The Toda and the Tozawa

I received an inquiry by email asking if I had any reason to believe that the Toda family of the Togakure Ryu had any real historical relationship to the Tozawa family. The question was being raised because Takamatsu Toshitsugu claimed to be a descendant of Tozawa Hakuunasai, the founder of the Gyokko Ryu lineage of ninjutsu. He claims this on his maternal grandfather’s side, via Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu.
In my amateur opinion, yes there is enough evidence to suggest that the Tozawa and the Toda clans were indeed deeply involved with each other. Almost to the point you could say they were the same family. Here is why I believe so: 
First, Takamatsu Toshitsugu and major published Iga histories, such as the Shinpen Iga Chishi”, both place Tozawa Hakuunsai at being born around the year 1159 and 1160 CE. Keep in mind that while Hakuunsai may indeed only be a legend, his place in time is indeed meaningful and symbolic. This is because the family name Tozawa (戸澤) did not start to come in to use until around the year 1185 CE when Taira no Hiramori, the son of Taira no Tadamasa, opposed Kiso Yoshinaka, his own lord, and fled to his estate in what is now part of Shizukuishi, IwateHere, he pledged his loyalty to Minamoto no Yoritomo and fought at the Battle of Yashima and in the campaign against the Northern Fujiwara clan, for which he was given an even grander estate in Mutsu Province. It was here that he adopted the family name of “Tozawa“. However, there is little historical documentation that can back the Tozawa clan’s claim of a Taira ancestry. In actuality, it is more likely that they were descended from powerful local clan who took on the story of a Taira lineage for the sake of prestige. My point here is that legend or not, Hakuunsai is placed in history right at the same time as advocates of the Taira family or possibly even a member of the Taira family itself took on the family name of Tozawa. I believe this to be symbolic of the idea that Hakuunsai, while being of Taira descent, was pro-Minamoto at the time of the Genpei War, a war between the Minamoto and Taira clans that left the Taira decimated in the end. Several of the Taira clan heads had supported the Minamoto because of the harsh tyrannical way that Taira no Koremori had run the court and the country. 
Second, is the case of Tozawa Masanobu, the 5th generation head of the Tozawa clan. He had had two daughters, one of which married a member of the Matsudaira clan and the other to Toda Tadanaka. So here is at least one confirmed case where the Toda blood and the Tozawa blood intermarried and had offspring together. 
Third, is the case of Tozawa Naokatsu, the 4th son of the 9th generation head of the Tozawa clan. He was adopted into the Toda clan by Toda Naochika. This is a second confirmed case of the two clans crossing blood in their lineage. 
If the heads of these two clans were close enough to intermarry and adopt each other, then I propose that it is highly likely that other people, not as influential or noteworthy, from the two clans had also intermarried and such as well. I personally feel that the family of Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu, Takamatsus grandfather, could very well be related to the Tozawa family of Hakuunsai.
But, was Tozawa Hakuunsai a real person??? That is another question, and for that you will have to check out my upcoming second book in the Hidden Lineage series… 
Ninpo Ichizoku!! 忍法一族 
Sean Askew  導冬 Dōtō 
Bujinkan Kokusai Renkoumyo 
October 25, 2020

Share this post

Scroll to Top