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Amatsu History

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Amatsu is a blend of modern research and ancient Japanese natural movement orientated ‘hands on’ therapeutic techniques dating back over 2,000 years.


The history of Amatsu medicine can only be based upon the words of the present day grandmaster Dr. Hatsumi and what is known of Japanese history. Therefore the following is a compilation of various conversations between our grandmaster and his students.


The original Amatsu Tatara is said to originate from the writings of the gods. It was brought to Japan by the King of Mima and integrated into the aboriginal Japanese society.


There are many factors of the Amatsu Tatara written as individual scrolls. Of interest to us are the Amatsu Ryoho (Medicine scrolls) the Amatsu Bumon (Martial scrolls) and the Amatsu Shumon (Spiritual scrolls) as well as the Chimon, Tenmon and Jinmon (Earth, heaven and Man scrolls).


A copy of the original scrolls was believed to have been presented to the first emperor of Japan (Jinmu reigned from 660 B.C – 585 B.C.) by the princess Tatara Isuzu.


Many of the original teachings of the Amatsu Tatara have continued to be handed down orally or written in code so that only a true master can decipher their inner meaning. Most of the Amatsu Tatara was passed down through the Togakure Ryu, Gyokku Ryu, Kukishin Ryu, Koto Ryu and the Hichi Buku Goshin Jutsu. This is why an elementary training in martial arts is vital to reach the full potential of Amatsu Ryoho. Furthermore the Hichi Buku Goshin Jutsu has within it the Sanshin principles and the Godai interactions, which have great similarities to the Vedic traditions from 650 BC.


It was around the Meiji Restoration period when Toda sensei (our second to last grandmaster) retired from palace duties to run his bone clinic and martial arts dojo. He thought his grandson Takamatsu sensei and also handed down the Amatsu Tatara tradition to him. Dr. Hatsumi started his training with Takamatsu sensei in the late 1950’s and continued doing so until Takamatsu sensei died in 1972. In 1985 Dr. Hatsumi started treating Denis Bartram and Chris Roworth (one of the four menkyo kaiden – master teachers in Amatsu Tatara Hichibuku Goshin Jutsu) for a recurring back problem. At that time Dr. Hatsumi showed a body balancing routine to take home and share with other Budo students. Denis & Chris, eager to learn more about this old traditions, started to intensively study these ways and passed them on to students in the UK, Austria, Germany and other countries.

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