"Under Emperor Kanmu's supreme authority to promote martial chivalry, the Butokuden (Hall of Martial Virtues) was established 794 A.D. to encourage the Bushi warriors to develop their military prowess. They say that May 5th of 818 A.D. by the imperial order of Emperor Saga, the Yabusame ceremony (Archery on Horseback) was conducted in honour of the warriors' tradition to promote aristocratic authority of the imperial majesty in the Butokuden (Hall of Martial Virtues) located near Heian Shrine(circa 781A.D.) in Kyoto, Japan. Since then, Butokuden became the centre of all martial arts training throughout the history of Japan. From the late 9th century, the rise of fighting men with military and martial skills began to dominate the fate of Japanese history.They are called Bushi, (Warrior Class) and the Samurai was one such class of military aristocratic men serving for the nobility. In feudal Japan from late 14th century to early 19th century, they developed complex combative forms along with weapons, armours, and various instruments of warfare. Diverse Ryuha Bujutsu (Martial Arts Schools based on Particular Systems) has extensively evolved emphasising their unique combative strategy, methods, theory, and application. The Samurai warriors, as ruling nobles by virtue of their professional and lifelong commitment, dedicated their lives on developing such superior martial skills and the cult of military excellence. The manifold Heiho (Martial Strategy) systems were developed during the proliferation of warfare, Sengoku Jidai (Period of Nations at War) from 15th century to early 17th century Japan. In the decisive battle of Sekigahara in 1600 A.D., the Tokugawa military clans destroyed the Toyotomi allied troops and the powerful Shogunate military feudal government called Tokugawa Bakufu was established in Edo, present day Tokyo.
Under the ruling Bakufu regime, Japanese warrior class by and large faithfully maintained the traditional order of martial disciplines for critical readiness for the next two hundred fifty years. We knew the Bushi (warrior class, often called Samurai) was not only the champion of societal elite for their military skills but also they epitomised the exemplary moral leadership by living and dying under the code of Bushido ethics they relentlessly adhered. The precepts of Bushido (the Way of the Warrior) stressed absolute obedience to the code of conduct and the way of life based on virtues of honour, loyalty, courage, duty, filial piety, sacrifice, integrity, discipline, compassion, moral rectitude and incomparable fighting spirit. With this powerfully instituted frame of mind, Bushi sharpened the way of the sword and other cognate military disciplines. During the Tokugawa period until mid 1800 A.D., the diversified martial arts schools were evolved to claim their supremacy in the military prowess. When Tokugawa Keiki, the last Shogun had abdicated his political power to the Imperial throne in the Meiji Restoration of 1867, Japan embarked on a new nation building to catch up with the west and to develop a position of military and political power in the international community. In that tumultuous process, the traditional martial culture and its philosophical tenets became important instruments of national ideology.
In 1895, the leading élan of martial elites backed by Governor Watanabe of Kyoto Prefecture established The Dai Nippon Butoku Kai (Greater Japan Martial Virtue Society) in Kyoto Japan under the authority of the Ministry of Education and the endorsement of Meiji Emperor to solidify, promote, and standardise all martial disciplines and systems. It intended to restore the classical martial traditions and virtues of Samurai way and it mobilised the nation of Japan with powerful legacy of martial culture. Many outstanding and renowned practitioners in traditional Heiho systems, Kenjutsu, Jiujutsu, Battojutsu, Iaijutsu, Kenpo, Naginatajutsu, Aikijiujutsu, Bojutsu, Sojutsu, Kendo, Karate-do, Iaido, Aikido, Judo, Kobudo and from other Jutsu forms and Do systems joined in the DNBK society of national prominence. It was the first official martial arts institution of Japan sanctioned by the authority of the national government. The Prince Komatsu no Miya Akihito had served as the first Sosai, supreme commander of the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai while Governor Watanabe served as Fuku Sosai, vice-commander. Consequently, DNBK became the prestigious headquarters empowered by the nation's leading experts, and established as the centre for training, research, licensing, and publication of all martial arts disciplines. In 1899, the Butokuden was rebuilt again to become the place for the ancient glory and highest status for every martial art practitioner. In 1911, Bujutsu Senmon Gakko (Busen) (Martial Arts Professional School) was established within a framework of Dai Nippon Butoku Kai to administer national accreditation, certification and professional training of all martial arts disciplines throughout Japan.
By 1930, National Government Record on Martial Arts Profile showed more than three and half million Black Belt holders, and more than two hundred fifty thousand high-ranking experts registered in the eight major martial disciplines. In 1946, after the end of pacific war the GHQ of SCAP (the supreme commander of allied powers) issued the peremptory directive to dissolve all military related organisations, and subsequently DNBK dissolved its organisational charter voluntarily. After San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1952, Japan regained her sovereignty. In 1953, present day Dai Nippon Butoku Kai was re-established with a new charter and the new philosophical vision. The Late Kumao Ohno, Hanshi was instrumental in this process as the vice chairman of DNBK Honbu. Honourable Jigo Higashi Fushimi, former Duke, the chief abbot of Shorenin Temple in Kyoto, a brother to Empress of Emperor Hirohito became the Sosai of the new society. The new axiom of DNBK stresses preservation of classical martial arts tradition and emphasises upon restoring the heritage, legacy, and virtues of martial culture and the promotion of education and service through martial arts training.
At present, Hanshi Tsujino, serving as the president of Hanshi Board of DNBK Honbu in Kyoto, leads the administrative operation of the organisation, and the active Hanshi Board under the leadership of Hanshi Nakada and Hanshi Kuwahara, vice presidents are serving to meet the challenges of the DNBK missions in Japan. In the International Division, DNBK has official representatives in the various regions of the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Israel, Malta, Russia, Spain, Germany, France, Hungary, Romania, Switzerland, Chile, and Armenia, Australia and DNBK intends to develop broader representations worldwide in the future. The DNBK society aims to foster greater international understanding and world peace through promotion of martial arts training, education and service "