The founder of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu was Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto Shigenobu of present-day Kanagawa prefecture. Very little is known of him as due to his historical importance, much of his life has been widely fictionalised. It is understood that he grew up in a time of constant warfare and is said to have studied many sword styles. Upon receiving divine inspiration, he developed a way of fighting that began with the drawing of the sword. He called his school the ‘Shinmei Muso Ryu’ – the ‘divinely, uparalleled style’.
It was 17th headmaster Oe Masamichi Shikei who renamed the school to its current name as we know it today by merging the techniques of Eishin and Omori (previous headmasters of Shinmei Muso Ryu) with Shigenobu’s original school. His techniques were influenced by his combat experience of Hamaguri Gomon no Ikusa in 1865-67.