Good Books For Koryu

Discussion in 'Koryu Bujutsu' started by Kogusoku, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter

    What books would you recommend for people interested in learning more about koryu and classical Japanese martial culture?

    We all have our preferences and favourites.

    Please name them, and the reasons why you chose them. :)
  2. ScottUK

    ScottUK More human than human...

    Koryu Bujutsu, Sword & Spirit, Keiko Shokon (various) - Diane Skoss

    An excellent starting point into the world of koryu.

    Classical Budo, Classical Bujutsu, Modern Bujutsu & Budo (various) - Donn Draeger

    As above, but much more detail - and a great way to grasp the concept of koryu by comparison to genbudo.

    Deity and the Sword 1,2,3 (TSKSR) - Otake Risuke

    Nice well-laid out book, lots of nice picces of the waza, interesting insight into the ryu.

    Shokai Iai (MJER) - Mitani Yoshisato

    Excellent reference boook for MJER. In fact, probably THE book. Great stuff.

    Go Rin no Sho (HNIR) - Miyamoto Musashi

    The HNIR Sourcebook - nothing else needs to be said... :)
  3. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Scott has covered the best of them. I have them all except Shokai Iai. I would definately reccomend the Draeger books for an insite into martial arts in general. There is also a DVD (for aikidoka) of a friendship demonstration organised by Stan Pranin that brings together masters of the arts which influenced O Sensei Ueshiba. This includes Kashima and Katori sword. Yagyu Shingan ryu and the masters speak of their individual arts.. fascinating.
    Keiko Shokon and SWord and Spirit also by Diane Skoss.

    regards koyo

    I think I managed to post the picture of Ishido Sensei to you Scott hope it got through.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2007
  4. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter

    I'll expand on Scott's list with:

    Old School - Essays on Martial Traditions by Ellis Amdur

    A book on koryu traditions, anthropology, weaponry, transmission and history.

    Katori Shinto-ryu - Warrior Tradition by Otake Risuke

    An updated and more readily available version of the 3 volume Deity & The Sword series in one volume with expanded chapters on yawara (jujutsu) and ninjutsu.

    *The Deity & The Sword series has been out of print for over 10 years in the English language and is sought after as a collectors item these days*

    Nihon No Kobudo by Yokose Tomoyuki

    One of the best Japanese books showcasing Koryu Bujutsu. Contains thirty detailed chapters on extant koryu bujutsu schools that are members of the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai, including HNIR, TSKSR, Yagyu Shingan-ryu, Yagyu Shinkage-ryu, and others.
  5. fifthchamber

    fifthchamber Valued Member

    I'd add:

    Persimmon Wind by Dave Lowry (Maybe the others as well, but particularly that one..Good background on classical Japan).

    And also,

    Duelling with Osensei by Ellis Amdur, although not specifically Koryu aimed it has a lot to do with the mindset and the ideas behind the training of the classical schools as well as modern Aikido.

    In Japanese there are several good books to find, but most are aimed at one school or two, rather than a full cover of a wide range..For me, "Shinden no Bujutsu" (Takenouchi Ryu) was a great book and readable enough to get by on...For a more in depth look "Takenouchi Ryu - Nihon Jujutsu no Genryu" is the best single look at what I do..But of course, rather irrelevant to anyone outside the school..

  6. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter

    A couple more to the list:

    In The Dojo - A Guide to the Rituals and Etiquette of the Japanese Martial Arts by Dave Lowry

    A very good primer book for beginners of modern and classical budo alike. Even more experienced budoka will enjoy it.

    Nihon No Kenjutsu Vol.1 & 2 by Gakken publications

    A guide to Koryu kenjutsu ryuha, complete with articles relating to modern budo such as iaido, battodo and kendo.
  7. Lord Spooky

    Lord Spooky Banned Banned

    Dam it guys my Christmas list is getting bigger.
    I'll have to talk very nicely to the missus :D
  8. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter

    I can smell the overdraft from here. :D
  9. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    I hope my wife dose'nt see this thread. I have the original Katori shinto ryu volumes and Saito shihans traditional aikido five volume set (one signed by him) I can see the dollar signs in her eyes already.

    regards koyo
  10. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter

    Hard back or soft back? Hard back are rarer and more expensive.
  11. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Hard back the dust covers are missing but the books are in pristine condition.

    Attached Files:

  12. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter

    Lordy, lordy lordy.

    They'd be a hell of a lot of money with the original dust covers.

    OK two more for the reading list.

    These two volumes are by the same author and there a few problems with academic accuracy when it comes to certain koryu mentioned therein, but still they are very good additions to have in a budo library.

    Classical Weaponry of Japan : Special Weapons and Tactics of the Martial Arts by Serge Mol

    A very good volume detailing the history, morphology and usage of a number of unorthodox close quarter weapons used in various koryu jujutsu ryuha, including shuriken, kusarigama, tessen, tekken etc.

    Classical Fighting Arts of Japan : A Complete Guide to Koryu Jujutsu by Serge Mol

    A thorough (yet slightly flawed in places) guide to koryu jujutsu ryuha, both extant and extinct.

    A review of the book by a Koryu practitioner
  13. Anth

    Anth Daft. Supporter

    Looks like I have some reading to do!

    Steve - might be worth making this thread a sticky already!
  14. zealuk

    zealuk New Member

    Legacies of the Sword by Karl Friday

    Excellent case study of Kashima Shinryu. Certainly interesting to practitioners of other koryu.

    天狗芸術論 (Tengu Geijutsuron) by Issai Chozanji (William Scott Wilson version)

    Kind of a neo-confucian take on the martial arts. Certainly worth reading.

    不動智神妙録 (Fudochi Shinmyoroku) by Takuan (William Scott Wilson version)

    Advice on management of the mind to Yagyu Munenori.

    I would have said 兵法家伝書 (Heiho Kadensho), but again, it's a very specific book.

    古流居合の本道 (Koryu Iai no Hondo) by Iwata Norikazu

    If you're into MJER then this is a good read. Lots of pictures, some history, explanations of what type of sword to use, etc.

    薩摩拵 (Satsuma Koshirae) by Zusho Ichiro

    Good book about Satsuma swords.

    Also 武芸の相伝書 (Bugei no sodensho) by Murayama Terushi

    This book is about Jigen Ryu densho. Very hard to understand. Very specific to Jigen Ryu practitioners.

    On a different note I also liked Kukai: The Universal by Shiba Ryotaro

    Great biography of the founder of the Shingon sect of esoteric buddhism.
  15. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter

    This book has already been mentioned, but there are several very good versions of it out there.

    五輪書 (Go Rin no Sho) By Miyamoto Musashi

    Iwanami Shoten publications edition by Watanabe Ichiro is a must have for studying HNIR.

    In the English language, if you can get it (it might be out of print - It was published in 1982.) is a version translated by four translators as a team (Brown, Barrett, Kashiwagi and Sasagawa) it's one of the more accurate and martial oriented English renditions of this book I have come across so far.

    For jujutsu, a good book on the history of the martial discipline is YAWARA知られざる日本柔術の世界 (Yawara - Shirarezaru Nihon Jujutsu no Sekai) by Yamada Minoru (山田實 )

    It details the origins of a multitude of jujutsu ryuha and includes details into the involvment of koryu jujutsu ryuha in the Metropolitain Police Jujutsu matches which made Kodokan Judo famous.

    It also includes history of jujutsu as it was exported to Europe and the United States.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2007
  16. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter

    Another new book to have been released recently is Illuminated Spirit : Conversations with a Kyudo Master by Dan & Jackie Prospero

    This book is as the title suggests, is a series of conversations with the late Onuma Hideharu, a highly ranked kyudo master. The psychological outlook of these conversations not only apply to kyudo, but to all forms of budo. It's a very good book for those who want a deeper understanding of what some aspects of budo are about.

    I was reviewing this thread recently and basically stumbled across the fact that a great number of the English language books on koryu that have been mentioned in this thread can be found or purchased on . I thought it wise to mention this since some of the volumes mentioned on this thread cannot be purchased via mainstream internet book stores.
  17. ScottUK

    ScottUK More human than human...

    Seconded - a really interesting read and many of the concepts can be applied to a lot of other koryu/genbudo practice.

    Good choice, Steve...
  18. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter

    Not just a pretty face, me. :)
  19. ScottUK

    ScottUK More human than human...

    I didn't know you could read... ;) :D
  20. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter

    Didn't know you could shave. :rolleyes:

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