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Masaaki Hatsumi (初見 良昭 Hatsumi Masaaki, born December 2, 1931), formerly Yoshiaki Hatsumi, is the founder of the Bujinkan Organization and is the current Togakure-ryū Soke (Grandmaster). He currently resides and teaches in Noda, Chiba, Japan.
|Born||December 2, 1931|
|Residence||Noda, Chiba, Japan|
Hatsumi was born in Noda, Chiba on December 2, 1931. He heavily participated in sports during his school years, along with martial arts and theater, including becoming "captain of the football team". While attending the Meiji University, he continued learning judo and eventually rose to Yudansha or Dan rank. He also began teaching Judo during his time at the university to American soldiers at the nearby Yokota Air Base. After graduating, Hatsumi began to search for a teacher to further his study of martial arts. He began his Kobudo training under Ueno Chosui. When he was 26 he met Ueno's teacher, Toshitsugu Takamatsu, known as "the Tiger of Mongolia". Hatsumi was accepted as Takamatsu's student and spent fifteen years on Honshu Island learning various ninjutsu styles from Takamatsu and other members of the Takamatsu family, also he continued to learn judo, Shito Ryu karate, aikido, and kobudo.
Takamatsu died in Nara, Japan in 1972 after advancing Hatsumi from student to Soke and bestowing on him "all the art of the nine schools", and of course the grandmaster's scrolls, three of which he indicated were ancient ninja schools and six samurai jujutsu schools of martial arts. Hatsumi went on to found the Bujinkan Dojo in Noda, Japan to teach the nine schools to other students. His first trip to the United States was in 1982 and he has since continued to participate in yearly ninjutsu Tai Kai (gathering) around the world.
Hatsumi also worked as a Seikotsu-in (整骨院) bonesetter after his graduation and was chairman of the Writers Guild of Japan at one point in time. He was the writer of a martial arts magazine Tetsuzan, which was "distributed in 18 countries."
Masaaki Hatsumi focuses the training of the Bujinkan on the "feeling" of technique or what he terms the feeling of real situations. Hatsumi has a non-standoffish teaching approach, leading Black Belt magazine to call him "wild, funny, unpredictable, and a cross between Charlie Chaplin and Obi-Wan Kenobi."
He has also served as a martial arts advisor to various films and television productions, including the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice, and in the first film from the highly popular Japanese series Shinobi no Mono. He also appeared in and was the stunt coordinator for the Japanese tokusatsu television series Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya as the titular hero's mentor and father figure, Tetsuzan Yamaji.
- You Only Live Twice (1967) - Photographic Assistant to Tanaka on Train (uncredited)
The Iga-ryū Ninja Museum of Japan lists the only legitimate inheritor of authentic Ninjutsu as Jinichi Kawakami. This may be a biased opinion as Jinichi Kawakami is also the honorary director of the Iga-ryū Ninja Museum, a commercial enterprise and tourist attraction.
The 1978 edition of the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten includes the full sōke lists for Masaaki Hatsumi's ryūha. It also includes the following statement regarding Togakure-ryu: "genealogy includes embellishments by referring to data and kuden about persons whose existence is based on written materials and traditions in order to appear older than it actually is."
According to Donn Draeger: "The late Fujita Seiko was the last of the living ninja, having served in assignments for the Imperial Government during the Taisho and Showa eras. No ninja exist today. Modern authorities such as T. Hatsumi are responsible for most research being done on ninjutsu."
- 1986 – Instructor of the Year, Black Belt magazine
- 1994 – Hatsumi claims to have received the title of a "Knight", from the German government; however, the concept of nobility has been abolished in Germany in 1919, and there is no such title given out by the German government[improper synthesis?]
- 2000 – International Culture Award, Japan Cultural Promoting Association (physically issued by the Japanese Imperial Family)
- 2001 – Lifetime Achievement Award, USMA International Hall of Fame
- 2013 – Inducted into the CBME's Dutch National Hall of Fame
- Masaaki Hatsumi, The Complete Ninja: The Secret World Revealed (2014), Kodansha International, ISBN 978-1568365473
- Masaaki Hatsumi, The Essence of Budo, The Secret Teachings of the Grandmaster (2011), Kodansha International, ISBN 978-4-7700-3107-5
- Masaaki Hatsumi, Unarmed Fighting Techniques of the Samurai (2008), Kodansha International, ISBN 978-4-7700-3059-7
- Masaaki Hatsumi, Japanese Sword Fighting (2006), Kodansha International, ISBN 978-4-7700-2198-4
- Masaaki Hatsumi, Advanced Stick Fighting (2005), Kodansha International, ISBN 978-4-7700-2996-6
- Masaaki Hatsumi, The Way of the Ninja (2004), Kodansha International, ISBN 978-4-7700-2805-1
- Masaaki Hatsumi, Ninpo: Wisdom for Life. 1999, Kihon Press, ISBN 978-1-58776-206-2
- Masaaki Hatsumi, Essence of Ninjutsu. The Nine Traditions 1988, Contemporary Books, ISBN 0-8092-4724-0
- Masaaki Hatsumi and Quintin Chambers, Stick Fighting (1981), Kodansha International, ISBN 978-0-87011-475-5
- Welzenbach, Michael (April 30, 1988). "Japan's Hatsumi Will Highlight Burbank Martial-Arts Event". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
- "Lethal weapon: Hanging with the world's last living ninja". CNN. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
- "Bujinkan Hombu Dojo Contact Information". Honbu Dojo. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- Staff writer (May 5, 2006). "Masaaki Hatsumi, el culto al último maestro ninja". El Mercurio. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- Green, Thomas A. (2001). Martial arts of the world: an encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 732. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
- Sandra E. Kessler (November 1994). "Ninja in the 20th Century/The Man Behind the Ninja Mask". Black Belt. Vol. 32 no. 11. Active Interest Media. pp. 38–43. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
- Staff writer (August 2000). "Top Ninja Honored In Japan". Black Belt. Vol. 38 no. 8. Active Interest Media. p. 10. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
- Hino, Akira. "Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi". Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- Watatani Kiyoshi and Yamada Tadashi (1978). Bugei Ryuha Daijiten. Various. Archived from the original on September 4, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- Groak, William (August 1986). "Black Belt Times: Ninja Leader Hatsumi Returns to U.S.". Black Belt Magazine. p. 16.
- Ollhoff, Jim (2008). Ninja. ABDO. pp. 28–29. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
- Masaaki Hatsumi on IMDb
- Sekai ninja sen Jiraiya on IMDb
- Phelan, Stephen (12 October 2011). "Lethal weapon: Hanging with the world's last living ninja". CNN.
- "FAQ". Iga-ryū Ninja Museum. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- Watatani Kiyoshi and Yamada Tadashi (1978). Bugei Ryuha Daijiten. Various. pp. 626–627. Archived from the original on September 4, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
- Draeger, Donn F.; Smith, Robert W. (1969). Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts. Kodansha International Ltd. pp. 130–131.
- Staff interviewer (July 1994). "Ask Ninja About Ninja Things!!". B-Club. Vol. 104. Bandai. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
- "Dr Masaaki Hatsumi Ph.D., Soke Bujinkan 34th Grandmaster Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu". Ninpo Properties cc. Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
- "USMA International Hall of Fame: 2001 Inductees". United States Martial Arts Association. 2008. Archived from the original on November 8, 2014. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
- "Internationaal Budo Hall of Fame Register" (in Dutch). Comité Behoud Martiaal Erfgoed. Retrieved 6 August 2016.