The Bujinkan’s Soke, or “head of the family,” is the enigmatic Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, whose training approach emphasizes the principles underlying techniques as the surest means to understanding the heart of Budo. He founded the Bujinkan Dojo in honor of his teacher, Toshitugu Takamatsu, whose exploits are legendary. Dr. Hatsumi, a former bone-setter, has penned over a dozen books, and is the former chairman of the Writers Guild of Japan.
Among his many honors are the title of Knighthood from Germany, Honorary Doctorate degrees in both Human Sciences and Philosophy, Honorary Texas Ranger, and numerous Honorable Citizenship awards from locales like Los Angeles, California to Dublin, Ireland. Dr. Hatsumi’s work has also been recognized by numerous government and law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI and the NSA. Dr. Hatsumi holds black belts in several arts, including Judo, Karate, Kendo, Aikido, Jojutsu, and has studied such western arts as Boxing.
On November 22, 1999, Dr. Hatsumi was awarded the International Culture Award, the highest honor given for cultural exchange, by a member of Japan’s Imperial Household. Blackbelt magazine’s 1986 Instructor of the Year, Dr. Hatsumi is best known for “opening the doors” of Ninpo to non-Japanese. A renowned artist, he currently lives and teaches in Noda, Japan.