Is Taihojutsu modern Torite?

Following his assignment at Kadena Police Station (December 1931 through August 1936), Nagamine Shōshin was sent to the Tōkyō Metropolitan Police Department, i.e. the national police HQ of Japan. Not much is known about the training he received there over the course of six month. However, it might have been related to the book called “Police Martial Arts: Techniques for Arresting Criminals and for Self-protection” (Keisatsu Budō — Taiho to Goshin 警察武道。逮捕と護身). First published by Shōkadō of Tōkyō in 1930, this is a 3rd printing edition of 1931.

Recorded with Takayoshi Sensei's consent, in Nagamine Sensei's private study in 2008, in his old premises which also housed the old, now defunct dōjō.

Recorded with Takayoshi Sensei’s consent, in Nagamine Sensei’s private study in 2008, in his old premises which also housed the old, now defunct dōjō.

The authors were Takahashi Kazuyoshi, Ōgushi Ihachi, and Zusho Takekuma.

Takahashi was instructor (shihan) at the police training school and ranked kyōshi in jūdō. Ōgushi was a policeman and 5th dan in Kōdōkan jūdō. Zusho was an instructor at the Tōkyō Metropolitan Police HQ, i.e. were Nagamine studied as a trainee.

After returning to Okinawa, Nagamine continued to serve as a policeman of Okinawa Prefectural Police force.

The term Taiho found in the title of the book refers to Taihojutsu 逮捕術, a modern era term which refers to “techniques used by policemen to arrest criminals”. It can be viewed a modern era equivalent of the medieval/early modern term “torite” 捕り手. That is, these were techniques from jūdō, jūjutsu, aikijutsu etc. adopted for police work.

© 2016, Andreas Quast. All rights reserved.

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