All over the world, there are traditional cultures rooted in each country and region.
Those that have stayed with us to this day are the ones that have long been loved and are indispensable to people for generations.
GENUINE JAPAN is a special program where you can experience the most authentic presentation of the traditional cultures rooted in Japan. You will learn about the ways Japanese traditional culture influenced daily life, martial arts, artistic accomplishments and etiquette in a comprehensive format from the highest authorities.
This comprehensive, special program could only be planned by Ogasawara Kiyomoto, a man from a family of honorable status and distinguished historical background, who is equipped with extensive and thorough knowledge of Japanese traditional culture, and is the 32nd Generation Heir to the headmaster of the Ogasawara-ryū (The School of Etiquette, Archery and Mounted Archery).
Central to the GENUINE JAPAN philosophy is the belief that the most genuine form of Japanese traditional culture, which has been carried forward by the most distinguished authorities for generations, should be steadily passed down to posterity and shared internationally. We believe this will lead to more cultural exchange, development and mutual understanding between Japan and the world.
Agriculture, medicine, architecture, education, engineering and many other disciplines come together to make our lives what they are today.
From these, we can learn or watch something we are interested in, such as cooking, sports or music. In other words, it can be said that individual interests come from a variety of current backgrounds.
For example, let's say you go on a trip to an unfamiliar place. You may feel differently about the culture and customs of the place on your first day than you do when you return home.
How we live, how we spend our time, what kind of climate we have. Together they make up our culture and customs.
I am sure that many people are interested in learning about and appreciating Japanese culture. However, I believe that many of us see the culture in fragments. I think this is unavoidable because there are few places that introduce Japanese culture in a wide range and in English.
We are an organisation that promotes Japanese culture in English to a wide audience.
I believe that culture is the fruit of human wisdom. Now you have the opportunity to learn about it from the comfort of your own home.
You will gain a deeper understanding of the culture in which you are primarily interested.
Culture can only be expressed through an underlying philosophy.
We hope that our programme will be a source of inspiration for you.
Authentic Traditions Still Exist
32nd generation heir to Ogasawara-ryū
The Ogasawara-ryū is a School of Reihō (etiquette), Kyū-jyutsu (archery) and Kyū-bajyutsu (mounted archery).
The Ogasawara family traces its origin to the founder, Ogasawara Nagakiyo, of the Seiwa Genji's Clan, the same family line as the Ashikaga and Tokugawa Clans who became the ruling families of the Muromachi (1336-1573) and Edo (1603-1868) Shogunates respectively. Nagakiyo became the instructor of Kyū-hō (the arts of etiquette, archery and Yabusame) to Minamoto-no-Yoritomo, the founder of the Kamakura Shogunate and ruler of Japan from 1185 to 1199. In 1187, Nagakiyo performed Genji-style Yabusame in Tsurugaoka Hachimangū Shrine in Kamakura.
The role of instructor of Kyū-hō for the Shoguns' families, the rules of samurai society, has been passed down for generations in the Ogasawara family. When samurai society came to an end due to the Meiji Restration at the end of the 19th century, the Ogasawara-ryū School opened its doors to the general public. Since then, they have strictly observed their family discipline: "One should not make a living out of teaching Kyū-hō," in order to preserve the sacred nature of Kyū-hō teaching. Together with his followers, the present 31st generation headmaster, Ogasawara Kiyotada, performs etiquette, archery and Yabusame riturals throughout Japan while maintaining a completely separate professional life. He is dedicated to passing on the tradition of the school in line with the needs of the time. One such effort is to modernize the school's organizational structure through incorporation as a foundation in 2010.
11th headmaster of the Ikebana Koryū Rion-kai
Ikebana Koryū is a school, or style of Kadō founded by Imai Soufu (Issiken) in the mid-Edo period during the Meireki era (1655-1658). Kado is the traditional art of Japanese flower arrangement also known as Ikebana. Issiken's simple, graceful but masculine style was loved by the people of the time.
Isshiken's style was passed down through generation of headmasters, from Ando Ryōu to Sekimoto Riyū, Sekimoto Rion to Udagawa Rito. It was during the time of Riyū that the hanageta, the basic pattern of flower arrangement unique to each school of Kadō, was developed into what we see today.
People's sense of values changed drastically with the times as Japan experienced the end of Tokugawa Shogunate and the Meiji Restoration at the end of the 19th century. The name of the capital was also changed from Edo to Tokyo. During this period, Kadō faced a difficult time as Japanese people themselves began to deny the value of their traditional arts.
After some time, however, people recognized the importance of tradition. The once scattered Kadō Koryū masters gathered again in Tokyo to revitalize their teachings, and the Koryū Association was established. In 1990, the present headmaster succeeded to the name Riou as the 11th headmaster of the Ikebana Koryū Rion-kai School. To this day, Riou has been actively involved in various aspects of society as an Ikebana expert leading the next genaration.
47th headmaster of Takeda-ryū
Takeda-ryū originated with Prince Sadazumi, the prince of Emperor Seiwa, and after seven generations of the Seiwa Minamoto clan it was divided into the Takeda and Ogasawara schools. After the fall of the Wakasa Takeda clan in the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1573-1603), Takeda Nobunao (Kyuushousai) passed the Takeda school on to his relative Hosokawa Fujitaka (Yusai). It was then passed on to Tadaoki and Tadatoshi in the Hosokawa family, and then to Tadatoshi's vassal Takehara Korenari in Higo (now Kumamoto Prefecture).
Takeda-ryū's mounted archery was a compulsory subject at the Higo domain school Jishukan.
After the Meiji period, Yūsai's seal, traditional genealogical charts, books and other documents were entrusted to Baron Okinaga, a member of the Hosokawa family, but were returned again to Masafumi, the successor of the Takehara family, and are still carried on under the Takehara name.
Today, there are three groups with the same origins: Takeda-ryū Horseback Archery (Kumamoto City), Takeda-ryū Kyubado (Kamakura City) and Takeda-ryū Kamakura-ha (Kamakura City).
Other Cultural Inheritors
21st headmaster of Hozoin-ryū
Headmaster of Ueda Sōkai-ryū
31st generation head of Ogasawara-ryū
School of Archery, Mounted Archery and Etiquette
71st generation heir to the Kashima Jingu priestly family
Gassan school, Holder of Intangible Cultural Property of Nara
10th generation head of Edo Senke-ryū
17th headmistress of Tendo-ryū
32nd generation heir to the Konoe family
27th generation heir to Kongo-ryū
81st generation head of Komparu-ryū
33rd generation heir to the Shimadzu Family
Former nobleman, Chiyoda Kemari Kenkyukai
18th generation heir to the Tokugawa Souke
21st generation heir to Shino-ryū
20th generation head of Hosho-ryū
18th generation heir to the Higo Hosokawa family
8th headmaster of Hondo-ryū
22nd generation head of Yagyu Shinkage-ryū Heiho
Counselor, General Incorporated Foundations World Paper Heritage Support Foundation KAMIMORI
Former official of Imperial Household Agency's Shoryo Department, part-time lecturer at Kokugakuin University
Official Dress of the Samurai at the Imperial Court
16th generation head of Okura-ryū Kodutsumi-kata
9th generation head of Kyogen Izumi-ryū Nomura Manzo family
Director of Ima Kutani ware, Daishouji Clan Maeda family kiln
The 13th head of Tondaya
Associate Professor, Traditional Culture Course, Faculty of Modern Japanese Studies, Kogakkan University
41st head of Shijo family