Essence of Budō – Menkyo Kaiden Henchō Gata

From the Essence of Budō book. There is a second omission in the English translation for the sōjutsu section (p90), under the Menkyo Kaiden Henchō Gata 免許皆伝変蝶型 heading there is a short descriptive paragraph.

Below is the Japanese text and a translation:


Changing butterfly patterns passed from teacher to student
These are the changing butterfly techniques, that is to say as the butterfly dances and plays (flutters) so must you. Move the body to the right and left, turning around the opponent’s side, harmonise and enter in to the space with intent. To fully make use of the spear a person needs to practice and gain competence with all these techniques and to be able to use them together/interchangably.

The above is my translation, the last line being quite difficult to find the best way to express what is written.

Kukishin Ryū Sōjutsu and the Creation Myth of Japan

The idea in the henchō gata of thrusting into emptiness or space is an interesting reflection of one of the creation stories of Japan.

Thrusting ame-no-nuboko into the mist

Two deities, Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto, formed the first islands out of churning chaos. In this task they were granted the bejeweled spear Ame-no-Nuboko 天沼矛 (heavenly jeweled spear). They descended to the floating bridge of heaven Ame-no-Ukihashi 天浮橋 and were halted by an obscuring mist. Izanagi thrust the spear into the mist repeatedly until it began to evaporate. When he felt it strike he pulled the spear back, mud dropped from the tip of the spear, water began to flow and the mist cleared to reveal an island surrounded by clear water.

An alternate version of this story has Izanagi thrusting the spear into the mist and stirring the ocean, when he withdraws the spear the salt water drops to create the island.

Both relate to the idea in the henchō gata of thrusting into emptiness (mist or the void) and striking the target, as well as thrusting repeatedly and turning or rotating the spear head. The connection between the yari and the elements of water and air (leading to mist) are also reinforced.


~ by bujinshugyo on December 13, 2011.

2 Responses to “Essence of Budō – Menkyo Kaiden Henchō Gata”

  1. Wow! Thank you for that. I often read your posts and they are wonderful. Especially this story of the mythology behind henchō gata. I wish I had been aware of it back when I wrote about this bojutsu experience on my own blog in 2010:

    Anyhow thank you for your posts and I will keep reading!


  2. […] : Évaluez ceci : […]

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