Yasuda Ryu Ninjutsu Densho Parts 1 through 16

Yasuda Ryu Densho Translation


A Shinobi, as ordered by his General, in non-wartimes will act as a spy in domains that may someday become an enemy. The shinobi observes the general situation of the domain and if he or she finds something that is disadvantageous to their side they will do their utmost to report it to their General as soon as possible.  



Also, if you come upon the enemy, their main troops or cavalry, it is the path they plan to use to attack our domain. (At this time, there are occasions when you can make a new path and advance. Be cautious.) If possible, when it came to what was to be carried such as food, the number of guns, grenades, people, main troops, reserve corps, etc. it should be enough to go four “Ri” from the border. (As a rule of thumb, a traveling army should travel four “Ri” in one day). Their purpose is to be in use long before their General arrives to the battle. Also, the Shinobi surprise attacks the enemy’s positions and takes actions to strike fear into the heart of the enemy. They make use of causing various disturbances, etc. to push the enemy back in fear. Understood? By the commandment of the General, the shinobi will enter the enemy’s territory and do their best against the enemy. When our lands are in danger of attack and they feel the need to change course because they feel an uneasiness about the road, if this is due to primarily the shinobi that were sent, Good right? Happy, happy. 

Also, if the movements of our own troops are made easier, our Shinobi units did well.


As long as the enemy is busy hunting down our shinobi before attacking our ally, that is good. Do not let your guard down.


A shinobi is loyal to his lord. To be a shinobi you must love your country, if you forget this you are no different than a thief. Don’t forget this. Understood?


Behind the scenes the shinobi especially makes use of the residents of the enemy’s territory. To get them to join our side or to make use of them is considered the shinobi’s greatest strength. We are to make use of them like our hands and feet. Understood?


However, don’t forget, those who are motivated by material things and money are our assets. On many occasions there is a danger of betrayal by people motivated by things and money. Do not forget this. Understood? Sincerely keep this one thing in mind regarding material wealth as a motivator. Understood? 


When shinobi arrive, it is a surprise attack.   Our main plan, once you have a thorough schedule, made preparations, and have infiltrated the enemy’s territory, is to conceal your intentions and movements so you can take the enemy where he has no countermeasure plan. Understood?, If a person of a ninjutsu group must infiltrate the enemy’s territory in small numbers, collecting and disseminating information, especially, especially, the shinobi leader  must pay special attention to communications, work towards knowing the movements of the allies, or when communicating with the allies, if you get frustrated, be very, very, careful with the timing and method so as not to give away our position and movements. Understood? 


A person active in shinobi activities, when on the move, will not be able to have supplies and food sent from the main units, nor should one desire this. Food should be obtained within the enemy’s territory. Be particularly very careful not to let the enemy know our numbers and position. Understood?


Things to keep in mind before undertaking Shinobi activities


In the event of shinobi activities, be thoroughly prepared in advance. If you are not prepared you should consider shinobi activities impossible. Understood?


When conducting shinobi activities in the enemy’s territory, make sure to consolidate everything you will need until your return after its finished. Return knowing the enemy’s movements, or the movements of our allies, etc., make no mistake. Things like the following are necessary to know.





  • The enemy’s movements. Past. Current. Planned.
  • Items and equipment that our members and unit will need.
  • Are our attacks and movements successful?
  • Is there good communication with the main troops? 


Spring, summer and autumn are good for shinobi activities but there are times when winter makes it not possible. Understood? Also, the body can become weakened by sweating in the summer so be very, very, careful of the things you eat. Understood? Also, before undertaking shinobi activities, if the regions and territories have a disease plaguing them, measures should be taken. Understood? However, you may even make use of this weak point. 


When moving in the winter, if you get sweaty (because you are wearing many things), if you rest, your sweat will make you cold and it will become difficult to get moving. Also, when you go to sleep you will use charcoal, kindling, etc. This will be extra baggage for the “Konidagumi” (supply squadron) when going and returning. Use it. Also, the advance team generally does not make fires, the movement range and location are narrowed, movement is slow. Think before moving understood? After all, fires burn. Keep an eye on where the fires are.    









In addition, regarding Shinobi activities, the things you must obtain, is as follows, understood?

  • The movement of the enemy in relation to the movement of the shinobi. The terrain. The civil affairs. The climate. The level of life in the area (are they energetic, are they well off).
  • The movement of the enemy at the point where the shinobi enters enemy territory. The entrance place of the shinobi. Movement of the enemy near the path or roads the shinobi will use. The terrain and especially the enemy’s position or conditions in it. Movements within the residential areas and conditions for infiltration based on topography. Able to go or not.
  • The type and number of targets to attack. The status of the enemy’s defenses at these targets. The status regarding the details of the topography in the vicinity. 
  • What types of things will be used in the attack and the topography. 
  • Residential areas. How are the enemy’s main forces handling their food supplies, weapons and reinforcements, what do they do with the wounded?

If possible, it is best to have a far-seeing plan.

(Oral transmission here)








  • When shinobi activities are undertaken, especially with things, the main concern is the movement of them. The number of people in the group. While thinking about methods of covert infiltration, eliminate unnecessary items. 
  • Depending on circumstances, there will be times when the shinobi may not be able to use light things, small things that may be dropped, things that get wet, things that get warm, things that rot, things that give away our goal, things that make noise, things that reflect light, fragile things. 
  • Items needed for Shinobi activities, Covert infiltration, Shinobi observation. Items that are always used. Deep mountains. Deep valleys. Marshlands. Rivers. Seas. Paths that continue along cliffs. Etc. As well as protection from the rain. What to use as replacements if the items brought were not able to be used in the enemy’s territory.
  • Explosives (waterproof) to be used when attacking the enemy. Or items used for signaling the ally forces. (smoke signals, flags, flames, mirrors)
  •  Gold (money) or material goods to be used when utilizing the people of the enemy’s territory.
  • Before infiltrating, practice two or three times at a place with similar terrain as the enemy’s territory taking care to leave no way out. Understood? (as much as possible)
  • The shinobi leader and all member or shinobi, look closely at the characteristics of movements. Plan for the worst-case situation.






The shinobi leader is the eyes of the main forces. Cooperating and communicating closely in advance with its arms and heart. Watching the movements of the shinobi units, listening to their reports, following their movements.

Understood? Do not forget that shinobi forces are few in number.

A shinobi infiltrates the enemy’s territory by going far around the enemy’s territory and infiltrate from another land at the backside. (Because this takes time, often it is not in time). Use sea routes, liaisons, etc. In any case, the enemy cannot know our movements or plans. (For the enemy to know our movements we draw out the enemy’s total knowledge and ability)

Understood? Should we infiltrate with one person at a time or many. Move in accordance with the competence of the shinobi leader. Understood? Shinobi movements should be made in these moments, and so there is no breakdown in the movements the shinobi leader must not forget to watch over very carefully. Make your movements while keeping communications secure. Understood?

When infiltrating by sea there is the advantage of being able to send many tools, people, etc. to a distant area that the enemy does not even think of, but there is a fear that it may be restricted to certain goals and actions. There is also the fear that the boat or the sailors could be attacked and blocked in, that the supplies or the boat itself may be taken and used by the enemy.  Think about the uses deeply. Understood? The enemy is not as soft as we think.






As for shinobi, if you get the command from the great general, with the previously obtained information, combined with the enemy’s latest movements, make plans and preparations for a speedy infiltration, obtain the numbers for needed things for the movement, make a long-term plan, without carelessness, understood?

  • When infiltrating the enemy’s territory there are tactical roads or paths and sea routes available. At that time, do not let the enemy become aware of your movements.
  • Be especially careful when the enemy has deployed shinobi or scouts to observe our movements. Also, at this time, it is the shinobi group leader’s first priority to consider if the units should be sent out one at a time or as a group. At that time, the shinobi leader should keep a close ear out for the ally ninja movements. Understood?
  • The shinobi leader will write all the shinobi activities down on paper, consider various things about the enemy’s movements, consider the countermeasures and what to do if the allies meet the worst-case scenario, make use and use all the shinobi. Understood? Then burn this paper. Don’t forget!
  • Our movements are to infiltrate from our positions. When considering the enemy’s territory especially consider the movements of the enemy and the allies. The first priority is to not allow the enemy to know our movements. It is good to consider the safety of the shinobi and their activities. Decide the infiltration point and the tools needed are to be decided. To that end, make infiltration points at gaps in the enemy’s shinobi and security network. Or at places where the enemy has no defenses in place. It is good to make use of the night and the weather. Don’t forget this!



敵は警戒を厳にし、我を捜すために追うて来ると対策の事。 よいな。



Vigilance is key in shinobi activities.  Be a witty group with grasp and direction. Separate the items for shinobi activities into items that are to be carried and larger items, placing large items in sequential hidden places. Utilize the topographical features. Also, take local manpower and goods from the enemy’s areas. Obtain them and make use of them. It is best to quickly quickly get through the dangerous areas. At that time (part of scroll is missing here) Seal/Stamp.  Also, after our movements, local people that were used as guides during our movements, etc. there is a fear of them revealing our movements to the enemy. Be especially especially careful of the dogs the enemy uses. Do not forget. When we think we may be discovered by an enemy that is weaker than we are, we attack and kill it. At times like this, also be aware that it may be a trap. Use caution.

  • When discovered by the enemy, and it seems shinobi activities are impossible, promptly escape from the area (all members) It is good to head to the first or second, pre-decided, rendezvous points. However, the gathering place that is far away at a time like this is no good. Understood?
  • For shinobi activities, first you must decide if the roads will be used. As much as possible, stay low and sneak in (without the enemy noticing) Be ever vigilant. Send the shinobi’s equipment to their destination as soon as possible. Consider the type of location where the shinobi will receive their equipment, so it will be easy to decide how to help them, etc. Understood?
  • Avoid the lands the enemy is vigilant in. To not reveal our shinobi’s movements to the enemy, consider well the high mountains, deep valleys, dense forests, marshlands, etc.







  1. X居りに受忍組の忍びやすき所。
  2. 不詳の者の隠れやすき所及び送しやすき所。敵の警戒をさけ、我が動きを発見されぬごとく動くためには険相なる山、森の中湿地帯等をよしとす。敵は自分の土地なれば、まさかあのような所と思う所が、忍にはよし。
  3. 敵方より近道の無き道。
  4. 忍目標の付近に通ずる川、路を利用する事。されど、敵も我に対する防備をせる事大なれば、其の対策をなし、忍行来事よいか。
  5. 高き山地帯に流れる川はふつう断崖を作り流れ、此れまた□□低地を流るるものは反対に流れゆるく、おまけに湿地帯のこと、ままあり。また高き山地帯の山の中腹にはよく草原あり。利用の事。されど草原にては我が姿が発見されやすし。用心の事。

 Regarding shinobi activities

With Shinobi activities, or the path of stealth, it is especially important in deciding 

  • Places where the enemy’s guard is loose
  • Places where the shinobi can get to their destinations quickly from
  • Depending on the number of shinobi the method of stealth will be different
  • When sending the shinobi scout (when in a large unit) to check the path ahead, use a path that keeps them unseen by the enemy
  • Places to rendezvous with the receiving party that are easily entered by stealth
  • Places to hide or send unknown (unexpected) people. To avoid alarming the enemy and to make our movements as undiscoverable as possible we are happy to make use of the rugged mountain terrain and wetland forests. When the enemy is on his land, in a place unthinkable like this, is the good place for a shinobi.
  • Roads without shortcuts coming from the enemy’s direction
  • Make use of the rivers and roads that lead to shinobi’s target. However, if the enemy has made defenses, there is no countermeasure, consider if shinobi activities are feasible.
  • A river flowing through a high mountain area usually creates a cliff, also things flowing in the XX lowlands flows in the opposite direction, additionally there are the wetlands, as they are. Also, there are plains half-way up mountain ranges. Make use of these. However, our shape can be easily made out in a grassy meadow. Use caution.   

忍行来に御用御申し受けのみぎりは組出の者(先出組)は敵の城。動きにより我が組出の人数及び持ち行く品物は異なるも我が動き、敵の動き、地形。我は敵の兵力大小。我と敵の武器、食糧、(水)。火の受取り。 □□の場。人員。武具。味方より遠く御用のおり、また敵地深く動く時はつとめて集結し、敵に対し用心の時あれば、一時近くに忍をおくか、また少人数にて目的地に忍をよしとす。




On the occasion for receiving a request for a shinobi activity mission, a member (*) from the organization will go to the castle. Depending on the tactics, the number of our members (*) will change, as well as the things that are brought, our movements, the enemy’s movements and the topography will vary. The military might of we and the enemy, big and small must be known. Both ours and their weapons, rations, (water). The distribution locations of black powder. The place of (text missing). Personnel. Military equipment. When an ally from afar welcomes you, or when you are moving deep within the enemy’s territory, strive for concentration, if there is a time when you must be careful of the enemy, leave a shinobi in the area or use stealth to advance to your target location with fewer people.

When performing shinobi activities in the enemy’s territory move covertly and with agility, be especially aware of the Calvary (men on horses), the enemy’s shinobi and the local people. Understood? And be extra careful of getting sick in the enemy’s territory, difficult terrain, or even through bad weather, the mission that was given is the shinobi’s top priority, you must keep moving. Understood? In that case, take into consideration terrain that allows your planned activities, the enemy’s movements, the enemy’s residents movements, etc. and do not forget to prepare countermeasures against those. Also, even if your body is at the brink, do not use the people of the enemy’s territory. Do not forget this. Especially directions (asking for). Understood?
During shinobi activities, to know the level of the vigilance on the roads or to learn the back roads of the enemy’s territory, there are times when a member (*) is sent in and it is good to use this with (text missing). However, there are times when people of the enemy’s territory may topple up from behind. Be careful of this. If the number of Shinobinomono are few, use the way with no paths (or roads) for shinobi activities if it’s not too difficult, keep your (sense of) direction steady, and keeping in mind the type of terrain, make your movements without getting lost. Understood?

But, when taking the way with no roads or path, think of it as going to take three times longer than by going the way with roads and paths. Understood?

(*Note, the terms “Soshutsu no mono 組出の者” and “Senshutsugumi 先出組” is used here and for me it is untranslatable at this time. It appears to be a special word within the Yasuda Ryu (矢寿駄流) ninja that created this manuscript. From the nuance it gives, as it appears twice in this paragraph, it seems to mean the pre-advance units of shinobi. The first group sent out together initial intel.)


In shinobi activities, the members of the infiltration unit form a line. If possible, it is good to have the head shinobi that is to receive your group to inform you of the place, is it on high, level or low ground? When you are alone you must cover the front, back, all sides, everywhere. When you are two, the lead covers the front, hi-low, left and right. The second covers the back, hi-low, left and right. When you are three, the lead covers the front high and low, the second covers the left and right high and low, the third covers the rear, left and right, high and low. Also, it is good to have several people covering each area when you have many. But do not let the enemy become aware of this location. Understood?


When performing shinobi activities, the advance units will check the route, looking into the movements of the enemy, the terrain, the brightness or darkness of the area, the climate. Depending on the location things will vary but it is most important to be sure to be in contact with your main forces following up from behind and be aware of their movements. Also, even if you are aware of your main forces’ movements, be sure not to forget to be in contact with them. Especially when visibility is very bad, such as forests, valleys, behind things, swamps. Etc., be sure to send out scouts or advance units. It is good to build up your position. However, whenever within the enemy’s area of vigilance, be extremely cautious. Because the enemy will also be sneaking around and used to using ninja themselves, be sure to not forget to take countermeasures against this. In addition, the advance scouts of the Shinobi forces will leave the pre-decided signals or signs to show the main forces the way. Understood? Also, it is especially important to not forget that the last member bringing up the tail of the group keeps vigilance to the rear of the team, high-low, left and right. Don’t forget that the whole force is at stake and either one of the group’s elders or even the group commander removes the signals and signs that the advance units left behind. (so as not to be discovered by the enemy). 



Move while avoiding, as much as possible, the people of the enemy forces and lands that you think will take sides with the enemy. Understood? But rather than passing here, when there is no way around, stop in front of the enemy, keep the troop’s camp hidden in such a way the enemy cannot discover it. Plan countermeasures for if you are attacked by the enemy, and then pass through it. At this time, be especially careful not to let the enemy become aware of our movements. Understood? Don’t forget!

When you come across a road or travelled path or objects set up for defensive purposes, immediately get the dimensions of its width. Know its value or usefulness. Know what the enemy currently has, that can be used and what cannot. Know if the path or road is being used or not. See where these roads and paths lead to. Understood? If there are footprints in those places, check to see if they are fresh or old, know their numbers. Got it? Also, watch the movements of the enemy. Know the direction they are moving in. It is good to find out quickly if the enemy has only this path or not. In addition, when the enemy uses it, make your movements in consideration of staying concealed, etc. Understood? In particular, the scouts or advance units should not break contact with the main troops. There are times when the enemy will (intentionally) attack the main troops without attacking the scouts. Be careful of this. Use caution to not consider making the same movements as the enemy.



Especially, if the scouts are few in number, maintain vigilance in all directions while moving from one point to the next, consider the direction of the enemy, use a magnet (compass) if possible, keep these points in mind while moving. Got it? Every now and then take a look back, remember the terrain, know the location of the main forces, remember the places you have been, this is good (keeping these in mind) when making progress to the planned point in enemy territory.

At times like this, it is convenient for knowing where you are if you remember the number of steps you have taken. You should be able to proceed from point to point, but you shouldn’t stop too long. If the shinobi moves on a dark night and can move through places with no paths or roads, be especially careful of your direction. It is good to make your move so that the moon climbs when you reach your destination in the enemy’s land. However, there are times when the enemy will make countermeasures also at the time of the moon’s rising. Incorporate these things when on the move. Understood?

Sean Askew

Bujinkan Kokusai Renkoumyo


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