Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi was born in Noda City, Chiba Prefecture on December 2, 1931. He graduated from Meiji University in Tokyo, with a major in theatre studies, and now in the director of his own chiropractic clinic in Noda City.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Dr. Hatsumi continuously travelled across Japan to study with Toshitsugu Takamatsu, of Kashiwara City, Nara Prefecture, from whom he received his initiation into the life ways of the ninja. Dr. Hatsumi later inherited from his teacher the authority and position of soke (grandmaster) in the following Japanese martial traditions:
- 34th soke of Togakure ryu ninjutsu, originally founded by Daisuke Togakure
- 28th soke of Gyokko ryu koshijutsu, originally founded by Hakkunsai Tozawa
- 28th soke of Kukishin ryu happo hikenjutsu, originally founded by Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru
- 26th soke of Shinden fudo ryu dakentaijutsu, originally founded by Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru
- 21st soke of Gyokushin ryu ninjutsu, originally founded by Sasaki Gorozaemon
- 18th soke of Koto ryu koppojutsu, originally founded by Sandayu Momochi
- 18th soke of Gikan ryu koppojutsu, originally founded by Sonyu Hangan Gikanbo, lord of Kawachi
- 17th soke of Takagi yoshin ryu jutaijutsu, originally founded by Oriuemon Shigenobu Takagi
- 14th soke of Kumogakure ryu ninpo, originally founded by Heinaizaemon Ienaga Iga, who adopted the name Kumogakure Hoshi
Now retired from active teaching, Dr. Hatsumi no longer accepts new personal students. He supervises the Bujinkan (“Warrior God Training Hall”) organization, made up of his students who now carry Shihan and Shidoshi instructor titles and carry out the teaching work around the world.