Friday, May 21, 2010

Art of War Is The Art of Peace Scroll

This scroll was designed by a person interested in the Martial Art called Tenshin Shouden Katori Shintou Ryuu. (天真正 伝香取神道流). This martial art is one of the oldest extant Japanese bujutsu systems, and was founded by Iizasa Chouisai Ienao 飯篠 長威斉 家直who was born in the Chiba prefecture area of Japan in 1387 A.D. This style of Martial Art is historically recognized as being founded in 1480 A.D.

The story of the transmittal of this martial art was from the deity of the Katori Shrine in Sawara, Japan. It is said that after 1,000 days of continuous daily and nightly practice, the deity of the Katori Shrine Futsunushi no Mikoto (経津主之命) visited Iizasa in a dream and transmitted to him this martial art strategy in a scroll called the Muroku Heihou no Shinsho.

If you would like to order a custom scroll there are three ways to get started: 1. Go to my shopping site at 2. Download my scroll design workbook from my website at to read about the concepts behind kakejiku or wallscroll design. 3. E-mail to me directly at
This particular martial art has been designated as an “Intangible Cultural Asset” from the Japanese government.

One of the main tenets of this martial art is the screening of new students that requires those who wish to enter to take a 血判 Keppan or blood oath. The oath states:

On becoming a member of the Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū which has been transmitted by the Great Deity of the Katori Shrine, I herewith affirm my pledge that:

1. I will not have the impertinence to discuss or demonstrate details of the ryū to either non-members or members, even if they are relatives;

2. I will not engage in altercations or misuse the art against others;

3. I will never engage in any kind of gambling nor frequent disreputable places.

4. I will not cross swords with any followers of other martial traditions without authorization.

I hereby pledge to firmly adhere to each of the above articles. Should I break any of these articles I will submit to the punishment of the Great Deity of Katori and the Great Deity Marishiten. Herewith I solemnly swear and affix my blood seal to this oath to these Great Deities.

To learn more about this martial art please go to this link for the Wikipedia site.

The scroll is a saying of Iizasa Soke, which reads Heihou Ha Heihou Nari. In English this means, “The Art of War is the Art of Peace”. Art could also be written as Way, and alternatively means, “The Way of War, is the Way of Peace”.

This beautiful phrase is written in a semi-cursive style called Gyousho by Ryugyoku. The chuumawashi is a green silk with a taupe Ten and Chi. The scroll was made in the Sandan Hyougu (Three Step) style. The Red Ichimonji was used to symbolize the Keppan or blood oath. In this case the brocade not only borders the top and bottom of the work, but also there is 2 分 bun border on the right and left hand sides of the 紙本 Shihon or artwork. Obedience to the Keppan are all encompassing in the life of the Katori Shintou Ryuu practitioner hence, it encompasses the entire work. The scroll is completed with a beautiful wood jikusaki that is lacquered red.

Making this scroll was both a challenge and very inspirational in being diligent to the end.

No comments: