Kajitsuka Sensei demonstrating at the 80th anniversary embukai of the Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai (Tokyo 2015)
Kajitsuka Yasushi Sensei is the Headmaster (soke) of the Ohtsubo branch of the Owari Line of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu. He is also the 11th Lineal Headmaster (soke) of Yagyu Shingan Ryu Taijutsu (Edo-line). His profile appears on the official register of the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai‘s (the Japanese Classical Martial Arts Association) website here.
Kajitsuka Sensei’s bio on the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai website
Kajitsuka Sensei talking with the Canadian Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Group (Greater Toronto Area, 2016)
Kajitsuka Sensei talking with the Canadian Shingan Ryu group (Toronto 2015)
In addition, Kajitsuka Sensei is the Secretary General of the Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai (日本古武道振興会)(the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Classical Martial Arts and Ways), the oldest and largest national association of the classical styles of Japanese budo and bujutsu (koryu) in Japan. One of the big annual international events that this organization produces is the world-renowned Meiji Jingu Festival of Classical Martial Arts in Tokyo. Another major annual event that this organization puts on is the famous Asakusa Embutaikai in Tokyo, another grand showcase of classical Japanese martial arts.
As a member of the Board of Directors of the Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai during the opening ceremony of the Asakusa Kobudo Embutaikai (April 2013). Kajitsuka Sensei is the third person from the left.
Responsible for coordinating 77 ryuha (schools) and its more than 8oo members, and for keeping the secretariat unified and cohesive, Kajitsuka Sensei is needless to say a very prominent and influential figure in koryu circles.
Kajitsuka Sensei at the 80th Anniversary celebration of the Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai (Tokyo 2015)
Mr. Tong was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to interview Kajitsuka Sensei about the Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai. It is an illuminating look at the goals and purpose of such a large and important institution. Read about it here: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 .
Kajitsuka Sensei is a very busy man. In addition to working for the Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai, planning and coordinating the various premier showcases of classical martial arts and sitting on the Board of Directors, he is also active nationally as he and his students demonstrate at all the major festivals and exhibitions of martial arts throughout Japan.
Demonstrating at the Kashima Jingu Embutaikai in 2016, one of the major festivals of classical martial arts in Japan.
But he also finds the time to participate in special events such the Kumamoto Earthquake Relief Support Charity Demonstration in 2016. He and a small group of dedicated teachers of martial arts contributed their time and energy to raise awareness of and lend their support to this worthy cause.
The Kumamoto Earthquake Relief Charity Martial Arts Demonstration 2016. Kajitsuka Sensei is in the front row, center, in white top and blue hakama.
On occasion, he presides over historic ceremonies such as the installment of the 15th Soke of Taisha Ryu, Eriko Uehara Sensei.
Kajitsuka Sensei at the inauguration of the 15th Soke of Taisha Ryu (August 2015)
As well, Kajitsuka Sensei participates in local festivals to encourage the development of budo culture at the grassroots level such as demonstrating in the Zushi Budo Taikai, an annual local budo event in his hometown of Zushi where Kajitsuka Sensei first met Mutoh Sensei (his teacher) and started learning under him.
Kajitsuka Sensei and his students demonstrating at the Zushi Budo Taikai in 2016
In addition to all his national work, Kajitsuka Sensei is also active internationally as he manages and visits his various study groups in Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Australia, USA, and Canada on an annual basis.
Kajitsuka Sensei talking with the Canadian Yagyu Shinkage Ryu group (Toronto 2012)
Kajitsuka Sensei has graciously visited our group on many occasions. You can read about the particulars of each event in the seminar reports listed below:
Kajitsuka Sensei Seminar 2012 Part 1: Seminar Report
Kajitsuka Sensei Seminar 2012 Part 2: Reactions and Reflections
Kajitsuka Sensei Seminar 2013
Kajitsuka Sensei Seminar 2015
Kajitsuka Sensei Seminar 2016
Mr. Tong with Kajitsuka Sensei (Yokohama 2008)
Finally, Kajitsuka Sensei is also an accomplished master of chadō (Japanese tea ceremony): a spiritual, transformative practice heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism.
Tea Master Kajitsuka Soke performing the tea ceremony for Tokumeikan students (Zushi 2017)
The Japanese tea ceremony, also called the Way of Tea, is a Japanese cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha (抹茶), powdered green tea.
A beautiful green tea made by Kajitsuka Sensei
Beautiful wagashi (sweets or confections) served with the tea.
Chadō is counted as one of the three classical Japanese arts of refinement. The elaborate and refined Japanese tea ceremony is meant to demonstrate respect through grace and good etiquette. The ideal warrior (the samurai elite) of the Edo Period was cultured and refined.
Tokumeikan students learning about culture and refinement in this centuries-old ceremony and art form.
A truly remarkable man. To learn more about Kajitsuka Sensei, visit his group’s website: Arakido