Grandmaster Yasuyuki Otsuka Trains on Japanese Shuriken Throwing
" Yasuyuki Otsuka, the visiting Grandmaster of the Meifu
Shinkage Ryu school of shuriken (small Japanese hand weapon) throwing
art, trained the members of the Chicago Keikokai Meifu Shinkage Ryu at
the Japanese Culture Center on April 9 and 10.
The Shapes of Shuriken
" Cross- and star-shaped (five and eight blades) shurikens do exist outside
the imaginary world of ninja movies. They are larger and heavier than
we imagine 4 to 5 inches in diameter, more than 0.2 inches thick and
weigh more than 3.5 ounces. It is easy to see that they are not made for
holding in layers in the palm and throwing consecutively in quick, slicing
" The optimal range for shuriken is 3 kens (17.7 feet) to 4 kens (23.6
feet) with a distance more than 3 kens, traditional Japanese weapons
can t reach you and shuriken works better. From such a distance, you can
strike shuriken down in a flash and then immediately draw your sword
to prepare for full-fledged attack.
" Otsuka and Art of Shuriken
" Otsuka says he knew how to throw bo-shuriken since he was a boy without
being taught. He did it by holding one between his fingers, with his thumb
pressing down the end of the shuriken in order to prevent it from spinning.
By the time he was a junior high school student, he was throwing his modified
paring knives and paper knives at the target board. He continued the practice
well into adulthood. In 1980, he read the book Introduction to Shuriken
Jutsu by Chikatoshi Someya, original founder of Meifu Shrinkage Ryu,
and found in it what he had been practicing without being taught.
" As the Grandmaster, Otsuka worked toward the reestablishment of Meifu
Shinkage Ryu while employed as a computer graphic designer, training students,
attending seasonal sessions, and setting up a website on the Internet.
Increasingly his name and Meifu Shinkage Ryu became known across the media
and the world, as he accepted interviews and inquiries from all over the
world. With more branches opening in Japan and overseas, the existence
and operation of the school had been securely solidified by 2006 and into
" Otsuka says he has always been asking himself why he was attracted to the shuriken art so much. He claims that he had the knowledge of how to hold shuriken as an old memory. That memory also included an image of martial art tournament in the shogun s castle and life in a samurai house. A psychic once told him that he was one of the masters of the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu and was born in the Edo residence of the Yagyu Domain. After investigation, Otsuka identified Yagyu Toshiakira, the 10th lord of the Yagyu Domain, as his most likely former life. These are explained in his book, Shuriken jutsu to Watashi (Shuriken jutsu and Me).
" Meifu Shinkage Ryu branches and training clubs existed in only a few countries prior to 2010; by March 2015, they grew in number to 30 locations in 17 countries, including Finland, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Germany, the United States, Russia, and Thailand.
" The Chicago Keikokai of Meifu Shinkage Ryu was initiated by William
Seiyo Shehan and formally founded in January, 2016.
Soke Yasuyuki Otsuka with the member of the Meifu Shinkage Ryu School of Shuriken
Soke Yasuyuki Otsuka
Different size and shape of shuriken