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What are Matsumura no Jo?
Matsumura no Jo are a set of 25 Kata derived and influenced by "Bo Jutsu", which is the martial art of the long staff (about 6 feet). These Kata are not well known. In fact, there are only two or three people alive today who know Matsumura no Jo.
Where did Matsumura no Jo come from?
Matsumura was a woman!
During the Tokugawa period, Jo Jutsu was practiced exclusively in Kyushu, as a guarded and secretive art of the Kuroda Clan.
The daughter of a man named Matsumura, an expert in Bo-jutsu, married the Headmaster (11th or 12th) of Shinto Muso Ryu Jo Jutsu of the Kuroda Clan.
Matsumura created Matsumura no Jo for his daughter, who was quite short, and could not wield the Bo, long staff. He shortened the length of the Bo, and modified the techniques which evolved into a set of unique kata.
The daughter brought Matsumura no Jo with her when she married into the Kuroda family, and these kata were incorporated into Shinto Muso Ryu Jo Jutsu.
Until the end of the Tokugawa Period (1870s), it was prohibited to teach or demonstrate Jo Jutsu outside of Kyushu. Even after the the start of the Meiji Period, which abolished the 4-class feudal system, Shinto Muso Ryu still maintained its exclusiveness and would not allow Jo Jutsu to be taught.
Even throughout the 20th Century, public demonstrations of Shinto Muso Ryu would only comprise a few kata, due to the continuing policy within the Ryu to protect the knowledge of its techniques.
Therefore, Matsumura no Jo were often used when public demonstrations of Jo Jutsu were requested.
Names of Matsumura no Jo Kata
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