Togakure Ryū Ninpō – article translation
Togakure Ryū Ninpō
Togakure Daisuke was a vassal of Kiso Yoshinaka in the early 12th century, he hid in Iga after losing a battle, from his uncle Kagakure Dōshi he was taught a variety of martial arts beginning with kosshijutsu and kenjutsu. Though the name was changed depending on the period it was first referred to as Togakure ryū happō biken. In the 17th century the Toda family took over the school. Iga ninja such as Momochi Sandayū learnt from the distinguished family when it moved to Kishū province. Specialities of the Togakure ryū are shuko, senban throwing, shuriken and water evasion techniques including the use of a 4 shaku bamboo tube. Togakure ryū ninpō taijutsu is a branch of kosshijutsu.
霞隠 Kagakure – mist hiding, hiding in the mist – also read as Kain.
雲隠 Kumogakure – cloud hiding, hiding in the clouds
道士 Dōshi – a moral person or Taoist
Kagakure and Kumogakure are used interchangeably, both can be seen as coming form the from the homeland of Togakure ryū – the mist sheathed mountain slopes of Iga – as well as the use of smoke to escape that is synonymous with the legend of the Ninja. So you can see Kagakure Dōshi as a religious person who is able to hide in the mists and clouds – this also brings to mind the 修験道 Shugendō idea of being able to subsist through eating mist.
百地三太夫 Momochi Sandayū – a famous ninja who’s exploits appears in many stories.
手甲 Shuko – hand spikes. But also be read as Tekko – hand armour or armoured sleeves.
施盤投げ Senban nage – rotating plate throwing. Although the first character used in the text is 施 which refers to begging or alms so reads ‘begging bowl throwing’ bringing to mind the idea of disguise as a beggar in espionage. The characters for rotating plate are 旋盤.
手裏剣 Shuriken – blade inside the hand, small throwing blade
四尺のしの竹 Yonshaku no Shinodake – 4 length or measure bamboo tube. A shaku is 30.3 cm so the breathing tube is around 1.2 meters.
The genealogy chart shows Togakure ryū as coming from the Gyokko ryū of Hachidō Nyūdō through Kagakure Dōshi to Togakure Daisuke. It then passes on though Momochi Sandayū to the Toda family, to Toda Shinryūken Masamitsu, Takamatsu Toshitsugu then Hatsumi Masaaki.