninjutsu. Next to Togakushi Mt., on nearby Mt. Iizuna, ascetics created a magic called “Iizuna no Ho”, and in the late Kamakura period, the descendants of this secret tradition, for generations went by the name Sennichidayu. The warlords Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin are both known to have believed in this magic.

このように、修験道は忍術の発展に非常に大きな影響を与えたのです。戸隠山の近くの飯縄山では修験者たちが「飯縄の法」という魔法を編み出し、鎌倉末期にはこの秘伝を伝える子孫が千日太夫と名乗り、この魔法を行いました。戦国武将の武田信玄と上杉謙信は、ともにこの法力を信じたことで知られています。

There was a close relationship between Shugendo, the origin of the ninja arts, and the land of Togakushi. The roots of the Togakure school of Ninjutsu can be traced back to 800 years ago, when in 1181 CE, Kiso Yoshinaka fought a battle with the Heike forces. At the time of the battle, Nishina Daisuke joined the fight as a vassal of Yoshinaka and had long been training at Togakushi and Iizuna. By the time of the battle he had already acquired various skills in the art of shugendō.

忍術のもとである修験道と戸隠という土地は密接な関係があったのです。しかし、「戸隠流忍術」のルーツとしては、800年前に遡ります。

ときは養和元年(1181)、木曾義仲(きそよしなか)は、平家軍と一戦を交えました。その戦いの際に、義仲の家臣として加わったのが仁科大助(にしなだいすけ)です。大助は、古くから戸隠や飯綱で修験道の修行をして、さまざまな技を身につけていました。

After Yoshinaka died in 1184, he escaped to Iga, where he learned the Iga-ryu (ninja arts) and returned to Togakushi to teach the Togakure school of Ninjutsu. He is also known as Togakushi Daisuke, the founder of the Togakure school of Ninjutsu.

そして、寿永3年(1184)、義仲が討ち死にしたあと、伊賀に逃れて、さらにそこで伊賀流忍術を習得してから、戸隠の地にふたたび戻って、戸隠流忍術を開きました。別名、戸隠大助と呼ばれる彼こそ、戸隠流の開祖です。

Although the Iga-ryu and Koga-ryu are well known for their ninjutsu, the Togakure school is the only school of ninjutsu whose techniques have been handed down from generation to generation as an ancient martial art.

忍術と言えば、伊賀流、甲賀流が有名ではありますが、古武道としてその技が伝承されているのは戸隠流だけです。

The Togakushi school of Ninjutsu has been passed down from generation to generation since its inception, and Mr. Masaaki Hatsumi is now the retired 34th headmaster of the school. Today, the famous actor and longtime Bujinkan practitioner, Mr. Takumi Tsutsui, is the 35th reining headmaster of the school.

戸隠流忍術流は開校以来、代々受け継がれてきました。初見良明宗家は、退任された第34代校長で第35代校長は、名優で長年の武神館修行者である筒井巧宗家です。

Sean Askew

Bujinkan Kokusai Renkoumyo

武神館國際連光明

October 13th, 2020

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