Hatsumi was born in Noda, Chiba on December 2, 1931. While attending the Meiji University, he continued learning judo and eventually rose to the Dan rank. He also began teaching Judo during his time at the university to American soldiers at the nearby Yokota Air Base. After graduating, Hatsumi began to search for a teacher, and began his Kobudo training under Ueno Chosui. When he was 26 he met Ueno's teacher, Toshitsugu Takamatsu. Hatsumi spent fifteen years on Honshu Island learning various ninjutsu styles from Takamatsu.
Takamatsu died in Nara, Japan in 1972
after advancing Hatsumi to Soke and bestowing on him "all
the art of the nine schools", and of course the grandmaster's scrolls,
three of which he indicated were ancient ninja schools and six samurai
jujutsu schools of martial arts.