HayashizakiThis website is dedicated to the life and teachings of one
Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto no Shigenobu, the father of Iai 

Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto no Shigenobu was a sixteenth century warrior, known as the father of Iai as a stand alone martial art. At fourteen years old he was said to receive an epiphany from the deity of the Hayashizaki Myojin Shrine, instilling onto him the secrets of “Kesa no Hitotachi”.

The alternative reading of the Kanji for Shigenobu(重信) is Jūshin, also the name of one of the many Iai schools Hayashizaki’s legacy has created. Den(傳) refers to teachings and/or the story of someone’s life and achievements.
This page is therefore dedicated to the life and achievements of the founder.
Featuring articles on the history, concepts, evolution and general information related to the art of Iai and to Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto no Shigenobu.

14 thoughts on “About

  1. Thank you very much for these articles. Could you please give us some more information about yourself for citation purposes? Thank you!

    • Thank you for showing an interest in the website and the articles.
      I work as a full-time translator, dealing with a variety of fields, but my passion mainly being for history and martial arts related content as you could probably tell.
      I also have been training in various martial arts since a young age, though found my rock with Iaidō, practicing one of the many styles that is linked to Hayashizaki Jinsuke Shigenobu.
      This, as you may have guessed, takes up the majority of my spare time, reading books, various articles, researching the old scrolls and translating notes I made at seminars.

      • Wow, that is really fascinating. It must be a joy to have access to information like that.
        I am part of a Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu group in the US and many of us reading your articles have been curious as to your identity. Would you be comfortable providing biographical information so that we can acknowledge you appropriately?

      • Of course, let me know what information you would like and I will update the page.
        Does your group have a website I could visit?

      • Yes, we are at dentondojo.com. I’m sure people would just love to know who you are and maybe where you train.

      • Thank you for the link. It’s always interesting to see what arts and where fellow martial artists train.

        My name is Jack (if I put my surname I’m afraid my email account would be full of spam!) and originally I’m from England. I started my martial arts training very young with my grandfather, who was training in Judō and Aikidō at the time. I tried my hand at various things over the years, Karate, Aikidō, Kung Fu etc but eventually found my rock with Iaidō at sixteen. Obsessed with all things Budō still, I took Japanese language and culture at university, which allowed me to travel to various parts of Japan and train with a number of very talented and experienced teachers, before moving over here full time. I felt the degree alone wasn’t enough so I studied to pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level 1, and this opened the door to get into translation work.
        Now I work as a translator by day, and spend most of my spare time with my family, researching Budō, and practicing Iai.

        I was extremely lucky and training in the UK and Japan exposed me to a number of different styles, though I myself practice Jūshin Ryū Iai, one of the older styles, and the oldest in terms of Hayashizaki Jinsuke Shigenobu, a style which I hope to publish an article on in the near future.

        The reason I started this website, was to try and propagate an accurate as possible account of the founder of Iai as we know it, which after years of reading books, articles, websites and magazines on the subject in various languages, I felt was lacking. There is also lots of mis-transmission of various historical facts and details on the styles born from Hayashizaki’s style, which can be confirmed using the Densho. So I try to answer any questions I’m asked with supporting statements from confirmable sources or from other experts in the art.
        The site is still taking its baby steps, but I’ve been lucky enough to build a following of over 700 on the Facebook page so far, so it’s my earnest intention to keep adding new articles as often as family life will allow.

      • Thank you for all that! I will share the facebook page with our group. I’m sure they will find it of interest.

      • Thank you for taking the time to read the site and Facebook page. Any support is greatly appreciated and spurs on future articles.

  2. Thank you very much Jack for your articles on your site Jushinden. The work you’re doing is really amazing and I think it’s really important ! keep it up !
    There are so many words I would like to tell you, but maybe one encloses them all: Simply, thank you
    Best regards,
    Antonio, Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu practitioner, Italy.

    • Dear Antonio,

      I’m very sorry this reply has taken so long to write. The site was updated some time ago and I have not had full access to all of the commenting features for a while.
      Thank you for taking the time to read my articles, and more so for your kind words.
      I’m glad you are enjoying the site and I hope to finish my next project soon!

  3. Hi Jack. Thank you for the articles and translations. The depth of meaning is astounding. I guess I’ll be re-reading them over and over again. Regartds, Alex Jovanovic (Mansfield Sensei student). Seishinkan (Ealing) dojo.

    • Dear Aleksandar,
      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this blog. I’ve had the pleasure of training with Mansfield Sensei at events many moons ago, and his support when I interpreted at seminars spurred me on to pursue my iai and translation career and subsequent master’s in translation.
      Translation is as much an art as Iai, with a number of varying interpretations. I just hope these simple articles can be of some use to someone!

  4. Dear Jack,

    Thank you so much for your efforts here. I just discovered your work today and I feel a little late to the party. I have done I don’t know how many permutations on Hayashizaki Jinsuke iaido Google searches and only now found your carefully crafted articles. I am a member of an MJER dojo in the lineage of Iwata Norikazu-sensei in California and I have been painstakingly attempting to translate his Koryu Iai no Hondo for the last couple of years. I speak garbage Japanese (I lived in Saito-sensei’s Iwama aikidojo for a brief time and learned the hard way) and my abilities to read and write are even worse, so my hat is off to you for putting your time and expertise into sharing this knowledge with us.

    Are you still actively pursuing scholarship with an intent to publish again or are you on hiatus? I understand how hard it is to make this sort of effort a routine thing. If you have more in the pipeline, I will be looking forward to it. If not, feel no pressure – you have made a great contribution to the art with what you have done.


    Blaise (America-Tosa Jikiden Shigetsukai)

    • Dear Blaise,

      Thank you very much for your kind comments.

      I suppose by default I’m sort of on hiatus due to massive increases in work loads, pursuing my academic career, training in Iai and also taking care of family. However I am still constantly researching and making notes to put more work together once I find(make!) the time.

      Iwata sensei was an excellent scholar and truly believed in what he was researching. The wonders of time and patience mean we can now add to his research, and dare I be bold enough to say improve it now we have more access to materials he did not.

      I’m in no position to publish to the extent that Iwata sensei did with Koryū no Hondō, but I try to provide as much factual and evidential information on the art I practise, Musō Shinden Jūshin Ryū, as possible. The art is quite a close knit family, and has a very clear and easy to follow paper trail of who is legitimate and who is not. Sadly, the majority of information in the public domain in English and Japanese is based on word of mouth and people who received hamon from the school.

      Comments like yours really do perk up my day, and make me realise I need to get back to putting something together to keep the site going.
      Good luck with your translation of Iwata sensei’s book. If you ever publish it or even parts, I look forward to reading it.

      Take care,

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