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The   or "Encyclopedia of Martial art schools", originally Bugei Ryuha Jiten (武芸流派辞典),  is a catalog of Koryū Bujutsu (old schools) and Gendai Budō (new schools) of Japanese martial arts. It is composed both of active and inactive schools, chronicled over the lifetimes of the authors Watatani Kiyoshi (Western name order: Kiyoshi Watatani) and Yamada Tadashi (Western name order: Tadashi Yamada). Due to the meticulousness of their cataloging, formatting style and methods used in creating the book it has become the standard academic reference for anyone doing research into the field.

Publication history

The book is written in Japanese by Kiyoshi Watatani and Tadashi Yamada. The original 1963 edition was called "Bugei Ryuha Jiten" (武芸流派辭典). Later the character "dai" (大) was added to the title to form "daijiten" (大辭典) in the 1969-1978 editions.It was last published in 1979. The Tokyo Koppi Shuppanbu publicated version is 974 pages, and is a hardbound volume. There was a revised printing of the third 1978 edition in 2003, with revisions made by Yasuhiro Saito.

In 1972 an author revised version was published as "Bugei Ryuha 100 Sen" (武芸流派100選) or "Selection of 100 Martial Art Schools".

Style and contents

The authors used the Meiji Restoration as a division between old and new schools. The designation reflects the difference between those martial arts training in budō, and bujutsu. Each school is listed by Kanji, using "AIUEO-jun" (similar to alphabitizing) for order. It usually, but not always, provides a list of the arts taught in the school, periodically accompanied by a brief history and lineage chart. There are also sections for cross-referencing schools, which is mentioned directly after the schools name. Occasionally the authors had direct contact to the school and its practitioners, so further information was given according to their notes and conversations.


Kiyoshi Watatani

Kiyoshi Watatani was born in Wakayama City in Meiji 36 (1904). He was the descendant of a gunnery instructor (Yoshikawa-ryu hojoutsu) of the Kishu domain and his father was a minister. After his father's death, he was sent to live with relatives, first in Awajijima and then in Kobe, where he was adopted by the Watatani family.

When in middle school he studied Ryugo Ryu Kenjutsu (of the style transmitted in Takino Domain)

He graduated from Waseda Universitymarker and was a member of the Bungeika Kyokai. He has written and edited more than forty books in a variety of fields, including history, historical novels, interpreting, geography of Edo, research methodology and practices, as well as twenty-five books on the history of martial arts and traditions.

Kiyoshi Watatani was a close friends with many martial arts instructors, including Toshitsugu Takamatsu.

Tadashi Yamada

Tadashi Yamada was born in Aichimarker Prefecture in Taisho 12 (1923). He became interested in the history of martial arts while he was a student at Tsushima High School.

On graduating from a teacher training course at Nagoya Higher Industrial Arts School, he was a teacher at many schools in the area.

He began working at a local school for the blind after losing the sight of both eyes.

Listed ryuha

Some of the many schools listed include:(in alphabetical order)


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