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Spiritual Basis for Ninpo Today...
on February 12, 2003
Narrated by Masaaki Hatsumi, 34th generation lineage holder of the Togakure school of ninpo (and holder of 8 other traditional Japanese martial lineages, at least 6 of which have been verified), This book is the closest thing Hatsumi sensei has written to an autobiography. Hatsumi introduces us to his teacher, Takamatsu Sensei. Chapter 2 includes an interview with Takamatsu sensei conducted by Hatsumi, and throughout he discusses his experiences training with his teacher, his love for his teacher, and how he came to understand the ideas Takamatsu imparted to him.
Numerous learning incidents are recounted by Hatsumi, both while training, and also while simply spending time with his teacher. Each chapter includes a traditional story which imparts something of the spirit of ninpo to the reader. Hatsumi Sensei's writings are rife with anecdotes, recollections, historical observations, and cautiously thought out conclusions. Most touching I found to be his visit to Takamatsu Sensei's tomb accompanied by the Sensei's daughter, and the thought she shared with him (page 68).
For those looking for an introduction to ninjutsu, I'd recommend Masaaki Hatsumi's other book, "Ninjutsu: History and Traditions". For the reader prepared to go beyond learning about ninja weapons and general history, this volume "Essence of Ninjutsu: The Nine Traditions" offers a look at the heart of a kindly man and a profound art.