Hōki-ryū iaidō in Indiana

Hōki-ryū iaidō

at Yobushin Dojo, Indiana


Paul Smith

Instruction at our school is offered by Paul Smith, 5th-dan in Hōki-ryū, under the supervision of Nakamura sensei. A practitioner of Japanese martial arts since 1986, Paul also holds a 4th-dan in Jiyushinkai aikido and studies Shintō Musō-ryū jōdō. Paul has a work webpage at Indiana University's Physics Department.

Training location and times.

Our sensei, Nakamura Testu 中村 哲, holds an 8th-dan and the title of hanshi (master teacher) in Hōki-ryū under the auspices of the All Japan Iaidō Federation. He began studying martial arts at the age of sixteen with a foray into Takenouchi-ryū jujutsu in high school. At Hiroshima University he trained in kendo under Ōta-sensei, earning a 2nd-dan in this art as well as a 1st-dan in the unarmed fighting art of Shōrinji kempō. His interests then shifted to Hōki-ryū, which he studied under Aihara Katsuo (below) for ten years, attaining his current rank in May, 2000. Nakamura sensei calls his group Kangyō-kai, alluding to Katayama’s founding inspiration, which came in the form of the Japanese character kan, or “to pierce.” (As a compound, kangyō means “to follow a course thoroughly”— an ideal for all budō practitioners, perhaps.)

Nakamura sensei is a visiting professor at St. Andrew's University of Education, emeritus professor at Hyogo University of Education, and director of Global Japanese Culture Education Research Center at Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan. The Hōki-ryū school in Indiana began when Nakamura sensei’s academic interests led him to Indiana University at Bloomington as a visiting scholar in 1998. His generous and expert instruction of iaidō soon led to a substantial following of students and the formation of a local Hōki-ryū club. We are grateful that Nakamura sensei kindly continues to supervise iaidō training at the Yobushin Dojo closely. In May and June of 2009 he taught a practicum on iaidō and Japanese culture through the Hyogo University Extension Programs.

Prof. Nakamura has a ResearchMap website and a Wa (Japanese) culture website with information about iaido and his Koinobori project. Note the video of his iaido demo at St. Andrew's University of Education.

Nakamura and his students in Japan
Above: Nakamura sensei and his students at Hyogo University.

Aihara Katsuo 相原勝雄, born ca. 1901 in Sendai, studied Hōki-ryū in Hiroshima with Ishii Masayuki sensei. One of the higlights of Aihara sensei's professional life was serving as a secretary member in the government of Ikeda Hayato, the prime minister of Japan from 1960 to 1964. After Ikeda's retirement, Aihara sensei returned to Hiroshima and opened a Hōki-ryū school, where he taught until his death in 1985. He left a legacy of dedicated students, and an instructional book entitled Hōki-ryū iaidō kyōshō 伯耆流居合道教書 (Hiroshima kenyūkai, 1975). He was one of the most senior exponents of Hōki-ryū, a fact that the All-Japan Iaidō Federation recognized by awarding him the highest rank of 10th-dan

Ishii Masayuki 石井將之 studied Hōki-ryū iai and Yōshin-ryū naginatajutsu under Hoshino Kumon and probably teachers from Hiroshima. By profession a high school principal, Ishii sensei was a hanshi of the former Dai Nihon Butokukai (the Great Japan Martial Virtue Assocation), and his manuscript Hōki-ryū iaidō Sonota no waza no uchi 伯耆流居合道其他の業の内 was published posthumously by the Hiroshima kenyūkai in 1967.

Aihara sensei
Left: Aihara sensei performs Hōki-ryū's famous sōete-tsuki.
Right: Aihara sensei in jōdan no kamae.


Our lineage, from the founder to our teacher in this generation, is as follows:

  1. Katayama Hisayasu 片山久安 (1575-1650)
  2. Katayama Hisataka 片山久隆 (1626-1699)
  3. Katayama Hisayuki 片山久之 (1686-1759)
  4. Katayama Hisayoshi 片山久義 (d. 1798)
  5. Hoshino Kakuemon 星野角兵衛 (d. 1791)
  6. Seki Gumma Tsunetaka 関郡馬経貴
  7. Hoshino Ryūsuke 星野龍介 (1762-1837)
  8. Hoshino Shirōzaemon 星野四郎左衛門 (d. 1882)
  9. Hoshino Kumon 星野九門 (1838-1916)
  10. Ishii Masayuki 石井將之
  11. Aihara Katsuo 相原勝雄 (ca. 1901-1985)
  12. Nakamura Tetsu 中村 哲

Note that Katayama family's third generation, Hisanari 久成, died at the age of 30 and never inherited the headmastership from his father, Hisataka. Instead, it went to Hisanari's son, Hisayuki. The first four generations are simply the lineage of the sōke (the "head family"). Generations 5 through 9 are the heads of the Hoshino line, some of whom sought and received license directly from the Katayama. According to a recently discovered makimono, Ishii Masayuki studied directly under Hoshino Kumon, and was probably contemporary with Yoshizawa Ikki 吉澤一喜 (1886-1972) (Ikki can also be pronounced Kazuki). Yoshizawa, a practitioner of Hōki-ryū, was an influential figure in kendo and iaidō, and it was thanks to him as well as Sawayama Shūzō 沢山収蔵 that Hōki-ryū kata are incorporated in the seitei gata for both arts. From the tenth generation on are simply teachers who received their certification from national budō federations, and no representation of headmastership is intended.

[ Home | FAQ | History | Curriculum | Instructors | Links ]