Takagi Yoshin Ryu
is a Jujutsu school which began in the 17th century. It was regarded as a ‘Body Guard’ school. Most of the formal techniques in the school end with the attacker being held in a position to facilitate the art of Hojojutsu. The way you were tied depended very much upon your social position as well as that of the social position of the person tying you.
Hojojutsu was hardly ever practised as an art by itself but was seen as a complement to arts such as Jujutsu.
It was used by Japanese ‘policemen’ after the Meiji restoration along with the Jutte,
Bo and Kusarifundo as an arresting device for the Samurai who resisted the disarming of them.
HOJOJUTSU IS THE FEUDAL
Martial skill of restraining a prisoner with rope. It was practiced by the warrior class and in particular the samurai,
who acted as police officers.
The word hojo is made up of the character ‘ho’, which is also pro-nounced ‘tori’ and means to catch,
seize or arrest someone, the character ‘jo’, which is also pronounced ‘nawa’ and means rope, and of course the word ‘jutsu’,
meaning art or skill.
There were four rules of hojojutsu:
1. Not to allow the prisoner to slip his bonds.
2. Not to cause any physical or mental injury.
3. Not to allow others to see the techniques.
4. To make the result beautiful to look at.
The color of the rope
Changed with the season, and the prisoner was restrained facing the direction appropriate to the color and season. The correspondences are as follows:
1. Blue: spring-east (left)-blue dragon
2. Red: summer-south (front)-red phoenix
3. White: autumn-west (right)-white tiger
4. Black: winter-north (back)-black tortoise.
In addition to the three ropes named above, there was a short rope about 14 inches long (one shaku, two sun).
This was used in the following way: the suspect was made to sit in seiza (the formal sitting position, kneeling and with the weight on the heels)
while both arms were pulled behind. Then the two thumbs and two big toes were tied together in a bundle.
Alternatively, the two thumbs alone could be tied to the topknot or to a hole made in the collar.