Message from the Head Instructor
The 9 months since the passing of Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu 14th Soke, Tsumaki Seirin Genshin, on June 5 of 2007 have been ones of great change for Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu.
It has been a rare opportunity for all of us who are a part of USTRI to witness the “changing of the guard”, and to have been given role, no matter how small or large, in the activities surrounding the transmission of this Koryu Bujutsu from one generation to the next.
We have seen the ascension of Soke Sensei’s son, Fuku Soke (Assistant Headmaster) Tsumaki Kazuo Genwa Sensei, to the positions of 15th Soshi (Headmaster) of Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu and Kaicho (President) of the new blanket organization known as the Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu Genwakai. The creation of the Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu Genwakai in September of 2007 ushered in a new age for Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu. The formal structure of this new organization, which possesses defined policies and procedures, gives to all those who practice Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu an assurance that this particular form of Koryu Bujutsu will have a solid organizational foundation and will be able to continue for the next generation.
We have also seen the resumption of formal Tamiya Ryu Koshukai and Shinsakai in Japan in November of 2007, after a 3 year hiatus due to Soke Sensei’s inability to attend these events due to his advanced age. We have seen as well the birth of the new Japanese Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu Genwakai internet homepage, through the tireless efforts of Mr. Takao Shiomoto and, for the first time in the history of USTRI, we have seen the appointment of its leader as a sitting member (Riji) on the Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu Genwakai Board of Directors, giving USTRI a voice in the inner workings of the general organization.
Change is inevitable. While all of us had hoped that Soke Sensei would achieve his goal of living to 105, none of us…even Soke Sensei himself…could predict what would happen in June of 2007. Change is a part of life. When the responsibility of transmitting and preserving a Koryu Bujutsu, like Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu, passes from one generation to the next, we realize that the new generation will bring to the art their own unique perspective and goals…building on what has already been established, but which must evolve to stay alive, fresh and relevant. Finally, Change is necessary. Without change, an art stagnates and dies. Without change, we cannot continue to follow the path of progress in our study of Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu. Like the water of a river that is constantly flowing and changing and which adapts to the form of the vessel into which it is poured, we who are loyal to the Tsumaki family and the art they have protected since 1797 must adapt to the new form which the Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu Genwakai has crated for us and conform to it in order to continue to improve our spirit, our technique…and ourselves.
Michael Alexanian (Gennan)
General Manager (Sokatsu Shibucho) and Head Instructor (Shihan)
United States Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu
Michigan Honbu Dojo