Murakami Hideō (村上秀雄)

Murakami Hideo & Kobayashi Seio

Murakami Hideō was born in Bunkyu 3 (1863) on the island of Shikoku.  She first studied Shizuka-ryu naginata in Takamatsu.  After her teacher died, she moved to Matsuyama and studied Shikoku Ipponsai Ichiden-ryu with Takamura Koeki.  She later moved to Kyushu and studied some form of Shinkage-ryu.  After years of travel on musha-shugyo, she arrived in Tokyo at the age of 25, and began studying Toda-ha Buko-ryu with Komatsuzaki Kotō (1888).  After Komatsuzaki’s death, she continued her studies with Yazawa Isaō, another student of Suneya Satō.  This kind of lateral move, where one studies with another person from the same generation as one’s teacher is called zuishin.

After she received menkyo kaiden, she opened her own dojo, the Shusuikan (“The Hall of Autumn Water”) in the Kanda area of Tokyo.

She achieved significant fame as a participant of Sakakibara Kenichi’s Gekkiken Kogyo, martial arts “shows,” in which many experts of traditional ryu, unemployed after the inception of the Meiji government, exhibited their skills on stage.  Aside from presentation of kata, various participants took on challenges from the audience.  Murakami fought with both naginata and kusarigama, and according to Toda-ha Buko-ryu’s oral tradition, was never defeated.

Murakami Hideo and Kobayashi Seio teaching at a girl’s school pre-WWII

Murakami died in Showa 24 (1949) at the age of 83.