Hatsumi Shinobi Painting

Shinobi

Acrylic on Canvas, December 2018

Japanese Martial Arts Print by Clay Roueche

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Pictured in this esteemed art print is Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, the 34th soke (grandmaster) of Togakure ryu ninjutsu. He is posed in one of the 9 spiritual hand seals of the kuji kuri tradition, which are also used in esoteric religious practices in Japan.

Dr Masaaki Hatsumi PortraitThe Japanese kanji characters in the top right corner of this print represent the term shinobi, known as the shadow warriors of ancient Japan, making this art print a powerful martial arts portrait for your home or office.

Dr. Hatsumi’s teacher was Toshitsugu Takamatsu (1887-1972) the 33rd soke of Togakure ryu. Soke Takamatsu was a master of skills from 9 different schools of martial arts. He specialized in taijutsu which is ninjutsu’s form of hand to hand combat. He traveled to China where he proved his skills, becoming bodyguard to China’s last Emperor Pu Yi. Upon leaving China, soke Takamatsu became the head of monk esoteric Buddhism at a mountain temple in the Yamato district of Japan.

While doing a martial arts demonstration, he met Dr. Hatsumi, a bone doctor from Chiba prefecture. Dr. Hatsumi was searching for a pure martial art, not sports-oriented like the styles he previously trained in. Dr. Hatsumi went on to become grandmaster Takamatsu’s most loyal student, eventually being awarded the 34th soke of Togakure ryu ninjutsu.

In 1974, two years after soke Takamatsu’s death, soke Hasumi opened the Bujinkan dojo in memory of his divine teacher. Bujinkan translates to divine warrior training hall. Bujinkan is an international organization based out of Noda City, Chiba prefecture Japan. Bujinkan consists of disciplines from 9 different schools of martial arts: 6 schools of the samurai tradition, and 3 of the ninjutsu tradition. Soke Hatsumi’s efforts have not gone unnoticed—he received the international culture award from the Japanese government.

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