Ryuha (group or school) (流派)

Ryuha are groups of people that are headed by an Iemoto (head of school) or Soke (grand master), who passes down a certain systematic waza (craftsmanship or technique) in the fields of Japanese art, sake brewing, etc. They are also known as 'ryugi'.

What is Ryuha?

Ryuha is a group of people who inherit a certain systematic expertise or technique in the field of sake brewing and Japanese art including: Noh (and its predecessor Sarugaku); Kyogen (traditional short comedic drama); Nihon Buyo (classical Japanese dance); Bo-no-te (Japanese traditional dance); Kado (Japanese flower arrangement); Sado (tea ceremony); Hochoshiki (schools of Japanese cuisine); Yusoku kojitsu (court and samurai rules of ceremony and etiquette); Emondo (traditional technique of dressing up for Junihitoe [a ceremonial Robe of a court lady]); Gagaku (Japanese traditional music and dance); shodo (calligraphy); Nihonga (Japanese-style painting); and Japanese martial arts such as kenjutsu (swordplay), battojutsu (the technique of drawing a sword), naginata jutsu (art of using a naginata halberd), kyujutsu (archery), hojutsu (gunnery) and gungaku (art of warfare), and is passed down from the Iemoto or Soke to their students. In ryuha other than those of the Japanese martial arts, there are two Iemoto systems, one where the founder's family inherits the Iemoto Soke position, known as Isshi Soden, and the other where a school license is granted to a student. In the Japanese martial arts, families such as the Yagyu Clan have maintained the Iemoto system but, in general, a highly trained student is made a full master and inherits leadership of the ryuha.

Recently created martial arts such as Judo, Kendo (Japanese fencing) and Kyudo (Japanese archery) have rejected the concept of ryuha.