Jujutsu Becomes Judo #3
he invented some methods of jujutsu. Together with his two
medical pupils he found out 21 ways of seizing an opponent and afterwards found
out 51 others. After his death his pupils founded two separate schools of the
art, one of them naming his school Yoshinryu, from Yoshin, his teacher's name;
the other named his school Miuraryu, also from his teacher's name.
The next account is that of a manuscript named Tenjin
Shinyoryu Taiiroku. In it there occurs a conversation between Iso Mataemon, the
founder of the Tenjin Shinyoryu, and Terasaki, one of his pupils. The origin of
jujutsu is related thus: There once lived in Nagasaki a physician named
Akiyama, who went to China to study medicine. There he learned an art called
hakuda which consisted of kicking and striking, differing, we may note, from
jujutsu, which is mainly seizing and throwing.
Akiyama learned three methods of this hakuda and 28 ways of
recovering a man from apparent death. When he returned to Japan, he began to
teach this art, but as he had few methods, his pupils got tired of it, and left
him. Akiyama, feeling much grieved on this account, went to the Tenjin shrine
in Tsukushi and there worshipped for 100 days. In this place he discovered 303
different methods of the art. What led to this is equally curious. One day
during a snowstorm he observed a willow tree whose branches were covered with
snow. Unlike the pine tree, which stood erect and broke before the storm, the
willow yielded to the weight of snow on its branches, but did not break under
it. In this way, he reflected jujutsu must be practiced. So he named his school
Yoshinryu, the spirit of the willow-tree-school.
In the Taiiroku it is denied that Chingempin introduced
jujutsu into Japan-but while affirming that Akiyama introduced some features of
the art from China, it adds, "it is a shame to our country" to
ascribe the origin of jujutsu to China. In this opinion we ourselves concur. It
seems to us that the art is Japanese in origin and development for the
1. An art of defense without weapons is common in all
countries in a more or less developed state, and in Japan the feudal state
would necessarily develop jujutsu.
2. The Chinese kempo and Japanese ju-jutsu differ materially
in their methods.
3. The existence of a similar art is referred to, before the
time of Chingempin.
4. The unsatisfactoriness of the accounts given of its
5. The existence of Japanese wrestling from very early
times, which in some respects resembles jujutsu.
6. As Chinese arts and Chinese civilizations were highly
esteemed by the Japanese, in order to give prestige to the art, jujutsu may
have been ascribed to a Chinese origin.
7. In ancient times teachers of the different branches of
military arts, such as fencing, using the spear, etc., seem to have practiced
this art to some extent.
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