Translation by Arun Roberts and edited by Greg Clarke, representative, Sumera Budo-juku, Australia Branch.

【 Brief History 】

Muso Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi, the founder of Muso Shinto-ryu Jo, is said to have lived during the Keichou era (roughly 400 years ago). He became a student of Iishino Yamashiro no Kami Ienao, the founder of Katori Shinto-ryu Bujutsu and received Menkyo, mastering the inner teachings of Katori Shinto-ryu. It is also said he was initiated in the Gokui of Kashima Shin-ryu, the “Ichi no Tachi”.

During this period Muso Gonnosuke duelled with many skilled swordsmen and remained unbeaten until he was defeated by Juujidome in a duel with Miyamoto Musashi, a master swordsman of the same generation.

After this, in an effort to find a way to beat Musashi's Juujidome, Muso Gonnosuke went to the region of Chikuzen (present-day Chikushi-gun in Fukuoka-ken) and climbed Mount Houman,  a holy place extending to temple grounds of Dazai-fu's Tenmanguu. Here he performed “Kigan Sanryu” at Kamado Jinja, a shrine dedicated to the Goddess Tamayori-hime. On the night of the completion of the Kigan Sanryu, a small boy appeared to him in a dream with the divine message. He said “Maruki wo motte Suigetsu wo shire” (Know the suigetsu by the round stick). With this vision as its core, Gonnosuke then developed Shinto Muso-ryu Jo using a stick 4 shaku 2 sun 1 bu long and 8 bu in diameter; a synthesis of three Bujutsu: Yari, Naginata, and Tachi,. It is then said that he again challenged Miyamoto Musashi to a rematch and beat Musashi’s Juujidome brilliantly.

From then on, Shinto Muso-ryu Jo came to be used by the Kuroda-han of Fukuoka to coach a great number of Shihanke, where it was passed on for some four hundred years as an exclusive Bujutsu taught only to those within the Han.

In recent years, Shinto Muso-ryu Jo has received high evaluations as a prominent Bujutsu that is practical and applicable. Before World War 2, Shinto Muso-ryu was used in the training of famous Kendo and Judo practitioners, the Youth Marines (Sea Scouts), and Manchukuo Youths. After the war, Shinto Muso-ryu Jo was employed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's Riot Squad and by the Osaka-fu Police Riot Squad as “Keijo”. In modern times popularisation has been progressing nationally in various organizations, enterprises, and University club activities in such places such as Tokyo, Fukuoka, Kanagawa, and Osaka. Furthermore, the increase of Jodo enthusiasts overseas is astounding.

This Dojo endeavours to popularise and pass on Shinto Muso-ryu Jo as a constituent of Aijokai (Aichi-jo-Kai; Aichi Jo Group), which succeeds and draws upon the techniques and the spirit of the late Hamaji Kouichi-shihan the leading disciple of the late Shimizu Takaji-shihan, the father of modern jo popularisation. Hamaji sensei contributed actively to Budo and to the cultivation of many a young practitioners and paved the way for the popularisation of Shinto Muso-ryu Jo.

【 Brief timeline of Hamaji Kouichi-shihan's life

1912: Born in Tokyo, the fifth son of Hamaji Hachirou.

1930: Begins training with Shimizu Takaji-sensei.

1936: Began work with South Manchuria Railway Company. Sent for one year to train Jodo instructors in the now former “Manchu-kuo” from 1943, travelling throughout Manchuria and returning to South Manchuria Railway Company in 1944.

1947: The war ends and he returns home from Manchuria, lives in Kamakura.
1949: Receives the license of “Kongoudou Doushi” from his teacher, Hamaji Tenmatsu-koji.
1950: Begins employment at Toho Rika Co. Ltd, moves to Nagoya.

1960: Moves to Obu City in Aichi Prefecture.

Begins to teach Jodo seriously at Isshin Temple of Yagoto, in Shouwa district, Nagoya City.

1964: Initiated in the Gomuso by Shimizu-sensei and Otofuji-sensei.

1966: Receives a Menkyo from Shimizu Takaji-sensei.

1968: Takes part in the Taiwanese Kobudo Goodwill Enbu as a leader of the Japanese delegation.

1971: Becomes an eighth-dan under Zenkenren Jodo.

1972: Retires from Toho Rika Co. Ltd.

1978: Admitted to hospital for a gallstone operation.

1979: Forms and becomes the first president of the Aijokai.

1980: Composes “Jo juuni kun (12 precepts of Jo)” as words entrusted to the next generation.

1981: Becomes a Zenkenren Jodo Hanshi. From June 5th, performs 108 days religious ascetism. Publishes “Shinto Muso-ryu Jo to Sono Denshou” (Shinto Muso-ryu and its transmission).

1984: Dedicates the Jo and Bokuto handed down to the Hamaji house in Fukuoka to Kamado Jinja, Houmanguu as “Jo used by Chikuzen Kuroda Hanshi”.

1985, May 9th : Passes away due to illness at 72.

English Version
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Regarding the publication of Shinto Muso-ryu “Jo no Hinkaku”.

Amongst the belongings of the late Gerald Toff, a tape recorded  interview with the late Hamaji Kouichi-shihan (first generation head of Aijokai) has been found. Collated in the form of a manuscript with permission from his wife it has reached the stage where it can be published as “Jo no Hinkaku”

According to the records, the tape was taken at the home of Hamaji Kouichi-shihan, on 3rd January, 1977.

Mr. Toff was also a member of Aijokai and while working as a university professor, he was well known both as a Kobudo researcher and as commentator on a Sumo documentary aimed at the overseas market, airing on NHK's free-to-air network.

This book contains glimpses of Hamaji-shihan as one who has studied Jo through both the Meiji and the Taisho eras, living in the style of a Bushi. He talks on the history of the spread of Shinto Muso-ryu Jo and the teachers who worked towards it. Also mentioned are his requests to those who will pass on Jo to the next generation.

For modern practitioners of Shinto Muso Ryu, this book enlightens the true meaning of budo and is assuredly an important and viable reference for this generation.

I hope to contribute to the continuing growth of Jodo by introducing this book to all practitioners of  Budo with the same fervour as those practicing jo.                                                                                     Hamaji Mitsuo, President of Aijokai, 25th August, 2008.

【 杖十二訓 Jo juni kun 】 濱地光一先生詠  昭和五拾五年四月   

一、身をもって人を助ける杖のごと この姿こそ士の道。

Mi o motte hito o tasukeru tue no goto kono sugata koso mononofu no michi.

An ideal samurai is like the Jo.
He helps people

at the sacrifice of himself.

二、神佛も声の力で現るる 一喝必倒氣勢養え。

Shinbutsu mo koe no chikara de arawaruru ikkatsu hittou kisei yashinae.

The power of voice can evoke
even God and Buddaha.

Cultivate a powerful voice
that defeats your enemy.

三、打太刀はふれれば切れる剣なるぞ 心にとめて剣を怖るな。

Uchidachi wa furereba kireru ken naruzo kokoro ni tomete ken o osoruna.

Keep in mind that uchidachi[1] is a sword
that will cut you if it touches you;
but you should never fear swords.

[1] uchidachi has two meanings: (1) a wooden sword  (2) the person who uses uchidachi in Jo practice.  The uchidachi in this sentence means (1) a wooden sword.

四、線当り刃物持つ身の好餌食 点で打つこそ杖の打なり。

Sen atari hamono motsu mi no kou ejiki ten de utu koso jo no uchi nari.

Don’t hit your opponent with the side of Jo,
or you will fall prey to he, who has the sword.

Hit him with the end of Jo.

五、太刀は鋼 杖は樫 ガツンと当てずに 円るくずらしていなす心で。

Tachi wa kane jo wa kashi gatsun to atezu ni maruku zurashite inasu kokoro de.

Tachi[2] is steel; Jo is oak.
Don’t hit tachi hard
but parry it by sliding Jo along its length
as if to chide the tachi.

[2] sword

六、折り返す手首の握りで敵を打て 後手の力まかせは技を狂わす。

Orikaesu tekubi no nigiri de teki o ute ushirode no chikara makase wa waza o kuruwasu.

When you swing Jo to hit your opponent,
use the grip of your orikaesu-te.
If you swing Jo with gote forcefully,
you can’t make an effective attack.

七、かわしつつ小手を打ち上げ目を制し 体勢くずして技かけよ。

Kawashitsutsu kote o uchiage me o seishi taisei kuzushite waza kakeyo.

Parrying the opponent’s sword,
hit his wrists from under aiming the end of Jo at his eyes.

Before using Kuri-techniques[3], unbalance his posture.

[3] Kuri-tsuke, Kuri-hanashi, and Tai-atari

八、古き形少しもたがわずくり返せ 自然に身につく氣杖体。

furuki kata sukoshi mo tagawazu kurikaese shizen ni minituku ki jo tai.

Practice the time-honored techniques repeatedly.
Imitate them exactly as your teacher shows.
Aim at attaining a perfect unity of Jo, body, and spirit.

九、わが杖は切り刺しならぬ唯の棒 打ったら突けの心忘るな。

Waga tue wa kiri sashi naranu tada no bo uttara tuke no kokoro wasuruna.

Your Jo is just a mere piece of wood.
You can’t cut nor stab with the Jo.

Therefore, never forget this:
“Strike and thrust.”

十、仕も打も進退共に打つ心 これがなければオドリ同然。

Shi mo uchi mo shintai tomoni utsu kokoro korega nakereba odori douzen.

Both shidachi and uchidachi should always keep in mind
the spirit of attack in both forward and backward movements.
Without this spirit, your Jo is a kind of dance.

十一、仕合高上希うなら 起きて素振りと ねて工夫。

Shiai koujo negau nara okite suburi to nete kufu.

If you want to make a progress in Jo,
practice suburi[4] during the day;
exercise ingenuity during the night.

[4] to practice the movement of wielding Jo by yourself

十二、色々と種々に兵法詠えども 真剣勝負に決りなし。

Iroiro to shuju ni heihou utaedomo shinken shobu ni kimari nashi.

However many and various Jo techniques there may be,
there is no rule in actual fighting.

  杖により武徳をつみしその力 我にとどめず末永く傳えよ。

Jo ni yori Butoku o tsumishi sono chikara ware ni todomezu suenagaku tsutaeyo.

Don’t confine in you
the virtue and power
you have attained through practicing Jo,
but hand them down
from generation to generation.

Jodo kara Manabu mono (Things learned from Jodo) 】

by Hamaji Kouichi-shihan, posthumous publication.

The straight shape of the Jo, crafted to be strong and true, harmonious and smooth, represents the honesty of the Kami and the compassion of the Buddha.

Through remembering the spirit of the Jo, the cultivation of a body and spirit to face up to all and any hardships by training again and again in the Shinkengata, that our past teachers staked their lives to obtain. Such is the way of Shinto Muso-ryu Jojutsu.

In the Densho it is written, “There is nothing other than the Jo to teach a person without causing injury.[1]

The strategy therein is to disturb the enemy’s senses, make it impossible for him to use his weapons, and take your spirit and use it to defeat your enemy completely, without spilling blood. Of the workings of this Jo it is also written, “Held, a sword; swept, a naginata; thrust, a yari; the Jo is, in essence also un-parriable.”

Should peace prevail, without realising it, the strength of spirit and of body to stand up to important tasks declines; without realising it we will only come to think of merely escaping when we meet challenges; without realising it we forget out principles, fawn upon the strong, and renounce responsibility. In the end we also endanger our country.

I am one who believes Jojutsu to be a most necessary Budo in modern times. It is a Budo capable of cultivating a robust body and spirit, one which proceeds directly along a true path. It is a Budo capable of reviving the body and spirit which we have nearly lost.

【 Techniques of Shinto Muso-ryu Jodo and the training syllabus 】

( taken from Hamaji Kouichi-shihan's notes. )


1.Honte uchi     2. Gyakute uchi     3. Hikiotoshi uchi      4.Kaeshi tsuski    5.Gyakute tsuki      6.Maki otoshi                       7.Kuri tsuke       8.Kuri hanashi    9.Tai atari       10. Tsuki hazushi uchi     11.Dou barai uchi     12. Tai hazushi uchi

Omote waza

1.Tachi otoshi         2.Tsuba wari        3.Tsuki zue         4.Hissage     5.Sakan    6. Ukan    
7.Kasumi                8.Monomi            
9.Kasa no shita    10.Ichi rei    11.Neya no uchi    12.Hoso michi     


1.Ichi riki              2.Oshizume           3.Midare dome      4.Ushiro zue (zen / go)   5.Taisha    6.Kengome             
7.Kirikake             8.Shinshin
      9.Rai uchi             10.Yoko giri dome    11.Harai dome   12.Seigan

Ran Ai

1.O-dachi           2.Kodachi


1.Tachi otoshi     2.Tsuba wari      3.Tsuki zue         4.Hissage          5.Sakan             6.Ukan                             7.Kasumi           8.Monomi         9.Kasa no shita         10.Ichi rei (zen / go)        11.Neyanouchi (zen / go)    12. Hoso mich


1.Ichimonji        2.Juumonji    3. Nito kodachi otoshi                          

4.Mijin     5.Mijin     6.Gan tsubushi

Gohon no Midare

1.Tachi otoshi no midare       2. Sakan no midare     3.Kengome no midare

4.Kasumi no midare              5. Shamen no midare

Okuden (Shiai kuchi)  

1.Sengachi     2.Tsukidashi            3.Uchitsuke           4. Kotedome          5.  Hiki sute    6.Kote garami        

7.Jitte           8. Mikaeri     9.Aun         .  10.Uchiwake           11. Suigetsu              12. Sayuu dome    

Gomuso no jo ( Gokui Hiden )

1.Yami uchi     2. Yumemakura     3. Murakumo     4. Inazuma    5.Doubo

NB 1: Until Ranai is completed, Tachi otoshi, Midare dome, Kengome, and Yoko giri dome are practiced with Go no sen. After Ranai has been learnt practice them with Shidachi seizing the initiative.

NB 2: Aside from the above, there are variations and different teachings of each form and they are taught in accordance with the practitioner’s degree of ability.

Annexed Bujutsu

Shinto-ryu Kenjutsu

Odachi (8ways)

1.Ai suri                  2.Ai suri              3. Juu               4. Chi barai                           

5.Sarin                   6. Nito ai              7.Uke kaeshi        8. Suri komi

Kodachi (4ways)

1.In chuu     2.Uke nagashi          3.Mi uke dome       4.Tsuki dashi

Uchida-ryu Tanjojutsu

1.Kote kudaki           2. Kote kudaki          3. Sutemi            4.Kuri tsuke          5.Suigetsu            6.Suigetsu                7.Ushirozue            8.Shamen      9.Shamen           10.Kobushi kudaki      11.Sune ku daki            12.Irimi

Ikkaku-ryu Jittejutsu


1.Uken             2. Saken        3.  Zanken         4.Ke age     5.Ichi ran ken            6.Irimi               
7.Ippuu             8.Me ate
    9.Uto              10.Gorin          11. Issei                 12. Kasumi no ken


Names the same as the Omote with one rope tying form.

Isshin-ryu Kusarigamejutsu


1.Ishiki               2.  Soemi            3.Hagaeshi          4.Mugan    5.Juumonji              6. Furikomi              
7. Furikomi         8. Iso no nami
   9.Maki otoshi       10.Mitokoro zume       11.Uki fune          12. Sode garami


Names are the same as the Omote. Furikomi becomes three kata.


1.Zen   2.go          3. Sa    4.yu         5.Yari ai   6.Yari ai 

Ittatsu-ryu Hojojutsu


1.Ichimonji nawa            2. Hishi nawa         3.Juumonji nawa           4. Hagai tsuge nawa

【 Levels of training and their respective teachings 】

Taken from Hamaji Kouichi-shihan's notes, partially modified

1. Novice           Shinto Muso-ryu Jodo Kihon, Omote, Chudan, Ran ai, Uchida-ryu Tanjojutsu.

2. Intermediate    Kage, Samidare, Gohon no Midare, Ikkaku-ryu Jittejutsu (Omote).

3. Advanced        Oku, Ikkaku-ryu Jittejutsu (Ura), Isshin-ryu Kusarigamajutsu (Omote / Ura),                               
              Shinto-ryu Kenjutsu, Ittatsu-ryu Hojojutsu.

                            Training Assistants (Okuiri, Shomokuroku, Gomokuroku).

4. Unlimited         Repetitious training in entire syllabus, instruction of juniors.
               Shihan (Menkyo-sha).  


Internal Jodo Links

In remembrance of Kouichi Hamaji-shihan

To speak of Nishioka Tsuneo-shihan's Jo

“Kenjo Shiki Kuden shou” Member's only (A private note on Jo by Hiroaki Ishida)

[1] Matsui, Kenji. "The History of Shindo Muso Ryu Jojutsu," translated by Hunter Armstrong (Kamuela, HI: International Hoplological Society, 1993). Literal translation of original Japanese text in this page is more like: “Injure not, teachings seeking to trouble (chastise) and admonish are found outside the Jo.” 


On Sunday, March 2, 2014 a seminar teaching the spirit and technique of Shihan Tsuneo Nishioka Jo will be held. Nishioka Shihan was given Menkyo Kaiden by Takaji Shimizu Shihan and is now one of the most significant and skillful Jo practitioners in Japan.


Stress will be placed on the basic, essential techniques of Nishioka Shihan’s Jo: the fundamental teachings of Honte and Gyakute, the primary striking and wielding lines of Honte-uchi, Gyakute-uchi, and Hikiotoshi-uchi, and the differences in the roles of Uchi-dachi and Shi-dachi.
Those who are currently dissatisfied with Jo as it is taught conventionally are strongly recommended to participate in our training session. The mission of this seminar is to assure proper understanding and the deep, underplaying meanings behind each movement in Shinto -muso-ryu Jo.


Aiseikai Shihan

Mituo Hamati, Hiroaki Ishida, Takashi Tomita

Entry Qualifications:

Beginners and advanced students welcome regardless of race, nationality, age, sex, and Jo practice experience.


Sunday September 13, 2015 from 9:30 to 17:00


Nagoya Higashi Sport Center


3,000 yen per person


Shinto-muso-ryu Aiseikai

Contact Information:

Aiseikai Office

Postal code 467-0827
2nd Floor, Mizuho-biru, 1-33 Shimosaka-cho, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya
Telephone 052-871-8899