The Legendary Katana

There is a legend about the formation of sword systems in Japan. According to the legend the origin of all swordsmanship in Japan came to be called Kashima no Tachi and was taught to seven Shinto priests. These seven developed each, in turn, their own school, and these came to be known under a common name for the Kanto Shichi-ryu 関東七流, “Kanto region’s seven schools.”

In the 1100’s eight Buddhist monks trained on Mount Kurama in one of these schools, under the Shugenja called Hogen Kiichi 法眼鬼一. Each of these eight monks created his own sword school and these came to be known collectively as the Kyo Hachi-ryu 京八流, “The capital’s eight schools.”

Sword techniques in Kukishin-ryu derived from this Hogen through one or all of the eight schools. These techniques are called Hiken No Ho 秘剣之法 meaning “secret principles of the sword.”

Within Kukishin-ryu used Handachi 半太刀, which is 3 inch longer than a standard katana. Additionally kodachi and Jutte, according to Takamatsu sensei writing are the highest level of Hiken no ho.