Meifu Shinkage-ryu includes several specialized weapon skills that can be traced to the ancient Samurai in Japan. Many of the weapon skills taught in Meifu Shinkage-ryu were once kept as secret or hidden techniques, only taught to more advanced students of traditional schools such as Katori Shinto-ryu.
Meifu Shinkage-ryu teaches skills using Bo-Shuriken. Such throwing spikes are made of 14 to 15cm long square bar steel, and are 6 to 7mm wide. The official MSR Bo-shuriken were designed by Someya-Sensei.
The Fundo Kusari is the second major weapon taught in Meifu Shinkage-ryu. A safety Fundo Kusari, made of a plastic chain and a soft “weight”, is used to teach novice practitioners in a safe manner.
More advanced practitioners of Meifu Shinkage-ryu learn how to use hand held blades, known as Shoken . Shoken are part of a specialized category of hidden weapons, known as kakushi-buki .
Several additional skills are part of theMeifu Shinkage-ryu curriculum. These techniques were explored and further developed by the first Head Master (Soke) Someya-Sensei in the sixties and seventies. Such skills include empty spear hand techniques known as Shutojutsu , as well as techniques from sword fencing (Kenjutsu).
Meifu Shinkage-ryu consists of 5 Kanji character (明府真影流). The first Soke (Someya-Sensei) created the name as a message for current and future students.
Each of these characters has it’s own meaning. Let’s take a deeper look at the meaning of each of these characters, and how the combined meaning symbolizes what Meifu Shinkage-ryu stands for.
Mei (明): Bright, as well as wise, knowledgeable and clever person.
Fu (府): Fu represents an Organization in which likeminded people are gathered.
Shin (真): One explanation of shin is Truth.
Kage (真): Shadow, as well as the back side of objects.
Shinkage (真影) suggests that the truth and its shadow are inseparable, like two sides on any object or any opposite feeling (happy and sad) concept (bright and dark).
Ryu (流): Stream.
As Otsuka-Sensei explains in his book, many Budo schools sign at the end of their name with this character. The flow represents passing knowledge from a more knowledgeable other to students, as well as their students.
Synthesizing the 5 Kanji teaches students that Meifu Shinkage-ryu is about like-minded people sharing knowledge and learning how to accept that life comes with many truths and shadows. Ultimately, the like-minded participant in Meifu Shinkage-ryu seek to find the truth together in a way that helps the organization as well as the individual practitioner grow mentally, physically, and spiritually.