Meifu Shinkage-ryū (MSR) is a modern Japanese Martial Art. The techniques taught are part of an almost forgotten skill-set, going back to some of the warrior arts of the samurai and ninja of ancient Japan.
Meifu Shinkage-ryū was created by Dr. Someya Chikatoshi in the 1950s in Japan. The school specializes in hidden, small arms (onkenjutsu), and in particular throwing nails or spikes (Bou Shurikenjutsu). The founder of Meifu Shinkage-ryū studied Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-ryū under Sugino Yoshio. After a few years of training, Someya-Sensei started to learn the Shurikenjutsu techniques that are part of this school. Shurikenjutsu became his passion, and through applying his experience and research, he changed the Shurikenjutsu to what is now Meifu Shinkage-ryū.
In Japan, there are currently only three main schools that focuses on Shurikenjutsu: Meifu Shinkage-ryū, Shirai Ryu and Negishi ryū. Shurikenjutsu is sometimes also part of the curriculum in other weapon schools, such as in Katori Shinto-ryū. In general, even in Japan, only a limited number of budoka study Shurikenjutsu. Worldwide, there are around 200 budoka studying Meifu Shinkage-ryū, and many of them also study other budo.
Yasuyuki Otsuka-Sensei is the current Head Master (Soke) of Meifu Shinkage-ryû Shurikenjutsu. He has been studying throwing objects since he was young, which ultimately resulted in learning Shurikenjutsu. Otsuka-Sensei also learned karatedo and kendo.
In addition to teaching Meifu Shinkage-ryû in Japan, Otsuka-Sensei teaches in official Branches and Study Groups (Keikokai) in Asia, Europe, and North and South America. His skills are recognized and highly appreciated by many Budoka in Japan as well as in other countries around the world.
Besides Meifu Shinkage Ryu, Otsuka-sensei is also a skilled Origami (paper folding) master. He often combines martial art and origami in one seminar, and surprises participants with various Origami creations.
How Training Started in
In early Fall of 2014, a group of dedicated Budoka thought of the idea of establishing a Meifu Shinkage Ryu group in Saskatchewan Canada. Shortly after, Dr. Chris de Feijter invited Otsuka-Sensei to teach the first Meifu Shinkage Ryu Seminar in Canada in March 2015. During the following years, seminars occurred in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. For 2018, the first MSR Alberta seminar is scheduled for February 20 & 21, in Calgary.
Meifu Shinkage Ryu Canada™ is authorized by Yasuyuki Otsuka (middle in the photo), the current headmaster (Soke) of Meifu Shinkage Ryu in Japan. The MSR Canada Branch Branch and several affiliated Keikokai (study groups) are operational in Canada. This branch is established in La Ronge and Prince Albert in Saskatchewan under leadership of Dr. Chris de Feijter (left in the photo). An affiliated Keikokai is operational in Toronto Ontario (Meifu Shinkage Ryu Toronto Keikokai) under leadership of Mr. Nigel Providence (right in the photo). The second affiliated Keikokai is operational in Warren Manitoba (Meifu Shinkage Ryu Manitoba Prairies Keikokai). An independent branch is training in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The principle weapon studied in Meifu Shinkage Ryu is the Bo-Shuriken: the throwing nail or spike. In addition, secondary weapons are part of the curriculum including the fundo-kusari and shoken. Some of the weapons are unique to Meifu Shinkage Ryu
Meifu Shinkage Ryu Bo Shurikenjutsu was developed by Someya-Sensei out of Katori Shinto Ryu, one of the oldest schools of martial art in Japan. The Fundo Kusarijutsu movements resemble sword fencing strikes. Members of Meifu Shinkage Ryu therefore learn how to use the Japanese sword to further develop skills. Many of them are also intensively training Katori Shinto-ryu or Yagyu Shinkage-ryu Kenjutsu. Depending on the training location, members either use a wooden sword (bokken) or a fukuro-shinai (bamboo sword).
Training Meifu Shinkage Ryu is best done through a combination of individual and partner exercises. Otsuka-Sensei has developed many exercises that requires partner training. These are important to develop a deep understanding of the skills, as well as to develop proper timing, distance, and intention.