Rakkenhō 楽健法 is one of the easiest ways to purify the body, restore the body’s energy flow, heal diseases caused by spiritual poison, and recover from accumulated fatigue. Rakkenhō was created by Yamauchi Yūgen 山内宥厳, a priest from the Shingon Esoteric Buddhist tradition. He was also a master baker, artist, writer, and teacher of life. Yamauchi Sensei lived at the Tōkōji Temple 東光寺 in Nara, Japan, where he ran his Rakkenhō Headquarters Dojo and taught many people.
I have begun to translate a nine-volume old document that was written by Tanemura Sensei when he was still a Bujinkan senior member. The title of the document is 武道秘巻 Budō Hikan (Martial Arts Secret Volume). There is not so much “new information” contained in the pages. However, the style of writing in certain sections has deep spiritual overtones that express some of the highest teachings that Hatsumi Sensei has always stressed. As the title suggests, this was a kind of “guidebook” for new students entering the dojo. This is a common practice when you train in Koryu (old arts) in Japan. Often, when you take a formal oath of entrance, you may receive an introductory overview in the form of a “Nyumon” entrance guidebook.
Often I think about the wonderful trainings I have had with Seno Sensei in the past. He was always very open and willing to correct my Taijutsu directly by allowing me to be his uke. Lord knows there is a lot of correction to be done! Here is an experience I will try to explain from being his uke during one class. It is not very easy to put it into words, so please bear with me.
I finally got to see a full copy of the Hichibuku Goshinjutsu Genri 秘致武九護身術原理 document written by Takamatsu Sensei. It is not a very large document but contains a number of important principles related to the application and practice of this treatment method.
This relatively small document is part of a larger manuscript: Tatara Hibun 蹈鞴秘文 of which I have only seen an outline for. The Hichibuku Goshinjutsu Genri document follows closely to Chapter 5 of Hatsumi Sensei’s book “Ima Ninja” which I have provided some translation of in English here: Ninpo Used in Daily Life.
Here you will find my English translation of the table of contents for Okuyama Ryuho, the founder of Hakko-ryu Jujutsu 八光流柔術 book: Kohō Shiatsu Chihō Gaku 皇法指圧治方学 (Imperial Finger Pressure Therapy Study). This book was designed as a student reference manual for those who were taking the training. The book details the philosophy, diagnostic methods, Koho Shiatsu therapy techniques, and explanations of the internal organs from both an eastern and western medical perspective. The manual also covers the Goshin Taiso (self-protection meridian regulating exercises) for checking the state of your own meridians and regulating their healthy flow.
My English translation of the table of contents for Okuyama Sensei’s book Shiatsu to Goshin no Hijutsu (Secret Art of Shiatsu and Self-Defense). This book details the deep link between Koho Shiatsu and self-defense.
Here is my translation of the first chapter of Shodai Soke Okuyama’s massive medical textbook titled: Kohō Shiatsu Rinshō Iten 皇方指圧臨床医典. It is clear to see just how extensive Okuyama Sensei’s understanding of the application of his Koho Shiatsu was in relationship to the curing of various illnesses and diseases. He ran various public Shiatsu clinics throughout his life that added to his practical application of his Shiatsu in the real world that utilized a marriage between both eastern and western medical approaches he had learned from his various teachers.
From 1991 through 1996 I attended the Anma Institute and graduated from various courses in Anma 按摩 (Traditional Japanese Massage). This training would mark the beginning of my life’s work in the pursuit of authentic Anma training in Japan. The Anma Institute was originally setup by Takashi Nakamura, a Anma practitioner from the Kansai Shinkyu Tanki Daigaku 関西鍼灸短期大学 (School of Massage, Acupuncture and Moxibustion) in Osaka, Japan, to provide a local source of Anma therapists for the then only Japan sanctioned hot springs in the United States located in Japan Town San Francisco, California.
Shodai Soke Okuyama had two very famous singers create two Rōkyoku 浪曲 traditional style Uta 唄 (songs) that are accompanied by a Shamisen to tell the “story” of Hakko-ryu Jujutsu 八光流柔術. These two songs and the dance were recorded and released on two small disks that came with a pamphlet that included the lyrics for each song.