Grandmaster Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi – Short Biography and Work

Dr. Hatsumi founded the Bujinkan, which means “Divine Warrior Hall,” in honor of his teacher, Toshitugu Takamatsu. The nine warrior schools of the Bujinkan hail from the ancient battlefields of Japan; six are old samurai schools, the remaining three are schools of the oft-misunderstood ninja. These historical roots provide a mine of rich teachings that are equally applicable to modern situations, teaches Dr. Hatsumi.
Dr. Hatsumi preaches the importance of understanding the principles underlying techniques, not just the mechanics–things that will serve the greatest benefit in the flurry of a real battle. This practicality is the Bujinkan’s biggest draw for 200.000 of practitioners around the world, many of whom are involved with law enforcement or personal security.
Dr. Hatsumi, a former bone-setter, has penned over a dozen books, has published over 60 DVD’s, and is the former chairman of the Writers Guild of Japan. For his efforts to spread the art of the Bujinkan throughout the world, Dr. Hatsumi has been recognized by many governments, private organizations and distinguished individuals.
Among Dr. Hatsumi’s other many honors, awards and recognitions are (see full list later in this text):

  • Apostolic Blessing awarded by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, the Vatican, April 2001
  • Awarded the International World Culture Grand Prize for Peace and Culture by the Japanese government. The award, the highest honor given for cultural exchange, was presented to Dr. Hatsumi by a member of the Imperial Household on November 22, 1999.
  • Certificate of friendship from former American president Regan, Bush and Clinton, the King of Spain His Majesty Juan Carlos, President Mitterrand of France and Prime minister of England Major.
  • Letter of appreciation from Pentagon, CIA, FBI, SAS, Royal Marines, National Police Department of Spain
  • London Environment Agency

Dr. Hatsumi holds black belts in several arts, including judo, karate, kendo, aikido and jojutsu, and has studied such western arts as boxing. He is grandmaster of the following nine ancient schools of Japanese martial arts which now is the foundation of the Bujinkan:

  • Togakure Ryu Ninpo Happo Hiken, 34th Grandmaster
  • Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu Happo Hiken, 28th Grandmaster
  • Koto Ryu Koppojutsu Happo Hiken, 18th Grandmaster
  • Shinden Fudo Ryu Dakken Taijutsu Happo Hiken, 26th Grandmaster
  • Kukishinden Ryu Taijutsu Happo Hiken, 28th Grandmaster
  • Takagi Yoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu Happo Hiken, 17th Grandmaster
  • Kumogakure Ryu Ninpo Happo Hiken, 14th Grandmaster
  • Gyokushin Ryu Ninpo Happo Hiken, 21st Grandmaster
  • Gikan Ryu Koppojutsu Happo Hiken, 15th Grandmaster

Dr. Hatsumi’s international Awards and Recognition – Cinema – Theatre – Exhibitions


  • Noda City. Education & Culture Service Award
  • Self Defense Forces, Police Department, Fire Department
  • Many Letters of Appreciation
  • World Cultural Grand Prize: Martial Arts Division for 2000, World Peace and Culture Association
  • Contributed as Bugei Researcher and Producer/Director for the Arts in Japan


  • Apostolic Blessing awarded by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, the Vatican, April 2001


  • Pentagon, Letter of Appreciation
  • America National Department of Defense. Certificate of Friendship
  • FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation. Certificate of Friendship
  • Euro technical Research University. Ph.D. (Science)
  • Euro technical Research University. Ph.D. (Philosophy)
  • State of Texas. Honorary Resident
  • City of Atlanta. Honorary Resident
  • City of Los Angeles. Honorary Resident
  • State of New Mexico. Honorary Resident
  • Presidential Sports Conference. Minister’s Award
  • Atlanta Olympic Conference. Letter of Appreciation
  • State of New Jersey. Japanese Culture Association – Certificate
  • Former President Clinton. Certificate of Friendship
  • Former President Bush. Certificate of Friendship
  • Former President Reagan. Certificate of Friendship
  • Black Belt Magazine. 1986 Instructor of the Year
  • Washington Senator Mr. Paul Saben. Certificate of Friendship
  • State of Maryland, Howard County. District Head Charles Ecker
  • State of Georgia Governor 1992. Certificate of Friendship
  • State of Georgia Governor 1994. Certificate of Friendship
  • New York Budokai. Rank of Seibu Master
  • City of New York Kobudo Research Association. Letter of Appreciation
  • State of Texas Governor. Service Award
  • Washington Senator Mrs. Barbara McFusky. Certificate of Friendship
  • Congressman Mr. Benjamin Carter. Certificate of Friendship
  • Sports Minister Award
  • Barton Village. Honorary Resident
  • State of Georgia Governor 1990. Certificate
  • Hillsdale University. Leadership Certificate
  • Texas Rangers. Honorary Member
  • State of New Jersey. Certificate from Japanese
  • Culture and Art Society


  • Prime Minister Major. Certificate of Friendship
  • Minister of Culture Award
  • London Police Department Award
  • London Environment Agency. Letter of Appreciation
  • Manchester University Institute of Bone Medicine. Special Honorary Member
  • S.A.S. England Special Forces. Certificate of Friendship
  • London Ambassador. London Summit Secrecy Institution Chairman’s Award
  • Royal Marines (England Navy). Certificate of Friendship


  • President Mitterrand. Certificate of Friendship


  • German National Historical Culture Federation. Knight
  • Berlin. Secretary of State’s Award
  • Berlin. Senate Sports Award
  • Japan-Germany Friendship Association
  • (31-Member Bodies. Japan-Germany Association Certificate
  • City of Wuttenshuraise. Certificate of Friendship


  • King Juan Carlos. Certificate of Friendship
  • (Military) Decoration
  • Information Bureau Department Minister’s Award
  • National Police Department. Letter of Appreciation
  • Catalonia Minister’s Award
  • Spain Kickboxing Association. Certificate
  • Canary Islands Air Base Command. Certificate of Friendship
  • Canary Deldei City. Congressional Certificate


  • City of Dublin. Honorary Resident
  • Ireland Budo Association Award

North Ireland:

  • City of Belfast. Certificate of Friendship


  • Brett College (Montreal, Quebec)
  • Foreign Language Institute. Honorary Award


  • Jordan Valley. Honorary Resident
  • Israel Air Force. Certificate of Friendship


  • State of New South Wales. Certificate from Premier John Fahey
  • State of South Australia. Certificate from Premier John Bannon


  • National Diet. Certificate of Friendship


  • HRH The Crown Prins Frederik and HRH The Crown Princess Mary: Letter of thanks. (April 2010)


  • Certificate of Friendship


  • Certificate of Friendship


  • Certificate of Friendship


  • Certificate of Friendship

Some of Dr. Hatsumis Prizes, Awards and Recognitions

Apostolic Blessing Award from the Vatican
Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi Receives Papal Award

Masaaki Hatsumi has become the first budoka (martial artist) in the world history to be awarded an Apostolic Blessing by the Vatican. The certificate, which arrived in Japan in May 2001, bears a painting of Pope John Paul and states the following:

Sua Santita´ Giovanni Paolo II
Di cuore imparte
l´Apostolica Benedizione a
Hatsumi Masaaki
Come pegno di grazie e favori celesti
His Holiness Giovanni Paolo II
Heartily Bestows
The Apostolic Blessing To
Hatsumi Masaaki
As a Token of Celestial Graces and Favors

Apostolic Blessing awarded by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, the Vatican, April 2001

February 2007, Grandmaster Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi received from Pope Benedicto XVI, a greeting and an Apostolic Blessing. In a distinguished diploma together with the Apostolic Blessings, the Pope added wishes for Abundance and Divine Grace for Japan.


Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi Bujinkan Founder Honored by Japanese Government

Masaaki Hatsumi, founder and grandmaster of the Bujinkan Dojo, has been awarded the International Culture Award by the Japanese government. The award, the highest honor given for cultural exchange, was presented to Dr. Hatsumi by a member of the Imperial Household on November 22, 1999.

“This award is a great honor for the Bujinkan,” stated Dr. Hatsumi at the presentation ceremony. Dr. Hatsumi is the 92nd recipient of this prestigious honor to date. Dr. Hatsumi was nominated for his cross-cultural leadership in martial arts instruction.

Blackbelt magazine´s 1986 Instructor of the Year, Dr. Hatsumi is best known for “opening the doors” to Ninjutsu to non-Japanese. As grandmaster of the Bujinkan dojo, Dr. Hatsumi actively travels the world to share the teachings of Budo Taijutsu as passed to him by his teacher, Toshitsugu Takamatsu. Each year, Dr. Hatsumi holds two international Taikai (gatherings) for training, usually alternating between Europe and the United States. Additionally, hundreds of eager students from scores of countries also converge on Japan for training with Dr. Hatsumi each year.


Dr. Hatsumi receiving a certificate of appreciation from the FBI´s training director on one of his trips, for training members of the FBI. As he said: “Fighting techniques that lack mental flexibility is of no use to us in the FBI”








December 2005 Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi received an award and a certificate of appreciation from the FBI for his training of its members.


On February 29th 2007, Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi received a medal granted by the Sicilian Delegation of the Sacred Military Order “Costantiniano di San Giorgio”.

The knight and member of the San Giorgio Order, Mr. Francesco Stagno d´Alcontres, is a member of the Bujinkan and bestowed with great affection and admiration as a knight of tolerance and justice.

Costantiniano di San Giorgio



Dr. Hatsumi has written numerous books and articles on philosophy and martial arts that have been translated into many languages. He writes a weekly column for a local Chiba prefecture newspaper and is a recurring subject of the major Japanese martial arts magazine, Hiden. For his efforts to spread the art of the Bujinkan throughout the world, Dr. Hatsumi has been recognized by many governments, private organizations and distinguished individuals. During the above ceremony, he was recognized as honorary member of the “FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT´S CLUB OF JAPAN”, for all his books produced during these past years in Japan and abroad. At this time, the Grandmaster presented his latest three books of the Kodansha printing house.
For more information:



Presenting a talk on Ninjutsu to Crown Prince Akihito (the current Emperor) at Gakushuin University.

With the TV presenter Takahashi Keizo and actor Ichikawa Raizo (actor from Shinobi no Mono)

(世界忍者戦ジライヤ Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya, translated as World Ninja War Jiraiya) Tetsuzan Yamashi (Hatsumi Sensei) with director and his co-stars Maki Fuyukichi and Ose Koichi.

Hatsumi Sensei takes a break to pen traditional brush paintings for students who hustle to his side with paper.

Exhibition of Ninjutsu (Japan 2004) Hatsumi Sensei with the kimono from “Jiraya serial TV”

Togakushi Village Exhibition (September 2007)


Major Films:

  • Shinobi no Mono. Featuring Ishikawa Raizo
  • Japanese Films. Straight Up From Hell. Featuring Chiba Shinichi
  • The Ryusei Ichizoku Conspiracy
  • Shadow Army
  • Kaze no Fujimaru
  • Secret Swordsman
  • Records of the Tokugawa Situation
  • World Ninja War. Jiraiya, Acted in 50 episodes (1 year)
  • Ninja 1001 Nights, 26 episodes

  • Tokyo Arts Theatre. Royal Edict Uprising
  • Akahige
  • Umi no Tori Doyomekugotoku
  • Shinobi no Mono
  • Advance Showing. The Kuroda Riot
  • Imperial TheatreSengoku Meimeiden
  • Japanese Art – Private Exhibition Ginza Eii Art Gallery
  • Japan Artist Club Director
Ninja Exhibitions:

  • Noda City Folk Museum,
  • Isedan Deparment Store, and many others Museums
  • Togakushi Village Ninja Collection, Yumore Village Ninja Residence

Dr. Hatsumi is a recognized artist with pen and the traditional brush. Observing his movements when painting is like watching his flow over the tatami mats in the dojo when practicing combat drills with students from around the world. So effortless and with such a precession, distance and timing. At the trainings at Bujinkan Hombu Dojo (Head training hall in Japan). Dr. Hatsumi often use the brake, from the combat training, to paint for his students.



Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi is a recognized painter, whose paintings have been shown at important exibitions around the world, following is a small sample of some of his work.

Below is one of Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi´s paintings as a gift to her Highness Infanta Dona Pilar de Borbon y borbon (sister to phis Majesty King of Spain).



Bujin Marishiten

Bushin Wa-wo…





Bujin Marishiten


Sakki Jutsu


Tomoe Gozen


Banpen Fugyo 10.000 changes – no surprises

Ninniku Seishin The spirit of forbearance


Orochimaru ?

Banpen Fugyo

I shinn kore…

Miyamoto Musashi

Calligraphy – Shodo


5 methods

Kasumi no Ho



Bu Yu





Ju Tai Jutsu



Stick Fighting


Bu Yu

Gyokko Ryu page

Kuki Taisho




Menkyo Kaiden

Kaze Zen

Shinnen Ryoku & Shinnen Jutsu

Banpen Fugyo

Sainou Kokoro Utusuwa

Sainou Shin Ki