Our Lineage

Any art survives by the hard work and perseverance of its students and teachers, but what makes a ryu a true koryu is its connection to the past. Unlike in sports, a practitioner cannot be satisfied with skill only. Each must be a link in the chain from one generation to the next. This is especially true for the headmaster. While the responsibility of a student is to eventually become a teacher and help raise the next generation, a headmaster bears the weight of defining the generation itself.

We can easily trace our history to the foundations of the ryu in the 16th century. For generations, the Edo Yagyu Shinkage Ryu was passed on by family lineage, but when no direct descendant was available to inherit the ryu, we transitioned to the teacher-student succession system used today. The current head is the 18th generation, Paul Manogue, who studied directly under the 17th-generation headmaster, Sono Seiko.

  1. 柳生但馬守宗矩 Yagyu Tajima-no-Kami Munenori
  2. 柳生十兵衞三厳 Yagyu Jubei Mitsuyoshi
  3. 柳生宗冬 Yagyu Munefuyu
  4. 柳生宗在 Yagyu Muneari
  5. 柳生俊方 Yagyu Toshikata
  6. 柳生俊平 Yagyu Toshihira
  7. 柳生俊峯 Yagyu Toshimine
  8. 柳生俊則 Yagyu Toshinori
  9. 柳生俊豊 Yagyu Toshitoyo
  10. 柳生俊章 Yagyu Toshiakira
  11. 柳生俊能 Yagyu Toshiyoshi
  12. 柳生俊順 Yagyu Toshimune
  13. 柳生俊益 Yagyu Toshimasu
  14. 柳生俊久 Yagyu Toshihisa
  15. 山根宗一郎と斉藤仁三郎 Yamane Muneichiro & Saito Jizaburo
  16. 大谷玄州 Otani Genshu
  17. 曽野正鴻 Sono Seiko
  18. Paul Manogue