Author Topic: Toshitsugi Takamatsu, the last ninja...  (Read 5083 times)

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Offline Sitting Coyote

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Toshitsugi Takamatsu, the last ninja...
« on: January 11, 2010, 12:06:01 am »
I've been reminiscing over my years training in ninjutsu recently, and recalled a book I'd read years ago that the previous grandmaster, Toshitsugu Takamatsu, abhorred the cooking of meat.  He was Japanese so I assume he ate fish, but perhaps her ate other meats as well.  Anyone have more biographical information on him who can tell more about his diet?

Offline SkinnyDevil

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Re: Toshitsugi Takamatsu, the last ninja...
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2010, 10:12:44 pm »
Eric,

I've been asked a lot how it is I came to eat raw foods back in the early 1990s. My answer is always "a Japanese guy named Takamatsu".

As I understand it, Takamatsu was a quasi-raw foodist. There is the story of when he was dying as a young man (from tapeworms & Beri-Beri). He set out to die in the wilderness to spare his family various hardships. He settled by a stream, where he ate only raw rice that soaked water from the stream and cracked in the sun, drank flowing stream water, and ate fruits & vegetation. The various versions of the stories diverge here, but...To his surprise, he grew stronger, so he began working out. He passed the tapeworms and added sashimi to his diet, and eventually returned home.

He said in an essay he wrote years later to "avoid cooking with fire" and described his diet (he ate cooked rice, but most else [veggies, mostly] was either raw or quickly steamed). He ate a variety of raw fish. He drank tea. Some say he ate tofu, others say he didn't. I'll dig out my old books and see if I can get exact references for you.
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Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Toshitsugi Takamatsu, the last ninja...
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2010, 10:58:31 pm »
Interesting about the last ninja.

There is a skin disease healer in Japan, Dr. Tsai and he treats his patients to sashimi restaurants which includes raw fish and raw beef.
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Offline Sitting Coyote

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Re: Toshitsugi Takamatsu, the last ninja...
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2010, 11:18:33 pm »
Very interesting that you mention a skin disease doctor who treats his patients with sashami.  I've been raw only since winter solstice 2009, and by far the biggest change has been in my skin.  I used to suffer very dry skin all winter long, and winter is loooong here in Vermont.  Now it is bitterly cold and the dead of winter, but after just a few weeks of eating raw deer and chicken my skin is as soft and moist as it usually gets in summer, if not even softer and moister.  I was thinking about this last night as I laid down to bed, that I could rub my fingers together and it felt as if there was a slight lubricant there, although my skin didn't feel greasy. 

But regarding Takamatsu, being loosely affiliated with the Bujinkan (I am no longer a card-carrying member and have burned all of my rank, but still look to a a few members for inspiration) I have read at least one version of the story about how Takamatsu fled into the forest and healed himself.  The version I read was in the book Essence of Ninjutsu, I believe.  Since reading the book about ten years ago I have been told that Hatsumi fabricated most of the stories in it, or at the very least they are so embellished that they should be treated as fabrications.  I am also told, though, and from a source that I trust, that Takamatsu did indeed eat all of his meat and most of his vegetables raw.  What percentage raw foods made up of his diet and what types of meat he regularly ate I do not know.

Offline miles

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Re: Toshitsugi Takamatsu, the last ninja...
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2010, 11:07:30 pm »
So... He ate raw meat, and nearly died from tape-worms...?
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Offline SkinnyDevil

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Re: Toshitsugi Takamatsu, the last ninja...
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2010, 11:46:17 pm »
So... He ate raw meat, and nearly died from tape-worms...?

The raw food cured the tapeworms, it didn't cause them.

He was a sickly child and a sickly teenager who couldn't get into the army. As a young man he suffered from beri-beri (a Vitamin B deficiency, but unknown as that at the time...this was about 1910 or so) and tapeworms. He was dying. He did not discuss his diet of the time.

He left to die in the wilderness, eating raw rice & veggies & fruits, then after he passed the tape worms, he added fish caught in the stream (the translation always use the word "stream", but my understanding is that it's a small river) to his diet. Raw.

He regained his strength and went on to become a mercenary, fighting in various conflicts for several years and also fought duels (all this is prior to WW2). Death matches - 12 that are specifically cited (he was charged & cleared of murder on the grounds of self-defense). He lost an eye, but none of the fights, of course.

He returned to Japan a few years later and settled down and ran a "tea house" & inn with his wife. He spoke about how fresh water, clean air, and raw food saved his life. Some versions of the story also include a mysterious monk, but the earliest versions (at least that I heard) lacked the monk element.
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Offline SkinnyDevil

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Re: Toshitsugi Takamatsu, the last ninja...
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2010, 08:13:44 pm »
Wrong? Yes & no.

I suspect it DOES contain bacteria & such, all of which could make one sick if one is already in a compromised state.

But I've eaten raw meats for decades and never been sick from it.

Plenty of people here can be more specific, as they have more info.
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David M. McLean
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