Article from the Asahi Shimbun (Asahi Newspaper) published on 20th January 2010
Succession Ceremony of Miyamoto Musashi’s School
Mr. Yoshimoti, from Oita, holds the knowledge of the techniques of Nito Ryu and has succeeded as the 12th soke (successor) of the school Niten Ichi Ryu, founded by the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi.
For many years, the soke all had been from the region of Kumamoto, where Musashi resided, but, for 40 years now, the soke have disseminated the teachings of the school from the region of Oita.
The successor is Mr. Yoshimoti Kiyoshi (61 years old). He has received the teachings of Niten Ichi Ryu from his father since his childhood and currently has more than 15 students in his city. He is 4th dan in Kendo and 7th dan in Iaido.
The Ceremony was executed by the Japanese Kendo Federation in front of the Succession Stele, where the name of the successor are engraved. It was also in front of the Successors Stele that the Federation President Nugaku Yoshitoshi handed over the Red Oak Sword, said to be Musashi’s favorite.
The mayor of Usa, Konaga Shuji, who was at the ceremony, disclosed:
– The importance of this ceremony lies in the fact that the transmission of this tradition is important to serve as basis for the education of the youth.
On the other hand, the words of Mr. Yoshimoti were:
– I intend to solidly transmit these teachings to the following generations.
After his speech, Mr. Yoshimoti demonstrated the famous Nito Ryu kata (photo).
According to Mr. Yoshimoti, during the II World War (Kiyonaga Tadanao), a practitioner from Oita (who would become the 9th soke) met the 8th soke (Aoki Kikuo) in Taiwan, joining the school. After the War, he returned to Japan and, in 1967, became the 9th soke (Kiyonaga Tadanao), this being the reason why the succession continued on from this region.