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Brief History and Background

Find below important and interesting information about training Meifu Shinkage Ryu. This page is updated frequently with new information.

Meifu Shinkage Ryu

Brief Background

Meifu Shinkage-ryû (MSR) is a modern school of Japanese martial arts. It was developed out of Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu by Someya Chikatoshi. MSR provides specialized instruction teaching techniques using throwing spikes and blades (shuriken jutsu), a weighted chain (Fundo Kusari Jutsu), as well as techniques using many other hidden weapons (Kakushi Buki Jutsu). It were the samurai and ninja of medieval Japan who were believed to be master in using these techniques while in combat.

Yasuyuki Otsuka-Sensei is the current Head Master (Soke) of Meifu Shinkage Ryu since 20009. He is the second Soke, after the founder and first Soke (Chikatoshi Someya-Sensei) passed away in 1999. Otsuka-Sensei became Soke in 2006.

Like any martial arts teaching armed skills such as Kendo (sword fencing), Kyudo (Archery), and Kobudo (staffs and other tools), the techniques are taught to provide the participant with an understanding how armed combat took place many years ago. In addition, the way of modern budo (Gendai Budo) allows practitioners to develop a philosophical and spiritual approach when trying to achieve mastery of the techniques.

Meifu Shinkage Ryu


During a long car ride, Otsuka-Sensei explained the meaning of Meifu Shinkage-ryû as followed.

  • Mei 明 means bright and knowledge, as well as to understand the application of that knowledge.
  • Fu 府 means association, such as a group of people learning together with a common goal.
  • Shin 真 means correct or truth, in relation to Kage 影, which means shadow.
  • Ryu 流 means school of thought, in this case: the teachings from an unbroken lineage from Someya-Sensei to Otsuka-Sensei as Soke (Head of the Family).

Each element of Mei, Fu, Shin, and Kage provides balance, as bright cannot be without shadow, or as Otsuka-Sensei said: “a bottom part also needs a top-part, as each cannot exist by itself”.


Honbu, Branches and Keikokai

The Honbu (Head Quarters) is located in Chiba, Japan. Outside Japan, Meifu Shinkage Ryu is actively practiced in official Branches and Keikokai in Europe, Asia, and North America.

Branches and Keikokai are officially authorized by Otsuka-Sensei, who appoints a Chief or a leader. Branch Chiefs have been active for at least two years and have the rank of Shodan or higher. Keikokai leaders are working towards their shodan level before they may transform into a Branch.

Meifu Shinkage Ryu Saskatchewan Keikokai was formed in December 2014, and received authorization from Otsuka-sensei starting January 2015.

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