Soke Toshitsugu Takamatsu

Toshitsugu Takamatsu was the last operational Ninja.  Although a very slight man he was a fierce opponent with an inner strength that defeated many people before any physical confrontation was necessary. There are countless stories of his adventures and martial prowess including 12 challenges that were fought to the death.

Once, while in the mountains of China, he was attacked by several bandits. One of the bandits grabbed Takamatsu around the waist. Suddenly the bandit screamed and fell to the ground holding his face. Takamatsu later said he did not know what he had done to the man, but feeling something wet and warm in his hand, realized he had plucked the man’s eye out. He gave the bandit first aid and then charged him for his services.

 

Takamatsu Sensei was the last in a long line of warriors and, as with many of his ancestors, kept his ninja legacy a secret. He believed the traditions he had kept alive would finally die with him.

Takamatsu Sensei

 

When 27 year old Masaaki Hatsumi approached Takamatsu Sensei to ask to become his student he saw a passion and skill for the martial arts that he had not seen from any other potential student.

Takamatsu wrote to Hatsumi:

Long ago I was an accomplished warrior of the Koppojutsu tradition.

I was courageous, and as intense as a flame,

Even in battle against dangerous animals.

I have a heart that is like the wild flowers of the meadow,

And yet as straight and true as the bamboo.

Not even ten thousand enemies can cause me fear.

Who is there in the world who can keep alive this will of the warrior’s heart?

There you are.

This one sent to me by the Warrior Gods.

I have been here waiting for you through the ages