- 一般社団法人 日本体育学会
- 体育学研究 (ISSN:04846710)
- vol.62, no.2, pp.631-646, 2017 (Released:2017-12-19)
The purpose of this study was to clarify the handing down of a martial art in a Japanese village community, focusing as an example on the Shinto Katori-Ryu School. The Shinto Katori-Ryu School was established in Kamigawara from the mid Edo period. Kamigawara was a farm village, and the members of the school were farmers. The Shinto Katori-ryu School was characterized by the following features. 1. There was no specific master exponent at the school, and the coaching was done by the village elders. Generally, at most Japanese martial art schools, a magnate or an authority acted as a master. 2. Only the eldest sons of the village were coached, and were referred to as sozokunin, meaning “heirs”. Learners at other schools are usually referred to as “pupils”, but this was not the case here. In order to become a sozokunin, a rite of passage known as kenjyutsu denjyu was necessary. 3. The school taught not only kenjutsu, but also methods of treating plague, and was dedicated to the god of a shrine. In addition, details of village regulation were also taught. The Shinto Katori-ryu School was closely related to village affairs, and was aimed at educating people within the village. In this way it was recognized as a “folk movement” unique to Kamigawara. After the Meiji era, the school traditions were handed down until World War 2, while maintaining the relations close to local society. Therefore, after the modern era, it was not assimilated by budo and kobudo. Later, like many folk customs, the tradition was swept aside during the period of rapid economic growth. The organization of a martial art has generally been understood as adhering to the iemoto system. However, the organization of the Shinto Katori-ryu School took a different form, and is one example of a martial art that was nurtured and handed down by farmers.