HISTORY OF AMATSU JAPANESE INTEGRATED MEDICINE
In 1995 Dr Hatsumi broke with his tradition by awarding 3 ‘foreigners’ full recognition of a three thousand year tradition which goes back many thousands of years before it was recorded in modern day history.
In 1996 Dennis, William and Chris asked Dr Hatsumi about the history and where did it come from, what does Amatsu mean, etc. From our notes at the time Dr Hatsumi jumped around time periods, therefore we have re arranged the conversation to keep it in a easier way of putting it together, whilst also explaining some of the points he raised.
Dr Hatsumi drew Amatsu 天津 This is heavenly, divine, it comes from here pointing upwards. Sky harbour, these are very old teachings of Amaterasu-Ōmikami. (she is the goddess of the sun as well as the purported ancestress of the Imperial Household of Japan. Her name means “Shines from Heaven” or “the great kami who shine Heaven) You know Noah’s ark? To which we all nodded. The time of the flood we asked him and he replied yes and even before that.
(Which from a Historical perspective is 7,500 – 12,000 years ago according to the most recent archaeological research – which is still going on! The Jomon Period is the earliest historical era of Japanese history which began around 14500 BCE, coinciding with the Neolithic Period in Europe and Asia, and ended around 300 BCE when the Yayoi Period began. The name Jomon, meaning 'cord marked' or 'patterned', comes from the style of pottery made during that time. Pottery only appeared in the west around 5,000 B.C. And the dwellings of Japan were far in advance of our Neolithic period.”
King Mima came to Japan with 3 special envoys from Babylonia and the Malays also came to Japan. It is even said that The first Emperor of Japan is a descendant of the meeting between Amaterasu and King Mima.
(So we now have influence from Babylonia, next we move into The Kofun period (古墳時代, Kofun jidai) is an era in the history of Japan from about 300 to 538 AD (the date of the introduction of Buddhism), following the Yayoi period. The Kofun and the subsequent Asuka periods are sometimes collectively called the Yamato period .)
In Chinese folklore The first Emperor of China’s senior minister, took a group of warriors, doctors and skilled artisans to Japan to find the elixir of life. Its about the Reishi mushroom one of the top foods.
(Reishi mushrooms contain several molecules that are believed to be responsible for their health benefits – triterpenoids, polysaccharides and peptidoglycans. Probably the most important effect of consuming Reishi mushroom is that it helps you boost the immunity system. It is also true that Japanese Reishi mushroom was added to the Chinese pharmacopeia.)
Yamabushi walked throughout Japan often administering forgotten foods, help and advice, pressing, rubbing and helping people’s health. They gave them teas from natural foods.
The Deer of Nara bow if you give them a treat and animals can walk up sheer cliffs which is linked to a special mushroom (Name withheld!)
Many modern records record contact with Korea and China, but this contact existed much further back than the past 2,000 years. Then look Siberia is here, so one must understand the anthropology in order to understand this History. Maybe it all comes from the Indus Valley?
(Yamabushi are believed to be endowed with supernatural powers. They follow the Shugendō doctrine, an integration of mainly esoteric Buddhism of the Shingon sect with Tendai Buddhism, Taoism, and elements of Shinto. In their mountain retreats, these monks studied not only nature and religious/spiritual texts and images, but also a variety of martial arts. Whether they believed that they had to defend themselves from bandits, other monks, or samurai armies is questionable, but the study of martial arts as a means to improving oneself mentally, spiritually, and physically has always been central to Japanese culture, irrespective of the specific tenets of any one religious sect. The Yamabushi also developed their own forms of cooking, utilizing plants on the mountains where they trained and thereby enabling themselves to spend weeks or even months without need to venture down into towns or cities for supplies. Thus, like the sōhei, the Yamabushi became warriors as well as monks)
(The Indus Valley Civilisation was in the north-western regions of South Asia, lasting from 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE, and in its mature form from 2600 BCE to 1900 BCE.Together with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, it was one of three early civilisations of the Near East and South Asia)
Years ago Buddhism came into Japan, including the Chinese, Korean and many other medicines. Japan has a very old scroll you should learn it, I think it’s the oldest written record of medicine from China with Japanese medicine.
(The Ishinpō (醫心方, Ishinpō or Ishinhō) is the oldest surviving Japanese medical text. It was completed in 984 by Tamba Yasuyori and is 30 volumes in length. The work is partly based on a Chinese medical work called Zhubing Yuanhou Lun. (The General Treatise on Causes and Manifestations of All Diseases), compiled by Sui Dynasty writer Chao Yuanfang. Many of the texts cited in Ishinpō have been lost in China, and have only survived to the present through their inclusion in the work. It is a national treasure of Japan. Years later after discovering about these scrolls we asked if this was what he was referring to and said yes I named them! If only our notes had included their name – but we found them, we encourage you to read them)
Your grandparents choose food naturally knowing and understanding this is also part of what Amatsu is. Now again I have to talk about poisons, these were developed, but based on this knowledge of nature which is the Amatsu.
Our schools of the Bujinkan have many historical links to medicine, The records have extensive references to foods and herbs and body treatments the essence of which is Taijutsu (Integrated body movement) Katsu is just a little bit.
It is said that the written records are just reminders that come from Amatsu, but what is important is that these principles are used with ongoing research.
You must understand how things change. Toda Sensei was free to practice medicine, but with changing democracy and rules Takamatsu Sensei’s medicine was almost forbidden in Japan as it went into a cycle of using Western medicine in preference. But hey look at Mao he got rid of many top Doctors and then from financial needs had to re-introduce Chinese Medicine!
(Dr Hatsumi’s teachers (Takamatsu Sensie) Grandfather was Toda Sensei who in later years run a martial arts Dojo with a bone setting and natural medicine clinic. Takamatsu Sensei’s father, was also from a martial arts tradition which included medicine including the Foods and Herbs that Peter King translated for Dr Hatsumi in his book Secrets of Amatsu! Peter King learned Amatsu Japanese Integrated Medicine from Chris Roworth and Dennis Bartram and later studied Physiotherapy, Osteopathy, Cranial Osteopathy and Acupuncture as directed by them to help him understand Amatsu medicine..
For a point of reference in 2004 Peter King completed his course in Amatsu –Japanese Integrated Medicine (Shoden and Chuden), was a Shihan (Senior teacher) of Bujinkan Martial arts of Dr Hatsumi and held many medical and martial arts degrees/qualifications and all 3 of them recommended him to Dr Hatsumu to receive Amatsu Tatara Hichibuku Goshinjutsu as their senior student ☺ )..............................
Takamatsu Once treated a child in China/Mongolia borders, he was very sick and nothing had helped the child, Takamatsu Sensei told the child that first a bright flame will light in front of you and open your eyes, then you will smell a strange smell that wakes you up and you will feel well as he struck a match (Which the child had never seen or smelt before) the child recovered, this is natures medicine from Amatsu.
One time a bandit attacked him and he overpowered the person but in order to do this he broke the person’s wrist. Having overpowered him with full control he then put the wrist back in place. Joking he said maybe Takamatsu Sensei then charged him LOL.
Takamatsu often had forgotten foods on him, he had a tea dojo, he told me about how Hanzo Hatori taught the first shogun of Japan and his son, how to look at their tongue and use forgotten foods – includes herbs. Do you know how many different teas there are and the History of English tea? (This also relates to opium another food in medicine.)
(NHK did a programme about Hanzo Hatori (A historical Ninja, from the tradition of Togakure Ryu an ancestor Of Dr Hatsumi’s tradition) in which they show written records of Hanzo Hatori teaching the first Shogun – military ruler of Japan, Amatsu medicine along with strategy.)
Dr Hatsumi explained; during different eras many things change and I was not there so I can only pass on what my teacher told me. There are now many different therapies (The word he used for many was Genkainashi which means unlimited!) but these are just bits! In Japan we now have regulation and only some bits of this medicine is used. Shiatsu is a part of Anma, I think it is only in the 1950’s that Shiatsu was allowed to be used. Which is a bit of Anma and
this is just a part of the Gairon. (The bigger picture) The history of Amatsu could be linked into the Scrolls but what is important is history can be written in different ways. I only have the written records given to me by my teacher and my own independent study of Japanese and world history. You need to study this to understand the history of Japanese medicine. Many people specialize, but that goes further away from nature.
(In latter conversations Dr Hatsumi covered the different named therapies in history in addition to showing us ways of using different objects, explaining the use of hot stones and many different therapies that he deeply understood within each modality. Historically Oriental medicine as it is termed was learned in a progressive way, Dr Hatsumi emphasised the Gairon (Bigger picture) of first understanding the history and putting it into context. Yes it is correct that Shiatsu comes from Anma and Anma comes from older traditions which have been disseminated from even older transmissions. Then as we go back in history students of medicine and martial arts had to learn and study both of these together which is why the martial arts and medical traditions are intricately linked. They did this for natural survival! Dr Hatsumi emphasised the connection between the martial arts and medicine.)
Jigaro Kano discovered Jujitsu by finding bone Doctors because in History Samurai could retire and make a living doing this job.
Historically and scientifically what “therapies” are part of Japanese medicine and of course how effective are they? Dr Hatsumi named many different medical therapies and terms used such as Koshijutsu, Ampuka, Hari, Kampo, Gohan, etc, which are another dimension of explaining but in simple terms, bone setting, acupuncture, herbs, nutrition, etc. We need to consider these things and in our modern world western medicine came to Japan and is integrated in Japanese medicine. Takamatsu Sensei followed western science and explained the use in western terms, such as changing the terms into more scientific understanding, like digestive issues, strains etc.
(“Chris said that he read a book about how a man received Cranial at a train station in India and knowing this to be a modern development in Osteopathy he asked the person where he had learned this. To be met with the reply; “My father” and with further enquiry he asked but where did he learn it to receive the reply; “His father and his father”
Hatsumi’s reply! Yes exactly its all the same!)
As per normal after some food and conversation about medicine Dr Hatsumi would show some of the practical applications of both his martial arts and medicine. On this occasion he held my forearm and it felt like he bent my bone, he made it feel longer and shorter!
History is now is the last comment in my notes.
Just in conclusion of the History it is important to grasp a bigger picture of the times and eras that Dr Hatsumi is talking about and that the Goddess of Japan is given this status because of her knowledge and skills. Equally it is said that The Amatsu Tatara Shinbun are recorded in four copies, one held by the Royal family, One in a Shrine and probably Dr Hatsumi has both of the other copies? It is known that he definitely has one copy!
Then moving forwards since 1995 our modern history!
In 1995 Dennis, William and I returned to the UK and began teaching Amatsu Japanese Integrated Medicine, with Dennis being the most senior with his years of clinical experience. Establishing 3 hubs of training in London, Eire and Hartlepool. Amatsu Medicine became registered with The BRCP institute of Complimentary medicine and accepted by Insurance companies for professional practitioner insurance.
Since 1991 I had been studying Acupuncture with Professor Li Yi Qi whilst working together both in private practice and within the NHS, during which I had many conversations with Dr Hatsumi about acupuncture and often had almost direct conversation between her and Dr Hatsumi. During 1995 and many subsequent training sessions with Dr Hatsumi, the 3 of us talked extensively about the 8 mysterious flows and began using magnets, acupressure and needles along with cupping to use these control points. Therefore in The original Amatsu regulation and insurance, Acupuncture, Moxibustion, Cupping and scrapping were included along with herbs, nutrition, emotional re-patterning, visceral treatments, Cranial Sacral fascia release (An interesting story on that in 1997 when Dr Hatsumi Did it the night after Dennis and I agreed that Western Cranial should remain an important part of Amatsu – more later under receiving a feeling) and the use of modern modalities, naming, infared, ultrasound, etc.
A two year course was initiated, teaching what are termed the Shoden and Chuden, primarily around physical medicine. The course was amazing because 95% of the students had been patients of ours or did martial arts. It included 2 midwives, several Osteopaths and a Physiotherapist along with, hypnotherapists and people from all walks of life. Everyone got fantastic results and they had patients who wanted to know more.
Each year we would return to Japan for further studies with Dr Hatsumi, whilst researching deeper into, peripheral neuropathy, allergy elimination techniques, posture and movement, chi gung, iridology and medical approaches from around the world. See Hatsumi 1995 video”
Dennis and Chris still work together on the development of Amatsu Japanese Integrated medicine providing tuition in Hartlepool, Germany and Stoke Poges; where they have fully equipped teaching areas to facilitate learning. In addition to providing webinar talks on the various aspects of Amatsu, ranging from Anma, through visceral evaluation and treatment, sports injuries, Acupuncture, Nutrition, etc.
In Germany we have a satellite group in Northeim.
In 2020 on a rare moon day together Chris and Dennis changed the structure of Learning Amatsu. The major thing about “Amatsu” is that even the basic level (Shoden) works so well! Its so strange that even the first balancing routine (Along with Understanding – Shoden, Basic Anma) works so well! Honestly its amazing!
In 2020 Both Dennis and Chris agreed that even diluted or poor Amatsu Anma (The first level) achieves remarkable results! It really does! But there is so much more! History to make!