Message from the Head Instructor
One of the most fascinating and fulfilling aspects of belonging to a Koryu system is watching its history unfold before one’s eyes. Not only does it underscore the living nature of an ancient art, but it also affords us a glimpse of the direction it will go in the future.
On March 29, 2009, following the Shidosha, Kodansha and Honbucho Lecture in Yokosuka, Japan, a meeting of the Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu Genwakai Board of Directors (Rijikai) was held. With Vice President Abe acting as the leader, there was a discussion concerning the succession of Tsumaki Kazuo Genwa Soshi to 15th Soke of Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu. With very strong support from the Executives (Kanbu) and Directors (Riji) of the Genwakai, the result that was arrived at after deliberation was that he should indeed succeed to the position of 15th Soke of Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu.
This decision was based on two very important factors:
- That Soshi Sensei had taken over the duties of his father, Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu 14th Soke Tsumaki Seirin Genshin Sensei, after his death in June of 2007 and;
- That based on the age-old tradition of the mysteries of an art being handed down from father to son, he should succeed to the position of 15th Soke.
Soshi Sensei’s ascension to 15th Soke of Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu was formally announced to the members of the Genwakai at the All-Member Lecture that was held at the Ota Branch on April 29, 2009, and on the Genwakai homepage the following day. Below is a translation of the formal greeting (Aisatsu) that appears below Soke Sensei’s formal portrait on the Genwakai homepage:
At this time, having taken over the duties of Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu 14th Soke Tsumaki Seirin Genshin following his death, I have succeeded to 15th Soke based on the tradition of the mysteries of an art being handed down from father to son.
I took instruction in the teachings of Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu from my father and as Assistant Headmaster (Fuku Soke) I assisted the previous Soke by beginning to make efforts for the growth of Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu.
After Soke’s passing, I began supervising the Genwakai as 15th Soshi but, because of a strong demand by all of the members, I renewed my determination based on this set of circumstances.
From this point on, having carefully protected and fostered my father’s teachings for 40 years, it is my intention to continue handing down traditional Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu to future generations” Heisei 21, May, Auspicious DayPresident, Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu Genwakai
15th Soke Tsumaki Kazuo Genwa
As the only licensed foreign Branch of the Genwakai, we have all watched the developments that led to this point with great interest for the last two years. In my previous Message, I discussed the formation of the Genwakai and the progress that was made during this time with regard to the Organization itself and the standardization of First Volume Kata for the purpose of passing down correct Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu to future generations.
Now that Tsumaki Soshi has succeeded to the position of 15th Soke, it is imperative for all of us who are members of USTRI to deeply and seriously commit ourselves to the study of this art so that we can represent not only the art itself, but our new Soke with honor, respect and devotion. One of the qualities that is essential to this is that of Nyunanshin, or “ Pliable Mind”, which is discussed in depth in the current Reflecting Pool article.
On behalf of all the members of USTRI, we congratulate Tsumaki Sensei on his elevation to 15th Soke and make it our solemn vow to work hard for the growth of Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu here in Michigan…and beyond.
Michael Alexanian (Gennan)
General Manager (Sokatsu Shibucho) and Head Instructor (Shihan)
United States Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu
Michigan Honbu Dojo