The Toda Clan’s Iga Connection

Great news!!! and still more to come as I am still probing into this old manuscript…

While searching for information on the historical Tozawa Hakuunsai, the founder of our school of Gyokko Ryu martial arts, I came across a few bits of information I would like to share from a book titled “The New Edition of the Geography of Iga” (1939), written by Mr. Nakano Kaneo. This is a serious historical text on the Iga region and is not a fictional book in any way.

First, in my first book, The Hidden Lineage, I introduced Toda Zairoku, an Iga ninja that fought under the banner of Momota Toubei, a blood relative of the famous Momochi clan. He lived in the township of Nagata less than an hour walk from central Iga Ueno city. Now I have come to learn that the Toda family were an old clan of the Nagata area, they had been there for many generations before Oda Nobunaga’s invasion of Iga.

Second, the shrine on the Momota family’s grounds enshrined the kami Ame-no-tajikarao 天之手力雄命, this kami is the same kami enshrined at Togakushi shrine in Nagano. This kami is only found at a handful of shrines in Japan and most of them are satellite shrines of Togakushi. I hardly find this to be coincidence.

Third, I learned that the Toda family held the title of Iga no Kami or “protector of Iga” for 5 generations.

Fourth, the Nagata Township was the ancestral home of the descendants of Nagata Sukuri, one of the military commanders that come over to Japan from Kudara (Baekje) with Achi no Omi in the third century CE. This family is considered one of the main families in the Sakanoue Clan. The Sakanoue clan were headmasters to the Momochi-Den Martial Arts, Gyokko, Koto and Togakure Ryu.

Fifth, local Iga legends from long ago say that in the Genpei War time period, Tozawa Hakuunsai taught Ise Saburo Yoshimori ninjutsu in the Township of Zairyo in Iga. This shows that Hakuunsai was not a character created for the Tachikawa series of stories about Sarutobi Sasuke, but rather that the Tachikawa series borrowed the legends of Hakuunsai and made them popular throughout Japan. Takamatsu Sensei did not put him out of the proper time period in history as many critics of the Bujinkan would like to claim. Ise Saburo also is said to have had a close relationship with the Suzuki clan of Kumano, again headmasters of the Gyokko Ryu school of martial arts.

I will detail all of these findings in my upcoming second book, The Hidden Lineage 2 – The Imperial Tigers

The search continues…

Sean Askew 導冬 Doto

Bujinkan Kokusai Renkoumyo

January 23, 2020

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