The ryu (school or style) was established in 1930 by Soke Miyuki Risho Hayabuchi with the permission of Kanichiro Kinbusa (founder of the Kinbusa Kenshibudo in Kyushu and the man generally credited with reviving kenbu in the modern age). The present soke is Hajime Risho Hayabuchi who succeeded his mother (Sogen Kiyoko Riso Hayabuchi) in March 2006. Sogen Kiyoko Riso Hayabuchi is known throughout Japan as one of the most skilled judges of kenshibudo and took her first lessons at just three years of age.
The origin of the sword dance (kenbu) dates back some 400 years to the beginning of the Tokugawa era. At that time, Japan saw the end of hundreds of years of civil infighting and, with the outbreak of peace, also saw the end of the great samurai armies. In order to hone key skills and keep alive samurai spirit and tradition, kenbu was developed as a means of entertainment, storytelling and non-deadly competition among samurai. Even today, the Shinden Shinsei Hayabuchi Ryu bases its movements on Arakimuninsai Ryu Iaido, which stands as testiment to its martial beginnings.
During the American occupation following the war in the Pacific in 1945 all martial arts were banned in Japan. In order to circumvent the restriction and to keep alive the art of kenbu, the fan took the place of the sword in dances and exercises. As a consequence, the art of shibu was born. From this shibu eventually developed its own dance forms and now stands alongside (although separate and distinct from) kenbu. Such has been its popularity that today shibu is by far the more popular dance style in Japan.
Because the fan used in kenbu and shibu is called sen, shibu is also sometimes referred to as senbu.