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(Grandmaster Shoto Tanemura)

(Grandmaster Takamatsu)

An Introduction to the Genbukan
Ninpo Bugei

The Sacred Buddhist wheel symolising the law of dharma, the eight spoked Chakara, is the basis of the symbol of the Genbukan. The Chakra was originally an ancient weapon of India. It was adopted as a symbol for rituals in Tantric Buddhism. The sacred wheel or Horin symbolises the destruction of ignorance and suffering through the understanding of the natural law of the universe and following the eight fold path (DHARMA). In the center of the Genbukan emblem is a circle with the character for Nin in it. This circle represents the sacred mirror which is the heart that has oneness with the divine spirit and soul. The character Nin means perseverance and by combining the mirror and Nin we represent our desire to train to achieve unity with the divine spirit. The symbol around the mirror signifies the lotus flower. This symbol meaning that one strives to polish the heart and shine no matter how 'muddy' our environment. If one follows DHARMA then the heart can defend against all types of harm. Each blade of the Horin represents the different aspects of the eight fold path. This is also the true meaning of the word kamae. When faced with attack the follower of Ninpo does not answer by reflecting hatred with hatred or attack with anger. Rather he/she waits patiently and fights without anger or hatred. The martial way of Ninpo and the way of Buddha is the same. The Genbukan emblem is worn by students over the heart to symbolise the commitment of the student to developing this type of heart.


The Genbukan is an organization set up by Grandmaster Tanemura Shoto Sensei in 1984 in order to preserve genuine Ninpo Martial Arts and ensure its correct teaching. The art includes punching and kicking, joint locks and throws, and a variety of weapon techniques from Japan’s warrior past. Genbukan Ninpo has a syllabus with 10 below black belt (Kyu) levels; each level has a formal test with standards to maintain the integrity of the art. Based in Matsubushi, Japan, there are many branch Dojo’s in the United States and Canada, as well as South Africa and many European countries.