A Historical Study on the MUSO-JIKIDEN Schools in North Shinano:
A Case Study of the Marginal Bujutsu Transmitted in the
Villages in the Edo Period
Shoji ENOMOTO (Nanzan University)
In the Edo period the peasants were prohibited by law from possessing
weapons. Neverthless, the peasants already practiced Bujutsu in the first half of
the Edo period.
Documents of the MUSO-JIKIDEN Schools in the possession of the Takizawa
family in a village in North Shinano have been found and analyzed by the present
The purpose of this study is threefold:
(1) To clarify what kinds of peasant in a village community practice the
martial arts of the MUSO-JIKIDEN Schools.
(2) To clarify what kind of Bujutsu they practice, that is to say, what is the
(3) To clarify the purposes for which they practice it
Briefly, the main conclusions were as follows:
(1) Many of the peasants that practiced the MUSO-JIKIDEN Schools were
also the samurais of the lowest rank in the Matsushiro clan, that is to say, they
were the marginal people in the villages.
(2) The MUSO-JIKIDEN Schools was comprehensive bujutsu which was
medieval. It consisted of jujutsu, bojutsu, iait nawat and so on.
(3) The purpose of the MUSO-JIKIDEN Schools was primarily vocational
educaion, but it was pastime and sport for many peasants in the villages.