The Five Traditions (伍箇伝, Gokaden) is an institution consisting of five middle-to-high schools established throughout Japan that focus on training special practical skills in occupational swordsmanship.

The five schools are:

The schools are under the jurisdiction of the Special Sword Administration Bureau, where there are not only Toji, but also personnel who are trained to assist in activities done by Toji.


The Five Traditions adopts a two-part curriculum consisting of literary arts and martial arts. The literary arts curriculum consists of subjects reminiscent of the Japanese educational curriculum for middle- and high-school students like Science, Mathematics, Social Sciences, English, History and Japanese Literature and Culture. On the other hand, the martial arts curriculum (which probably replaces Physical Education) consists of training in swordsmanship and Toji ability usage. Reflecting this, the final exams consists of two parts: a written examination and a practical exam which tests students in the skills necessary in performing the duties of a Toji, including handling situations involving the presence of Aradama.


  • The term "Five Traditions" originated from the five schools from which most old Japanese swords were traced from—these are the Soshu School, Yamato School, Bizen School, Yamashiro School and Mino School.[1]
  • The mon or crest used by the Five Traditions itself is a double-bordered equilateral pentagon. All five schools under the Five Traditions would adopt a crest based on this mon.


  1. Japanese sword on Wikipedia. Accessed January 7, 2018.