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Kukishin Ryū (九鬼神流?) or Kukishinden Ryū, originally "Nine Gods Spirit School" [1] (also translated as "Nine Demon Gods School" "[citation needed] by many modern groups having different lineages) is a Japanese martial art allegedly founded in the 14th century CE by Kuki Yakushimaru Ryūshin (Yakushimaru Kurando).[1][2] It is a sōgō bujutsu, meaning that it teaches several different weapons/arts such as taijutsu, bōjutsu, naginata, kempō, hanbō, sōjutsu and heiho. Kukishin Ryu and its founder are listed in the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten or "The Encyclopedia of Martial Art Schools", a record of modern (gendai) and old lineage (koryu) Japanese martial schools.[3]


The Legend of Kukishin Ryū

Ryushin Yakushimaru, the founder of Kukishin Ryū, was born to Dōyu Shirōhōgan at Kumano-Hongu in Wakayama prefecture on January 1, 1318. He was born into one of the most influential clans in Kumano, who were the descendants of the Fujiwara clan who served for generations as bettō, or “Shrine Supervisors." The family eventually entered into the Taira-Minamoto War and commanded the Kumano Navy. Ryushin's mother was Chigusa-hime, whose brother was Suketomo Dainagon Hino, a member of the Southern Imperial court. Because Chigusa-hime had difficulty in conceiving she made a pilgrimage to Enryakuji temple at Mt. Hiei where she prayed to the Yakushi Buddha (Bhaisajyaguru-Vaiduryaprabha) for help. Soon after, she became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy, which she named Yakushimaru after the deity.

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