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The Concept of “Rei” in Seito-Seiryu-Musojikiden-Eishinryu-Iaido

First of all, I would like to state clearly that Eishinryu Iaido of our federation is not a religion.


In Japanese martial arts, “Rei ni Hajimari, Rei ni Owaru” (Beginning and ending with Rei) is a truly precious principle; this is also true in Iaido. Rei is a word that expresses gratitude for everything about Iaido.


Rei is not performed as a religious act, but as an expression of gratitude and respect for the place where the training and demonstration take place, for the teacher, for the companions, for the history of Iaido, and for the sword, which is the soul or heart of the practitioner, as well as for the fulfillment of the demonstration and training.


It was not until the latter half of the Meiji era (1868-1912), about 100 years ago, that so-called ‘kamidana’ (Shinto shrines) began to be placed in martial arts dojos. The installation of a kamidana is a new event in the long history of Japanese Budo. After the Second World War, religion and politics has been separated under the principle of separation of church and state in the Constitution of Japan; therefore, as a rule, no kamidana is to be installed in public facilities. In private dojos, a kamidana may be installed. In Kisarazu Genshinkan, the headquarter dojo of the federation, a kamidana is installed, but that is by the custom since the Meiji era.


In our federation, before and after practice and demonstration, a so-called ‘Shinzen-no-Rei’ is always performed, and this ‘Shin’ (i.e., ‘kami’) refers to ‘Jinsuke Hayashizaki’, the founder of all Iaido. However, we do not bow to “Lord Hayashizaki Jinsuke” as a religious deity, but as the founder of Iaido, to show respect for the history of Iaido and to ask for the concentration of mind in practice and demonstration. Most public dojos do not have a kamidana but use a hanging scroll or a wooden plaque with the name of Lord Hayashizaki as a symbol for all participants in practice and demonstrations.


Iaido is practiced largely in kata. The practice of kata in Iaido is completed by the Rei that we perform when we enter and leave the dojo. This is a pearl of Japanese spiritual culture that has been handed down since the time of the founders of Iaido. Our training is to take up this tradition correctly and to practice it with the strong conviction that it should be passed on to future generations.


Iaido is one of the oldest of the Japanese martial arts. The purpose of the establishment of our federation is to pass on this long history to future generations correctly, without missing any of the forms (and movements) that have been handed on to us.


I sincerely hope that Iaido will be understood as a profound martial art, both mentally and physically, with respect for its cultural background and tradition, and that we will come as close as possible to its perfection.



2024 Mar.


International Federation of Seito-Seiryu-Musojikiden-Eishinryu-Iaido


Representative Director Shuichi Mochizai





















一般社団法人 正統正流無雙直傳英信流居合道國際連盟

代表理事 持 麾 秀 一

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