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Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu - History



During the Chinese Tang Dynasty (618 AD - 907 AD), Cho Gyokko and Yo Gyokko left warring China, and arrived somewhere in Japan (it has been suggested that they may be not two people but one person). They brought with them the foundations on which the Gyokko Ryu would later become based upon. It is believed that the original techniques from the school were created by a princess in the Chinese Imperial court, who used quick body movements to attack specific targets on the body. Another theory is that a Chinese court guard developed the techniques due to him being of a small build. During the Chinese Tang Dynasty, these martial teachings went through several persons, Ikai異匀, Hogenbo Tesshun 法玄坊鉄心, Sasabe Tendo 坂部天道, Hachiryu Nyudo 八竜入道until it reached Tozawa Hakuunsai 戸沢白雲斎.
Tozawa Hakuunsai is considered to be the first Soke of Gyokko Ryu. From him the expression "Banpen Fugyo 万変不驚" comes which means '10,000 ever changing chances'. Sakagami Taro Kunishige 坂上太郎国重 (10th or 11th Soke depending on which Denkei 傳系is used) organised the Ryu, into the "Gyokko Ryu Shitojutsu 玉虎指頭術". He was also responsible for organising the Koto Ryu into a Ryu-Ha. This was done in the Tembun 天文 era (1532-1555). Taro passed his teachings to Sogyokkkan Ritsushi 僧玉観律師, who was either from the Kishu Ryu 紀州流, or the Kishu Han 紀州藩. Ritsushi changed the name from Gyokko Ryu Shitojutsu, to "Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu", this is the name by which it is known today. The Gyokko Ryu eventually passed to the Momochi 百地 Family, were it was then made a part of the Iga Ninja 伊賀忍者. Momochi Sandayu (15th Soke) a prominent Iga Ryu Ninja 伊賀流忍者, was active during the Tembun天文 era, and became the first member of the Momochi family to be Soke of the Gyokko Ryu 玉虎流 (and Koto Ryu 虎倒流), he is now known in Japan as one of the greatest Ninja of all time. His grave has since been found and was located in the 1960's. It is situated in a small Momochi family plot, near to one of his three homes.


Toda was also a master in the Bikenshin Ryu. He resigned his position as a sword instructor because his students was forced to kill other Japanese. This would have gone against the teachings of Togakure Ryu. He had a Dojo and a bonesetting clinic in Kobe. He was also a master in Shinden Koto Ryu Karate Koppojutsu 神伝虎倒流空手骨法術 (now called Koto Ryu Koppojutsu虎倒流骨法術) and Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu 戸隠流忍術. He died 90 years in Meiji 41 (1909).

The information on this page has been edited from the book – Introductory History to the Schools of the Bujinkan by Paul Richardson

This book can be ordered from Http://