Ninpo: Wisdom for Life

About the Author and Editor

In Ninpo: Wisdom for Life, Masaaki Hatsumi (founder of the International Bujinkan Hombu Dojo) shares with the reader his philosophy and insights into the martial arts and the world around us. From his teacher, Toshitsugu Takamatsu, Hatsumi Sensei received the title of Sôke (grandmaster) of Togakure ryu ninpô, Shinden Fudo ryu, Kukishinden ryu, Gyokko ryu and several other Japanese warrior traditions.

This book was originally available under the Japanese title, Hiden Togakure Ryu Ninpô. This English edition (revised and authorized by Hatsumi-sensei) with its color cover, five (5) chapters, and approximately 188 pages of writing will provide you insight and wisdom for life.


Written By Joe Maurantonio

Masaaki Hatsumi was born in December 1931 in Noda city, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. He grew up with an avid love of the martial arts and in his youth studied many martial art styles. Hatsumi began practicing when he was seven years old and found his fathers Bokuto ("wooden sword"). From that point on he began studying many popular Japanese martial arts and earned ranking in Karate, Aikido and Judo. After he attained a 4th degree Black Belt in Judo he was asked to teach at a United States Army base. He was in his early 20s and found that the big Americans seemed to have size and natural ability and Hatsumi found that they were learning in months what took the typical Japanese years. He began to question his training... What good is a martial art if a bigger or stronger person could easily defeat you? Hatsumi began searching for a true warrior tradition.

While studying kobudo ("ancient weapons") with a renowned instructor Hatsumi learned about a teacher named Toshitsugu Takamatsu, of Kashiwabara City which is to the west of the Iga region of Japan. As a last hope of finding a teacher who could impart the essence of a living warrior tradition and not just some recreational sport or lifeless art form, Hatsumi traveled across Honsho island to seek out the teacher he had searched for his whole life.

The train ride took over half a day to get from Hatsumi's home to that of Takamatsu. In 1957, upon meeting Takamatsu, Hatsumi felt a strange aura emanate from him. Takamatsu was well into his 60's when the two met. Hatsumi was only 26 years old . Full of confidence, Hatsumi had a match with the veteran battler and learned the true meaning of training. In Hatsumi's own words:

The pain of his technique was different from any pain I had ever suffered before. I had only felt a cold, momentary pain, while with Sensei I was exposed to a hot, burning pain. It was as if something would explode, if my blood would be sucked up and I would die right away. He didn'tjust apply one GYAKU but four or five. I immediately knew this is what I was looking for. I asked to be his student. At that time, Takamatsu did not accept any new students, and yet, seeing something special in this young man he agreed to teach him. For Takamatsu the meeting was more like a reunion than a first meeting. In a poem to Hatsumi, Takamatsu wrote:

"In the days of the Tenei era there was great
master of Koppo. He was calm and peaceful like the
flowers of springtime. Yet he was so brave that not even 10,000 enemies could make him show fear.
He could even strike down a wild animal with
but a single blow."

For over fifteen years Hatsumi trained under the supervision of Takamatsu and in 1972, with the death of his teacher, Hatsumi Sensei became the heir to the last and oldest ninja tradition existing.


An Autobiography

Joe Maurantonio was born in New York City and became interested in the martial arts at a young age while watching martial arts on television. In 1981, during a trip to Hawaii, Mr Maurantonio found a book by Andrew Adams on the Ninja. Reading it, he became interested in the training of Toshitsugu Takamatsu and Masaaki Hatsumi.

In the next few months, he read many more books on ninutsu and was captivated by the book Ninja and Their Secret Fighting Art by Stephen K. Hayes. In 1983, he began training in the Bujinkan arts and his college friend introduced him to the Mr Hayes. Soon Maurantonio was enjoying ninja training and insights. This training was both challenging and fun. In 1986, he met Masaaki Hatsumi, 34th Soke of Togakure Ryu.

Later that year Mr Maurantonio worked on his first Japanese translation project. He also wrote several times for the then-popular Ninja magazine. In 1991, Mr Maurantonio passed the Godan Shinsa and was awarded the title of Shidoshi (teacher of the warrior ways). Since then, he teaches a class in Wescthester, NY and travels to pursue warrior arts passion. He regularly travels to Japan to train with his teacher, Masaaki Hatsumi.

Related Credentials:

 ♦ Bujinkan Shibu (club), co-founder (1983-1986)
 ♦ Bujinkan New York Dojo, founder (1987-present)
 ♦ Ninpo Taijutsu, Shidoshi (Instructor) [1991]
 ♦ Bujinkan Shidoshi Kai, member (1991-present)
 ♦ American Shidoshi Kai, member (1997-present)
 ♦ Bujinkan Gold Medal, Honor Received [2013]
 ♦ Bujin Dai-shihan, Honor Received [2018]

 ♦ New Rochelle High School, Instructor (1993-1998)
 ♦ St Eugene School, MA Instructor (1996)
 ♦ Sarah Lawrence College, Guest Instructor (2003)
 ♦ Ninja Lessons, Instructor (2006-present)

 ♦ Ninja Magazine: Strategy of the Stick, Writer (1986)
 ♦ Sanmyaku, Assistant Editor (1993-1999)
 ♦ Heart, Faith & Steel, Publisher (1995-1998)
 ♦ Ninjutsu: The Martial Path, Author (1996)
 ♦ Ninpo: Wisdom for Life, Publisher/Editor (1998)
 ♦ Fujita's Jojutsu, Editor/Writer (2017)
 ♦ The Shadow Warrior by Darryl Caldwell, Publisher (2018)


Kihon Press was founded by Joe Maurantonio in 1999 with the goal of sharing martial insight and lessons through the written word as well as video and DVD formats. Currently, Kihon Press is working at producing several additional budo works.


Mushashin Press was founded by Joe Maurantonio in 1996 with the goal of sharing martial insight and lessons. In 1999, Mushashin Press became Kihon Press.