Through Japanese mythology the places Katori and Kashima are strongly connected to the martial arts of Japan. These two places are home to two important Shinto shrines dedicated to deities of war. Throughout the centuries famous swordfighters prayed at these holy shrines to gain insight into the martial arts.
One of these swordfighters was Iizasa Iga no Kami Ienaoko (1387 - 1489), a samurai, in service of the daimyo who governed the Chiba-prefecture and a man honoured for his extraordinary valour and skill with various weapons. After the downfall of his daimyo Ieano (age 64) travelled to the Katori shrine. Without a lord and a family he hoped to reach “enlightment” through meditation and hard training.
During a period of one thousand days he subjected himself to harsh physical and mental training. Shortly after this period, legend tells us, that the deity of war Futsunushi-no-mikoto came to him in a dream. The deity gave him a scroll, the "Mokuroku Heiho Shinsho", and said to Ieano that he would become teacher of all swordmasters. The next morning he woke up with the scroll in his arms. The scroll contained martial techniques and strategies written by the gods.