The late Mutoh Masao Sensei was the previous Headmaster (soke) of the Ohtsubo branch of the Owari Line of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu. He was also the 10th Lineal Headmaster of Yagyu Shingan Ryu Taijutsu (Edo-line). Mutoh Sensei was on the Board of Directors of the Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai and also a member of the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai.
Mr. Tong had the pleasure of training directly under Mutoh Sensei.
Master Mutoh was an avid researcher of old budo and traditional martial arts. He reputedly had the largest private collection of old densho and documents. And he was instrumental in researching the lost art of the Edo Line of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu.
Although he studied a different style of swordsmanship, Mutoh Sensei saw something in Mr. Tong and allowed him to study and research this most prestigious of Japanese sword styles, the Yagyu style of swordsmanship. Mr. Tong was invited into Master Mutoh’s library and he saw firsthand the vast amount of knowledge stored there. He even had the chance to borrow and read some of the books from that library. Mutoh Sensei’s love of research would rub off on Mr. Tong, inspiring him to do his own research into the big styles of Japanese swordsmanship.
Mr. Tong is to this day forever grateful to Mutoh Sensei for taking a chance on him, a chance that would have repercussions on his life decades later.
Sadly, Mutoh Sensei passed away in 2001. Mr. Tong truly enjoyed his time with Mutoh Sensei. He will be missed.