Shinto Muso-ryu  descends from a 400+ year lineage of teacher/student relationships, mainly in the Kuroda-han, which was in Fukuoka, Kyushu (southern Japan). This martial art was passed down among a relatively small group of people until the time of Shiraishi Hanjiro (1842 - 1927). Shiraishi was responsible for the preservation and re-integration of the Jigyo and Haruyoshi lines of Shinto Muso-ryu at the end of the Tokugawa period (1603 - 1868), and into the Meiji Restoration.  


The Meiji era (1868 - 1912) created an opportunity to teach Shinto Muso-ryu outside of its traditional domain in Kyushu, and beyond the samurai class. One of Shiraishi's principal students, Shimizu Takaji (1899 - 1978) was primarily responsible for spreading this martial art to the rest of Japan, and ultimately around the world. 

After Judo founder Kano Jigoro saw a demonstration of Shinto Muso-ryu, he asked that it be taught in the Tokyo area. Shimizu Takaji was selected to provide this instruction, both at the Kodokan Judo headquarters, and also eventually to the Tokyo Metropolitan Riot Police.  From this beginning Shimizu Takaji's group of students grew beyond the police, and into the civilian population. 

One of Shimizu Takaji's students was Nishioka Tsuneo (1924 - 2014). He began studying with Shimizu Takaji at age 14, in 1938, and remained a student until Shimizu's passing in 1978.  Nishioka Tsuneo was instrumental in reviving many of the pre-World War II training concepts and practices, especially the importance of competent swordsmanship within Shinto Muso-ryu.

The name 'Taiseikai' (泰 清 会) honors our lineage of both Shimizu Takaji and Nishioka Tsuneo. 

Here in the United States, Phil Relnick, menkyo kaiden, leads our group in the study of Shinto Muso-ryu. Relnick spent over 40 years living and working in Japan after serving in the US Air Force. He is a graduate of Waseda University, and earned his Masters of Asian Studies from the University of Michigan. Relnick worked for several large Japanese companies before starting his own business consulting practice in Tokyo. During this time his primary martial arts studies included Kodokan Judo, Shinto Muso-ryu Jo, and Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto Ryu. 

When Relnick returned to Japan in 1962 he reached out to Donn Draeger for assistance. Draeger was already a student of Shimizu Takaji, introducing Relnick to Shimizu Takaji Sensei in 1962. At that time Relnick began Shinto Muso-ryu Jo under Shimizu Takaji at the Tomisaka Police Dojo, and later the Tokyo Rembukan Dojo. And continued this training until Shimizu Takaji passing in 1978.

After this time Relnick continued to study Shinto Muso-ryu with Nishioka Tsuneo, who was Shimizu Takaji's oldest student at that time.  

Relnick is a also Menkyo in Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto Ryu, and a direct student of Otake Risuke. Today he teaches Shinto Muso-ryu and Katori Shinto-ryu at his Shintokan Dojo in Woodinville, Washington.


Shiraishi Hanjiro Sensei (1842 - 1927)

Kano Jigoro present at a Shinto Muso-ryu demonstration. Young Shimizu Takaji - front row/far left.

Shimizu Takaji Sensei (1896 - 1978)

Nishioka Tsuneo Sensei (1924 - 2014)

Tokyo Rembukan Dojo

back L-R: Phil Relnick, Quintin Chambers, Chic Eather, Kobayashi S.
front L-R: Don Draeger, Shimizu Takaji Sensei, Martyn Gravenstein, Nobuko Relnick

Lineage of Shinto Muso-ryu tradition - Founded early 1600s

  (1). Iizasa Choisai Ienao (1387–1488) Founder of Katori Shintō-ryū.

(2). Matsumoto Bizen-no-kami Masanobu (1467–1524) 

1. Muso Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi - Traditional founder of "True Path" 真道 (Shinto) Muso-ryu. 

2. Obito Mogozaemon Yoshishige 

3. Matsuzaki Kin'emon Shigekatsu 

4. Higuchi Han'emon Katsunobu - The last headmaster of a unified Shinto Muso-ryu. 

The "New Just" 新當 (Shintō) Musō-ryū tradition

5. Harada Heizo Nobusada (died 1733) - Establishes the "New Just" 新當 (Shintō ) Musō-ryū tradition. (informally known during this period as "Kansai-ryū" which is a reference to a title of Harada Heizo.)

6. Hara Shiemon Ujisada (died 1754)

7. Nagatomi Koshiro (1717–1772), last Headmaster of "The New Just" - On his death, The "New Just" 新當 (Shintō) Musō-ryū branches of into two new lines headed by students of the last "New Just" headmaster.

The "True Path" 真道 (Shintō ) Musō-ryū tradition- Later known as Moroki-ryū

5. Yokota Hanzaburo - Continues the original "True Path" 真道(Shintō) Musō-ryū.

6. Moriki Keichi (died 1784) - Establishes Moriki-branch (Moroki-ryū).

7.Inoue Ryosuke (died 1821) - Line broken with his death.

Haruyoshi branch

8.Ono Kyusaku Tomotoki (died 1807) - Establishes Haruyoshi branch of "New Just" 新當 (Shintō) Musō-ryū around 1796.

9. Nagatomi Jinzo Yusai (died 1822)

10. Hirano Kichizo Noei (died 1871)

11. Yoshikawa Wataru Toshimasa

12. Hirano Saburo, (1837–1916) - Last Headmaster of the Haruyoshi - Tradition merged with the "Jigyo" tradition to form the "Way of the gods" 神道 (Shintō) Musō-ryū later under Shiraishi Hanjiro

Jigyo branch

8. Komori Seibei Mitsuaki                       Establishes Jigyo branch of "New Just"   新當 (Shinto) Muso-ryu around 1796.

9. Fujimoto Heikichi Norinobu (died 1815) - Line broken with his death in 1815.

10. Hatae Kyuhei Norishige (died 1829) - Originally from the Haruyoshi-tradition - Reestablishes Jigyo-branch.

11. Yoshimura Hanjiro - Last Headmaster of "Jigyo" - Tradition merged with the "Haruyoshi" tradition to form the "Way of the gods" 神道 (Shintō) Musō-ryū later under Shiraishi Hanjiro.

The "True Path" 真道 (Shintō) Musō-ryū tradition- Later known as Moroki-ryū

8. Hatae Kyuhei - Line reestablished.

9.Yamazaki Koji - Last Headmaster of "True Path" 真道 (Shintō) Musō-ryū. Named "Shujo-ryū" by its last Headmaster - Line broken in the Bakumatsu era, (1850–1867), never reestablished.[2]

"Way of the Gods" 神道 (Shinto) Muso-ryu - late 19th century to present time


Jigyo and Haruyoshi branches joined into a single ryu.

24. Shiraishi Hanjiro Shigeaki (1842–1927) - A warrior of lower rank, Shiraishi was an exponent of both the "Haruyoshi" and "Jigyo" traditions. After the fall of the Tokugawa and the Feudal-system, Shiraishi was issued a joint-license of the largest two surviving branches of the Kuroda-jō, the "Haruyoshi" and "Jigyo"-branches. The result of the merge is a new single tradition that was named "Way of the Gods" 神道 (Shinto) Muso-ryu, with Shiraishi becoming its sole leader by the early 1900s.

Shiraishi Hanjiro [1]

25. Shimzu Takaji (1896–1978) - A student of Shiraishi Hanjiro. Shimizu is sometimes referred to as the 25th headmaster of Shintō Musō-ryū. Responsible for bringing Shinto Muso-ryu out of Kyushu and to a wider audience in Japan, and eventually around the world.

Shimizu Takaji [3]

26. Otofuji Ichizo (dates) - Otofuji Ichizo was referred to as the 26th "Head" of Shinto Muso-ryu. He remained in Fukuoka after Shimizu Takaji left for Tokyo, and continued to teach Kyushu-focused Shinto Muso Ryu until passing away in 1999.

Nishioka Tsuneo (1924-2014) - Began training at the age of 14 in 1938 with Shimizu Takaji and studied with him until his passing in 1978. 


Phil Relnick (b. 1938) - a student of first Shimizu Takaji & later Nishioka Tsuneo. Relnick began studying jo in 1962 at the Tomisaka Police Dojo and Tokyo Rembukan Dojo under Shimizu Takaji. He continued his Jo training under Nishioka Tsuneo after Shimizu's passing in 1978. Today he teaches Shinto Muso-ryu Jo and Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto-ryu at his Shintokan Dojo in Washtington state.


1. Matsui, Kenji. 1993. The History of Shindo Muso Ryu Jojutsu, translated by Hunter Armstrong (Kamuela, HI: International Hoplological Society)
2. Krieger, Pascal – Jodô – la voie du bâton / The way of the stick (bilingual French/English), Geneva (CH) 1989, ISBN 2-9503214-0-2

3. Asakichi Nakajima & Tsunemori Kaminoda. Jodo Kyohan. Japan Publications Inc. 1976, ISBN4-8170-6415-3 C0075