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Message from Sensei (2006)

Jan. 2006

To all Jinenkan members:

Now we have entered a New Year.

In this time, I will explain to all of you the etiquette which you should use within the dojo.

1. Offerings for the Kamiza and Kamidana

In the offering dishes and a cup are placed 3 items; water, salt and rice. Water is placed in and changed every day. Salt and rice are replaced on the first of the month and on the 15th day of every month.

Next, Sakaki leaves are replaced when they begin to wither. Shimenawa ( a braided straw rope made from rice stalks) is changed on the 28th day of December. The old one is removed and a new one placed in its stead. The old one must not be thrown away, it is instead returned to a Shinto Shrine or one can burn it. You must also not allow dust or dirt accumulate on the Kamiza or Kamidana.

2. Entering and exiting the dojo

When you enter the dojo, after you first step, find and face the Kamiza or Kamidana and bow once. The idea of the God here is one of watching over your practice and safeguarding you from injury; also, to help each person advance their technique. For this reason, you pay your respects with a bow. This also means that the dojo is a sacred place.

3. Etiquette while in the dojo

Slumping or slouching on the floor or a chair is considered to be rude and unpleasant behavior. The dojo is a place for practice and therefore, there is no place for relaxation or resting. Of course, stretching or preparation for training is allowed.

4. Etiquette for using weapons in the dojo

If you are not using a weapon like the sword or shinai, you must place it back in the Katanakake (sword hangers) or in the Katanatate(stand). In Japan, generally speaking, putting away a bo or a yari is the same, place it in its appropriate place. This place is still called Katanakake or Katanatate. While you are using a weapon, if you must temporarily put it down, place it against any wall but that which holds the Kamiza. If you place a weapon down on the floor within the training area, someone may step on your weapon and damage it or may injure themselves. This can be very dangerous. Do not leave a weapon on the floor in the training area.

Since these weapons are things that we use to protect ourselves, it is considered extremely rude to step over (without touching) a weapon. Please do not do this.

5. Etiquette while bowing to the Sensei ( how to line up)

Before and after training, all students line up and bow to the Sensei. I will now explain this etiquette. The line should be formed so that the Sensei is at the tip of an imaginary triangle with the students as the base. When creating the line, the senior-most student is at the line�s extreme right. The other students line up to the left of this person in descending order of rank. If there is just one person, please sit directly in front of the Sensei. This concludes the explanation of etiquette while in the dojo. I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year.

Unsui Sensei

Jinenkan Kancho

Apr. 2006

To all Jinenkan members,

At this time, I would like to explain to you all about the origin of Japanese Kenjutsu. The birth of Japanese Kenjutsu can be said to come from the middle of the 5th century. In Ibaraki Prefecture at the Kashima Shrine, which still stands today, there was a Shinto priest with the name � Mahito�. It is said that he devised tachijutsu. From the shrine at Kashima (Kashima Jingu), Mahito taught 7 Shinto priests his tachijutsu who then went their separate ways. These were the �Kantou Shichi Ryu� or, �The Seven Schools of the Kantou Region�.

Then 700 years later, in the 12th century, there lived a man in Kyoto who was a wise-man, a sage, named �Hougan�.

This man devised his own brand of tachijutsu and taught this to eight Buddhist followers of the area called Kuramayama, a mountain known for spiritual quests. From this there were formed eight ryu-ha called collectively the � Kyo Hachi Ryu�.

The reason why a priest or holy person would be the founder of a kenjutsu school is because, from ancient times, the � tsurugi�( ancient straight sword) was considered to be one of the sacred articles handed down from the gods. In the handling of such objects a priest or holy man would be very familiar. In any case, from these two East and West �countries� ( really regions in present day Japan) these many schools of kenjutsu were born.

So therefore, the school of kenjutsu that we study, the Kukishinden Happo Bikenjutsu comes from these schools. From which school the Kukishinden Happo Bikenjutsu Souke Izumono Kanja Yoshiteru learned his kenjutsu is not clear, however, that he learned this kenjutsu from one of the eight schools of the Kyo Hachi Ryu lineages is not in question.

In short, it is lucky that we may learn and study these precious, historical facts. So it is important that you practice the techniques according to the original writings.

Unsui Sensei

Jinenkan Kancho

July 2006


To all Jinenkan members,

This year, at the American Seminar, many people could come and participate. Because of this, the training was very enjoyable. Since I had previously lived in Maryland for three years, this return to America brought with it a taste of nostalgia. I was also happy to see people that I have not seen in a while and pleasantly surprised by their progress. Also, I recall that an unexpected , but pleasant episode occurred during the tome when I was explaining the way to wear the hakama.

This time, I would like to present the theme, � In life, what do you choose?� to you all. In order to live our lifestyles, we must have an income that produces a profit. In the case of trying to live one�s life happily, one must try to include hobbies in along with one�s work. This is imperative to happiness in life. In my case, happiness, as well as budo, for the present, allows me to live a joyful life. No matter what obstacles you come across along the way, I believe that if you persist for more than 40 years, you will surpass ordinary people and become an extraordinary person. Also, to persevere in life, when it came time to choose a way to balance this with work; in my case, I was able to add budo into my time at work. Luckily, for the passage of more than 60 years, there has been no war in Japan. I have been able to spend time doing budo. However, in the hierarchy of the office world, probably something can�t help being sacrificed for the sake of a profit.

Generally, it is said that it is good if you can combine your work and your hobbies. This is a mistake. Basically, hobbies should be the things that relieve and take away stress from a person. Also, when considering work which gives one an actual profit, liking or disliking the job should not matter. The good thing about budo is that, as you advance, what follows is an improvement in your own confidence and a corresponding composure in all things. When you don�t fit into your opponent�s pace, you set your sights on the � in-between� parts and you will be able to see the truth. I ask you to do this in whatever you persevere through.

While this may be superfluous, very soon a book discussing my experiences in martial arts from the beginning through the 40-plus years that I have studied will be made available to you. Please continue to train and enjoy yourselves.

Unsui Sensei

Jinenkan Kancho

October 2006

To all Jinenkan members,

As before, whenever I have a memory about something that I have written before, I feel that I would once again like to write about it. For humans, as we advance in years, it follows that it becomes difficult for our ears to hear and for our eyes to see. However, our heart grows serene and quiet. As a result of this, one is able to really see one�s opponent.

For all of us, we have two ears and two eyes. There is a sound, scientific, bio-physical reason why we have two of each, however, what I am trying to say is that I generally have to hear something from 2 or more people or see something more than 2 times to come to a conclusion about it. This is because we only have one mouth. When we discuss something important, we have to think about it a lot before we can form an opinion. While one can certainly make corrections to what one has said, it is better to say what one really means only once.

Here I will digress a bit from this topic. Long ago in Japan, and even today as well, in the case of an artisan learning a skill from a master or at an academy, it is said that they will �steal� the art. Of course, the teacher does not teach them everything that he knows. If the student cannot do the work of the craft, he is struck a blow to the head. Therefore, it is through the experience of amassing repeated failures that the craft becomes ingrained in the body.

Budo is exactly the same. Previous to my founding of the Jinenkan, I had only taught you the very outline of the budo skills. Although at that time I did not care if people could do something or not. In actuality, I truly wanted everyone (all the old students), in those days, to get what I was teaching into their bodies. I , instead, want to kindly teach you everything that you want to learn. This is because you are my successors.

Someday, if you are able to read the book which I plan to put on sale, and read about the things that I have done in my youth, you can get these ideas into your own body and hopefully it will clear up any confusions which you might have.

In September, in England, as well as in October, in America, I look forward to seeing you all. Let�s have a good time.

Unsui Sensei

Jinenkan Kancho