Masaki-ryu Nakajima-ha places Masaki Tarodayu Toshimitsu, a samurai and martial arts master of Mino Ogaki (fief of the Toda clan: present-day Gifu prefecture) nearly 300 years ago as its original founder, and was founded by Nakajima Michio-Soke, a senior practitioner under Nawa Yumio-Soke at Nawa-Soke’s instruction in the 1990s. (Photo - Masaki Toshimitsu, founder of Masaki Ryu)

Masaki family documents and Edo period works such as “Toyuki”, “Gekken Shodan”, and “Geijutsu Bukoron” indicate that Masaki-sensei first mastered several schools of martial arts before engaging as a martial arts instructor in the Ogaki clan. Documents and correspondence between him and three generations of Todas, the rulers of the Ogaki clan attest to his abilities and place of great trust in the eyes of his clan.

When the Ogaki clan received the order to guard Edo castle’s Otemon gate, Masaki-sensei received a vision of the deity Marishiten or Akiba Gongen, and then went on to develop the short chain in order to protect the gate without the need for bloodshed by the sword

Due to this, Yoshimitsu looked for a more peaceful way of punishing intruders at the castle. Yoshimitsu would produce a chain with two weights (one at either end) and came up with several techniques for disarming and subduing an armed opponent. Yoshimitsu's unique weapon soon became known as the Manrikigusari (manriki meant '10,000 power', and gusari meant 'chain'). This was because Yoshimitsu believed that the weapon contained the power and the ingenuity of 10,000 people. This weapon’s fighting style soon took on his family name and became known as Masaki Ryu Kusarijutsu.

The school remained with the Masaki family for four generations. The 8th soke Watabe Kenji was a practitioner of Tenjin Shinyo Ryu and added a more Jujutsu aspect to the style. The 9th Soke Nawa Honen also studied and recieved Edo Machikata Juttejutsu from Okada Umezo Shigenaga. This was all passed on to his grand son Nawa Yumio.

Nawa Yumio would later become known as a historical consultant regarding martial arts and Japanese warrior culture for TV programs and movies, as well as an authority on unconventional weapons and tactics, ninjutsu, classical gunnery, and more, and wrote a large number of books relating to the arts of Masaki-ryu and Edo Machikata Juttejutsu, as well as concealed weapons, Japanese weapons, warrior culture, and ninjutsu.





Masaki Ryu lineage

流祖 1

Masaki Tarodayu Toshimitsu


二代 2.

Masaki Kizaemon Toshimasa


三代 3.

Masaki Kizaemon Toshichika


四代 4

Masaki Kizaemon Toshizane


五代 5.

Miura Koushiro Kazutsuma


六代 6.

Kagoya Sawata Takatane


七代 7

Handa Sakujiro Katsumune


八代 8.

Watabe Kenji Masayuki


九代 9.

Nawa Hounen Yoshimasa


十代 10.

Nawa Yumio Masakian (1912 – 2006)


十一代 11.

Nakajima Michio


(Photo - Nawa Yumio, 10th Soke of Masaki Ryu)

Nakajima Michio
11th Soke Masaki Ryu Nakajima-ha