|The Sickle-Spear of the Hôzôinryû (12)|
Written by Kagita Chûbê, 20th sôke of the Hôzôinryû
Historical traces of the Hôzôinryû
The memorial stone on the grounds of the Hôzôin
The graveyard of the Hôzôin
The graveyard where Inei, the founder of our style, Inshun, the second headmaster, and their successors are resting is located in the Byakugôji quarter of Nara. The members of our school are visiting and maintaining the graves at all seasons. And every year on 26th of August, the day of Ineis death, a requiem mass is held which is attended by the head of the Kôfukuji as well as the board of the Nara Society for the Preservation of Hôzôinryû Sôjutsu3. But the tombstones were so timeworn and, caused by tree roots, stood so askew, that it was unendurable. Therefore, as one project on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Ineis death, I had the tombs of the headmasters of the Hôzôinryû fixed. The required funds were donated by the citizens of Nara. Thus on August 26th 2007, the 400th anniversary of Ineis death, the renovated graveyard could be reopened in a ceremony lead by the head priest of the Kôfukuji.
The Marishiten boulder
Inei, the founder of our school, it is told, venerated this boulder that was located on the grounds of the Hôzôin as the embodiment of the deity Marishiten during his training and thus finally produced our sôjutsu. Marishiten is the divine personification of the Sanskrit term Marici (shimmering air). This goddess who gives protection and grants victory had been venerated in Japan for ages as the protective goddess of the warriors. Until the end of the Edo period the Marishiten boulder was venerated at the Hôzôin. And when the temple was destroyed during the anti Buddhist movement at the beginnig of the Meiji period it was simply left behind in the ruins. A certain Katsuzô who lived in the Takabatakechô quarter of Nara and was the great-grandfather of Ishizaki Naoji and a doctor fo Chinese medicine found this intolerable to the effect that he had the boulder moved to his own home in the year Meiji 204. There he offered sacrifices to the boulder and venerated it as the protective deity of the physicians. From that time on the boulder was called "O-Ishi-sama5" in the Ishizaki family who adored it devotedly.
When I asked the family who had saved the Marishiten boulder to donate it, my reqeust was met with great understanding. The Kôfukuji with its ties to the Hôzôin willingly offered to be the new site for the boulder. Thus on May 31st 1999 after a ceremony led by Tagawa Shunei, the head priest of the Kôfukuji, the Marishiten boulder was set up in front of the three-storied pagoda of the Kôfukuji.
These are the historical traces related to the Hôzôinryû Sôjutsu that are still existing today. I hope we will do our best to preserve them as I hope to preserve the Sôjutsu of the Hôzôinryû for future generations by means of our training.
This is the final issue of "The Sickle-Spear of the Hôzôinryû". Thank you for following my articles with kind interest for one year.
(First published in the Nara town magazine Ubusuna on December 5th 2009)