Esaka Sensei’s book: “An introduction to MJER Iaido”
This book is a result of decades of hard work. And literally this is the best practical book on the subject.
Even though it is only available in Japanese, there are so many schemes and photos that this is a must have book for all serious MJER Iaido practitioners.
The English version will be available only few years later, and for now you can buy it only at Japanese Amazon here. All the members of the Federation (joined before the 31th of October 2014) will get one book as a gift to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Federation.
And here is a tiny sneak peek at the book in English:
Introduction to Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu Iaido
In January 1958, I became a student of Fukui Torao Sensei (who in February 1975 succeeded to the position of Seito 21st Headmaster of Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu, under the name of Seizan), and from 1961 onward, I also studied directly under Fukui Sensei’s teacher, Kono Minoru Hyakuren, the Seito 20th Headmaster. My iaido spirit and technique were both cultivated in a highly privileged environment, and I first wish to express my profound gratitude and appreciation for being blessed with such an opportunity.
I have organized the many teachings I received from the two headmasters and compiled them here along with photos and illustrations, in the hope that they will serve as a study resource and help beginners aiming to practice Seito Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu to understand the various basic waza and techniques. Moreover, I have collected these teachings with the determination to faithfully uphold the instruction of both Headmaster Kono and Headmaster Fukui to study with a strong belief in passing down the forms of Seito Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu without making the slightest change.
This book is based mainly on Headmaster Kono’s books Dai Nippon Iaido Zufu (Illustrated Guide to Greater Japan’s Iaido), Zoho Saihan Dai Nippon Iaido Zufu (Illustrated Guide to Greater Japan’s Iaido: New Expanded Edition), and Iaido Shintei (The Essence of Iaido) as well as his oral teachings, supplemented with explanations aimed at beginners to make the text as readable as possible. Furthermore, as supplemental explanatory material, I have organized and included some notes I wrote down over the years regarding the details of daily practice. I began keeping these records around January 1961, when I prepared a highly rudimentary note based on a photo of Headmaster Fukui. Then, when Headmaster Kono visited Gifu Prefecture for training, I was fortunate enough to have him look at my notes, and he kindly encouraged me to make them more detailed, and since then I have gradually taken more and more notes on the circumstances of training and matters that caught my attention. Among these notes are many precious lessons, such as teachings from Headmaster Fukui and instructions received from Headmaster Kono. I have included these records here as an aid to understanding the waza.
This book has been published solely out of a strong desire to assist beginners with their training. As much as possible, the contents have been put together with the aim of supporting beginning practitioners seeking to follow this path of study. The book presents elementary and fundamental information relating to the procedures for waza (i.e., the movements for each individual technique), while positions and the like are represented with diagrams and figures that provide general guidelines. Moreover, the commentary on each waza is based on the notes I took for my own training mentioned above. However, there are many areas where my knowledge is truly limited, my ability is lacking, and my understanding and embodiment of the waza are inadequate, and I feel somewhat uncertain about whether I have conveyed the main idea of the waza and techniques.
I have drawn on my memories of the two headmasters’ exploits in preparing this text and published it while recognizing that it is truly presumptuous of me to do so, given that my own training is incomplete and I still have a long path ahead of me. It is most unfortunate that neither Headmaster Kono nor Headmaster Fukui was able to review the content. I pray that their spirits above are at peace, and in closing, I dedicate this book to them.
(c) Esaka Seigen, 10th Dan, Hanshi, Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu Iaido