6th Soke

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Ōtsuka Yōichirō Taira no Masanori (大塚洋一郎平政徳) is the 6th Sōke of the Hokushin Ittō-ryū Hyōhō.

Originally Ōtsuka Yōichirō learned and mastered the Noda-ha Hokushin Ittō-ryū under the 3rd Daihyō of this branch, Konishi Shigejirō, in Tōkyō. Furthermore Ōtsuka Yōichirō received permission from Konishi Shigejirō to establish his own dōjō and subsequently established the Shinmeikai-Dōjō, also located in Tōkyō. In the Shinmeikai-Dōjō Ōtsuka Yōichirō spread the teachings of the Hokushin Ittō-ryū for more than 10 years, even after the death of his teacher and dedicated his life completely to the teachings of the Hokushin Ittō-ryū.

In July of 2013, Ōtsuka Yōichirō was appointed as the 6th Sōke of Hokushin Ittō-ryū Hyōhō by Chiba Hiroshi Taira no Masatane, the 5th Sōke of the school, direct descendant of the school’s founder and current head of the Chiba family, as he was considered a worthy successor of Chiba Shūsaku and Chiba Sadakichi. While the teachings of the school were preserved and transmitted in Shihan lines (e.g. Noda-ha Hokushin Ittō-Ryū) the main branch of the school existed without an active headmaster since the Taishō period. Ōtsuka Yōichirō became thus the first Sōke to actively lead the Hokushin Ittō-ryū Hyōhō, since the middle of the Taisho period. In order to preserve the teachings of Hokushin Ittō-ryū in their purest form for generations to come, Chiba Hiroshi chose Ōtsuka Yōichirō as the most suited successor from all existing Shihan branches, transfered leadership of the school to him as 6th Sōke and they both together reopened and reestablished the Chiba-Dōjō again.

Ōtsuka Yōichirō led the school as the 6th Sōke for a period of three years. During this time, he spread the Hokushin Ittō-ryū around the globe and several Dōkōkai (training groups) in different countries and on different continents were established under his guidance.

On the 26th of March 2016 Ōtsuka Yōichirō appointed his foster-son and Menkyo-Kaiden, Ōtsuka Ryūnosuke Taira no Masatomo as his successor, and named him the 7th Sōke of the Hokushin Ittō-ryū Hyōhō. While Ōtsuka Yōichirō-Sōke still actively teaches in Tōkyō and at seminars abroad from Japan, the school is now led by Ōtsuka Ryūnosuke.