The Sanryaku and Gyokko Ryu

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Sensei actually talked about this three weeks ago but it has taken me a bit to get it sorted out.

“There are many famous books about Heiho, military strategy, and one of them is the Sanryaku三略.  The Sanryaku is, as the Kanji in the name state, three stratagem.  The Jo, Chu and Ge, or upper, middle and lower.  While some Densho have a Shoden, Chuden and Okuden with the Shoden being the easiest and the Okuden/Okugi being the hardest the Sanryaku is divided into three sections not based on level.  The Jo no Maki, or upper book should not be considered to be any “easier” or “harder” than the middle or lower books.”

More on this book in English here.

Unsui Sensei then drew a parallel to the three scrolls of Gyokko Ryu:

“The Joryaku of Gyokko Ryu is taijutsu where both are unarmed.  The Churyaku deals with doing Mutodori against a short sword/knife while the Geryaku no maki has Muto dori against an opponent armed with a Katana.  Each scroll is important in its own right and, just like the Sanryaku, should not be thought in terms of levels.  It is important to keep this difference in mind when training Gyokko Ryu.”

The images are from a Japanese edition published in the nineteenth year of the Tensho 天正 Emperor 1591.  The are the first pages of the Jo, Chu and Ge Ryaku chapters in all their scribbly Kanbun glory.  Remember the Kana on the right side of each column are the verb endings and whatnot while the marks that look like the numbers one and two on the left side show how to reorder the sentences into Japanese grammar.  The red lines usually link words while the dots indicate other…stuff, like breaks in passages and emphasis.

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