Shakuhachi



「禅尺八」現実研究   ホームページ

The "Zen Shakuhachi" Reality Research Web Pages

An Introduction & Critical Guide to the Study of Early Ascetic Shakuhachi Historical Chronology,
Terminology & Etymology of Concepts, Ideology, Iconology & Practices in Particular


By Torsten Mukuteki Olafsson • トーステン 無穴笛 オーラフソンデンマーク • Denmark

 



Introduction

Sitemap - All Menu Items List

Newly Added Extra Web Page Menus


About this Research Project

Preliminary Realizations & Conclusions


The Chinese Ch'an Monk P'u-k'o, the Komosō Beggars
     & the Imperialistic Catholic Christian Intruders
     - the Rōnin Samurai, the Fuke-Komosō, the Komusō
     & the Kyōto Myōan Temple - an Unbiased Narrative


The Amazing Fuke Zenji / Fuke Shakuhachi /
     Fuke-shū Legend Fabrication Hoax


To be - or not to be: a "Zen Buddhist Priest"?


Highlighted Illustrations


1549 ... The Catholic Christian Century in Japan
     & the Temple Patron Household System


Ascetic Shakuhachi Ideology
     and the Realization of The Non-Dual
     - Highlighted Quotations


Chronology of Ascetic Shakuhachi
     Ideology-related Terms, Concepts & Names


Various Errors, Misconceptions & Loose Ends

Wikipedia: Inaccuracies & Misunderstandings
     about 'Komusō', 'Fuke-shū', 'Suizen' et cetera



The Source Collections

The Japanese Written Sources - An Overview






Texts, Quotations & Illustrations
     A Chronological Panorama



 •  INDIA - 1 web page

 •  CHINA - 2 web pages

 •  JAPAN - 8 web pages

 •  The WEST - 1 web page






Research Cases of Particular Significance,
     Real Importance & Special Concern



ERA of the KOMOSŌ - The "Mat Monks"

     c. 1450 to c. 1550



1470s?: The Dance-kyōgen Play Rakuami

1474: Tōyō Eichō and Ikkyū Sōjun at the
     Inauguration of the Rebuilt Daitoku Temple, Kyōto


1494 & 1501: Two Enchanting Muromachi Period
     Poetry Contest Picture Scrolls


1512: The Taigenshō Court Music Treatise






ERA of the FUKE-SŌ / FUKE-KOMOSŌ

     c. 1550 to c. 1628?



The Komosō & Fuke-sō / Fuke-komosō Sources


1550-1560: The Early Setsuyō-shū Dictionaries


1614: The Keichō kenmon-shū Short Story Book:
     The Fuke-komosō in Hachiō-ji, West of Edo City


1621-1625: The Neo-Confucian Scholar Hayashi Razan
     on the Shakuhachi, Komosō and Related Matters


1623: Anrakuan Sakuden's Encounter
     with a Wandering Fuke-komosō


1627-1629: Takuan Sōhō, the Purple Robe Affair, the
     Concept of 'Mu-shin Mu-nen' and the Myōan sōsō-shū


1628: The Kaidō honsoku Fuke-komosō Credo






ERA of the KOMUSŌ
     "Lay Monks of the Non-Dual & None-ness"

     c. 1628? to 1871



The Early Komusō-related Texts
     - from c. 1628? to c. 1750



1628?: A "Fuke Shakuhachi" related Murder Case
     in the Province of Tosa on the Island of Shikoku?


1637-1640: The Shimabara Uprising on Kyūshū,
     the National "Sects Inspection Bureau", and the
     Efficient Extinction of Catholic Christian Believers


c. 1640?: The Kaidō honsoku "Version 2" Copy

1640?: Is a Very Early "Komusō Temple" built
     in Nagasaki on the Island of Kyūshū?


c. 1640?: The Strange Butsu-gen Komusō Document

1646 at the latest: Abbot Isshi Bunshu's Letter to a
     "Proto-Komusō" named Sandō Mugetsu


1646 ... The Hottō Kokushi / Kakushin Legend:
     "The Four Buddhist Laymen" & the "disciple" Kichiku


1650s?: The Kaidō honsoku "Version 3" Copy


The Kyōto/Kansai Sources


1659?: A Falsely Dated Myōan-ji Document Revealed

1664: The Shichiku shoshinshū Music Treatise

c, 1665-1675?: The Kyotaku denki Fairy Tale:
     Shinchi Kakushin, Kichiku & Kyōto Myōan-ji



The Edo/Kantō/Tōkyō Sources


1677: The Enpō 5, 6th Month
     Reihō-ji Komusō Set of Rules


1678: The Enpō 5, 12th Month Komusō-ha Oboe
     Bakufu Memorandum of January 11th, 1678


1687: The Jōkyō 4, 6th Month
     Reihō-ji Komusō Set of Rules



c. 1685-1690: The Yōshū fu-shi
     & Jinrin kinmō zu-i - Evidence of Kyōto Myōan-ji


1694: Myōan-ji Founder Engetsu Ryōgen's
     23 Rules for his Komusō Disciples


1703 & 1705: The Kyōto Myōan-ji
     c/o Kōkoku-ji & Myōshin-ji Interrelationship



1722: The Kyōhō 7, 6th Month,
     Reihō-ji Komusō Memorandum


1730: The Kyōhō 15, 7th Month, Ichigetsu-ji
     & Reihō-ji Komusō Memorandum



1732: The Shakuhachi denrai-ki
     and Early 'Honkyoku' History



1735: Kyōto Myōan-ji Temple Chief Administrator
     Kandō Ichiyū's Letter about 'Sankyorei-fu',
     the "Three Non-Dual Spirit Music Pieces"



1751: The Keichō 19/1614 Komusō Certificate
     The Many Different All Fabricated Versions



1752: Kyōto Myōan-ji Founder Engetsu
     Ryōgen's 23 Fixed Rules for the Komusō



1795: The Kyotaku denki kokujikai Source Book


1816: Miyaji Ikkan's Shakuhachi hikki Book

1823: Hisamatsu Fūyō's Hitori mondō a.o. texts


1830: The Kiyū shōran Encyclopedia
     on 'Komosō' & 'Shakuhachi'







Post-Edo & Post-WW2 Period History Sources & Matters
     The Re-Writing & Re-Falsification
     of "Fuke Shakuhachi" Narratives



1 - MEIJI PERIOD till the mid-20th CENTURY

     1868-1945



1872-1878 (1843-44): The Komusō zakki
     Source Collection



From 1879 ... 1896-1914:
     The Koji ruien Historical Encyclopedia


1880-1899: Tokugawa kinreikō - A Source Collection
     of Tokugawa Period Laws & Regulations



1890: Higuchi Taizan - Teaching, the "Myōan Society",
     and the Taizan-ha Tradition of Shakuhachi Asceticism



Early to mid-20th Century Research Pioneers,
     Author Musicians, Editors & Publishers, Japan:
     Mikami Sanji, Kurihara Kōta, Uramoto Setchō,
     Nakatsuka Chikuzen, Mori Hikotarō, Tanikita Muchiku,
     Nishimura Kokū, Takahashi Kūzan, Tomimori Kyozan,
     Ikeda Juzan a.o.


1902: Mikami Sanji's Critical Article
     'Fuke-shū ni tsuite', "About the Fuke Sect"



1931-1932: Tokugawa kinreikō - A Source Collection
     of Tokugawa Period Laws & Regulations







2 - POST-WW2 till TODAY: JAPAN

     1945 ...



1950: "The Myōan Temple of the True Fuke Sect"
     Inauguration at Tōfuku Temple in SE Kyōto


1950s: Yasuda Tenzan, Hirazumi Taizan & 'Suizen'

1960: Uramoto Setchō's Essay about
     'Gyō no ongaku': "Music of Asceticism"



Shakuhachi Historianship in Japan Today?:
     The "Traditionalists" and the "Truth Tellers"



The Legacy of the Late Myōan Taizan-ha Teachers
     Yoshimura Fuan Sōshin & Ozawa Seizan







3 - POST-WW2 till TODAY: The WEST

     1945 ...



1945 ... : Some Early Post-WW2 Shakuhachi Narratives
     Written and Published in Western Languages


Translations of Shakuhachi Source Texts
     published in the West / Outside of Japan
     including the Internet / WWW
      - The Translators







Literature / References

Links

Profile / Bio / CV

Contact Info


WELCOME INTRODUCTION

Unveiling & Verifying the Actual Origins & Secrets
of Ascetic Shakuhachi Traditions, Ideologies & Practices

An Introduction & Critical Guide to the Study of Early Ascetic Shakuhachi Historical Chronology,
Terminology & Etymology of Concepts, Ideology, Iconology & Practices in Particular

- by Danish/Icelandic Torsten Mukuteki Olafsson, Elsinore, North Sealand: Multimusician, composer, music editor, graphics designer, japanologist, shakuhachi historian, writer & lecturer.



Prof. YOSHIDA MITSUKUNI, 吉田光邦, stating in a private conversation in March, 1977:


尺八 関係 全然無 い。

'Zen to shakuhachi: Kankei ga zenzen nai.'

     - "Zen and Shakuhachi: There's no connection at all!"

     - Yoshida Mitsukuni, 1921-1991: Since 1977 an esteemed professor of Science & Technology at Kyōto University who also wrote outstanding books on Japanese Arts and Aesthetics.




虚無僧

Who was the very first so called 'komusō',
     - "Pseudo-Monk of the Non-Dual & None-ness"?

     - When, Where - Why?




虚無僧寺

When was the very first so called komusō "temple" established?

     - Where, by Whom - and Why? How was it financed?




虚無僧 風呂寺

Did you know that some, many, maybe even all of the so called Edo Period "komusō temples" were in fact "professional bath house temples"?

How come that that has always been kept quite a deep secret?




臨在禅宗

Do you really - seriously - believe that all Edo Period komusō were "Rinzai Zen Buddhist devotees" - and even "Rinzai Zen Buddhist priests"?

How could that in any logical way have been the case?




根竹尺八

Who Created the Very First 'Konjiku', or "Root-end", Shakuhachi?

     - When, Where - Why?




本曲

Who Created the Very First 'Honkyoku' - the ascetic shakuhachi solos of the 'komusō'?

     - When, Where - why?




普化宗門

Was the so called 'Fuke Shūmon', "Fuke Sect Religious Denomination", ever in any way a true, genuine "Sect of Rinzai Zen Buddhism"?

     - The Answer so far keeps "Blowing in the Wind" ...




Latest updated web pages as of September 2 and 7, 2019, resp.:

Links

Introduction


Latest updated web pages as of August 19, 2019:

1614: The Keichō kenmon-shū Short Story Book:
     The Fuke-komosō in Hachiō-ji, West of Edo City


Wikipedia: Inaccuracies & Misunderstandings
     about Komusō, Fuke-shū, Suizen et cetera


Various Errors, Misconceptions & Loose Ends

Highlighted Illustrations

Literature / References

1950s: Yasuda Tenzan, Hirazumi Taizan & 'Suizen'

Chronology of Ascetic Shakuhachi
     Ideology-related Terms, Concepts & Names


Profile / Bio / CV


Latest updated web pages as of July 12, 2019:

Shakuhachi Historianship in Japan Today?:
     The "Traditionalists" and the "Truth Tellers"


1659?: A Falsely Dated Myōan-ji Document Revealed

Highlighted Illustrations

1872-1878 (1843-44): The Komusō zakki Source Collection

1732: The Shakuhachi denrai-ki and Early 'Honkyoku' History




薦僧 - 普化僧 - 普化薦僧 - 虚無僧

KOMO-SŌ, FUKE-SŌ, FUKE-KOMOSŌ - or KOMU-SŌ?

     - That's the Question!

The history of the komusō and the so called "Fuke Shakuhachi Tradition" is first of all
a deliberately deceptive pseudo-historical narrative of continuous fabrication and very purposeful falsification of alleged "written evidence", from the very Beginnings till the very Present.



KOMO-SŌ

薦僧

Era of the "Mat Monks": c. 1470? to c. 1550

1494:

Komosō in Sanjūni-ban shokunin utaawase emaki

'Komosō' "mat monk" in 'Sanjūni-ban shokunin uta-awase emaki'.
Date of original: 1494. Kōsetsu-bon edition, detail.
Suntory Museum of Art, Tokyo.
Source: Wikipedia, Japan.





FUKE KOMO-SŌ/FUKE-SŌ

普化薦僧 / 普化菰僧 / 普化僧

Era of the "Fuke Mat Monks" / "Fuke Monks": c. 1550 to 1628? (or c. 1640?)


c. 1550-1560:

'Fuke-sō/Komosō' in Ryūmon bunko no Setsuyōshū     'Setsuyōshū, title

Details from the 'Ryūmon bunko no Setsuyōshū'
Here, for the first time in "recorded history", we see the two characters for the 9th century Chinese Ch'an/Zen monk 'Fuke' to be pronounced as 'Fuke'+'sō', フケ
, "Fuke monk",
and presented as being synonymous with 'komo-sō', コモ
, "Mat monk".

Library of Nara Women's University
Mid-1500s - precise date unclear


Second half of the 16th Century:

Komosō playing the hitoyogiri in a street, close-up

'Komosō' playing a short 'hitoyogiri' flute in a street
Detail of section 4 of the folding screen
'Tsukinami fūzoku-zu byōbu'
"Screen with Genre Scenes of the Twelve Months"
Anonymous, late Muromachi Period (2nd half of 16th century).
Source: Tokyo National Museum


Early Edo/Kan'ei Period before 1630:

Two 'Fuke Komosō' in a painting of a Parasol-maker & Two Komosō by Iwasa Matabei, before 1630
Painting of a Parasol-maker & 2 Fuke-komosō

Painting of a Parasol-maker & Two Fuke-komosō
by Iwasa Matabei, 1578-1650.

An "important work of art" dating from the early Edo Period,
17th century, before 1630.

Official however highly questionable museological title of the work:

傘張 虚無僧図
'Kasa-hari • komusō-zu',
"Picture of an Umbrella Maker & Komusō".
Source: The Nezu Art Museum, Tōkyō.




KOMUSŌ

虚無僧

Era of the Edo Period "Lay Monks of the Non-Dual & None-ness":
1628? (or c. 1640?) to November 30, 1871



1658:

KYŌ WARABE by NAKAGAWA KIUN

'Kyō warabe', vol. 4, frame 13, Waseda University University Library

Two wandering vertical flute players in a Kyōto street
Possible very early Edo Period 'komusō' -
"Lay Monks of the Non-Dual & None-ness"?
In: the 'Kyō warabe' by Nakagawa Kiun
The Remembering the Capital Archive, Kyōto

Source URL: Frame 13 in Volume 4 of the 'Kyō warabe'.
Source: The Remembering the Capital Archive, Kyōto.


1661 or 1665:

Two komusō in Jinrin kinmō zu-i, 1690

Two 'komusō' playing, thin vertical flutes.
In: 'Ukiyo monogatari', 1661 or 1665 - Maki/Vol. 4, Story 3.
By Asai Ryōi.
Source: Exact original version unknown.


1690:

Two komusō in Jinrin kinmō zu-i, 1690

Two 'komusō' playing long, thick root-end shakuhachi flutes.
In: 'Jinrin kinmō zu-i', 1690 - Maki/Vol. 2.
By Makieshi Genzaburō & Atsuo Masamune.
Source: The Kyōto University Library.


1791:

A 'komusō' receiving alms

Woodcut print of a 'komusō' receiving alms.
In: 'Yamato meisho zue', "Pictures from Famous Places in Japan".
Illustration by Takehara Shinkei, 1791.
Source: The National Museum of Denmark, Department of Ethnography, Copenhagen.
Photo reproduction by John Lee.


1806:

A 'komusō' by Katsushika Hokusai

Wood cut print of a 'komusō' by Katsushika Hokusai, 1760-1849.
No. 53, 'Kusatsu', in: 'Tōkaidō gojūsan tsugi',
"53 Stations of the Tōkaidō", 1806 edition.
Source: www.hokusai-katsushika.org


1864:

Komusou, 1864. In Spieß, p. 201

"Japanischer Bettler als Klarinettbläser".
"A Japanese Beggar as Clarinet Player".
Komusō in Gustav A. Spieß, 1864, page 201.

This is but the second oldest known Western picture of a performing shakuhachi-playing beggar lay monk. It was printed from an engraving based on an original photograph taken in 1861 somewhere in Nagasaki in SW Japan by either August Sachtler or John Wilson during the visit there of the official Prussian Expedition to Japan, 1860-61.
Source: Gustav A. Spieß, 1864.



MYŌAN KYŌKAI KOMUSŌ

明暗協会虚無僧

Era of the Myōan Society "Lay Monks of the Non-Dual & Noneness": 1890 to 1950

Probably around 1900:

Hand-coloured komusō photograph by Nobukuni Enami, early 1900s

Early Myōan Society komusō by an unknown photographer. Possibly around 1900.
Source: flickr.com.


Early 1900s:

Hand-coloured komusō photograph by Nobukuni Enami, early 1900s

Hand-coloured 'Myōan Kyōkai Komusō' photograph by Nobukuni Enami, early 1900s.
Sources: io9.gizmodo.com & pinterest.com.




POST WW2 KYŌTO MYŌAN-JI KOMUSŌ

京都明暗寺

Era of the "new" Kyōto Myōan Temple "Lay Monks of the Non-Dual & Noneness":
1950 to the Present


Possibly 1960s-1970s?:

Hand-coloured komusō photograph by Nobukuni Enami, early 1900s

Two 'komusō' in front of the Kyōto Myōan Temple Gate.
Source: myouan-doushukai.org


2009:

A komusō at the Himeji Castle Matsuri, August 1, 2009

A "modern" Myōan komusō at the Himeji Castle Festival in Hyōgo Prefecture, August 1, 2009.
Source: Wikimedia Commons.



Well now, then ... Who actually were those quite mysterious komusō, 虚無僧, the "Semi Monks of the Non-Dual *) & None-ness" **) and their predecessors, their "forerunners", the komo-sō,
薦僧, the so called "Mat Monks"?

     [ *) or, "of Non-Substantiality" - **) or, "Egolessness")

What do the many surviving written Japanese source documents and plentiful pictorial evidence de facto clarify to us about 'Komosō Shakuhachi', 'Fuke-komosō Shakuhachi',
'Komusō Shakuhachi', 'Fuke Shakuhachi', 'Zen Shakuhachi', 'Honkyoku' "music"
- and 'Suizen' - probable origins and actual ideology, in particular?

That is what the present "Zen Shakuhachi Reality Research Web Pages" are also a lot about.

Please enjoy The Very Best Wishes

Torsten 無穴笛 Olafsson - Helsingør/Elsinore, North Sealand, Denmark



The HONKYOKU

本曲

Next question, however: Who were those so called komusō who, allegedly, actually created the 150+ famous and so much celebrated honkyoku pieces of ascetic shakuhachi flute "music" that have been preserved till today? That is still a mystery, in actual fact ...



WHAT? WHERE? WHEN? WHO? HOW? WHY?

- those are the serious issues and proper questions to be truly honestly addressed and most soberly replied to ...




THE ESSENCE of ASCETIC SHAKUHACHI IDEOLOGY and PRACTICES:

不二 不生 無孔笛 修行 尺八 吹禅

Fu-ni Fu-shō Mu-ku-teki Shugyō Shakuhachi Suizen

Non-Dual Un-Born No Hole Flute Ascetic Practice Bamboo Flute Breathing Contemplation




Latest updated web page as of July 12, 2019:

Shakuhachi Historianship in Japan Today?:
     The "Traditionalists" and the "Truth Tellers"


1659?: A Falsely Dated Myōan-ji Document Revealed

Highlighted Illustrations

1872-1878 (1843-44): The Komusō zakki Source Collection

1732: The Shakuhachi denrai-ki and Early 'Honkyoku' History


Latest updated web page as of June 20, 2019:

1890: Higuchi Taizan - Teaching, the "Myōan Society",
     and the Taizan-ha Tradition of Shakuhachi Asceticism



Updated web pages as of May 26, 2019:

1950s: Yasuda Tenzan, Hirazumi Taizan & 'Suizen'

The Legacy of the Late Myōan Taizan-ha Teachers
     Yoshimura Fuan Sōshin & Ozawa Seizan


1470s?: The Dance-kyōgen Play Rakuami

1640?: Is a Very Early "Komusō Temple" built
     in Nagasaki on the Island of Kyūshū?


     - research in progress, at the very present ...

Last updated web pages as of Early May, 2019:

1628?: A "Fuke Shakuhachi" related Murder Case
     in the Province of Tosa on the Island of Shikoku?


      - research in progress ...

Sitemap - All Menu Items List

1902: Mikami Sanji's Critical Article
     'Fuke-shū ni tsuite', "About the Fuke Sect"


1628: The Kaidō honsoku Fuke-komosō Credo

c. 1640?: The Kaidō honsoku "Version 2" Copy

1650s?: The Kaidō honsoku "Version 3" Copy

Highlighted Illustrations


Last updated web pages as of New Year, 2019:

Wikipedia: Inaccuracies & Misunderstandings
     about Komusō, Fuke-shū, Suizen et cetera


1945 ... : Some Early Shakuhachi Narratives
     Written and Published in Western Languages


Preliminary Realizations and Conclusions

The Amazing Fuke Zenji / Fuke Shakuhachi / Fuke-shū History Fabrication Scam

Chronology of Ascetic Shakuhachi Ideology-related Terms, Concepts & Names

Ascetic Shakuhachi Ideology and the Realization of The Non-Dual - Highlighted Quotations

1549 ... The Catholic Christian Century and the Temple Patron Household System



Overall conclusion that has manifested itself
as a result of the present research project

The asserted history and alleged characteristics of Ascetic Shakuhachi Practices in Japan have been most purposefully "constructed" since the very early beginnings.

This more or less constantly ongoing activity of deliberate source falsification, forging and fanciful myth fabrication is taking place still, this very day - generated by "professionals" and "amateurs" alike, inside as well as outside of Japan - be they both shakuhachi musicians and players, musicologists and "history" writers, book editors and publishers - beside a wide variety of enough so sincerely devoted shakuhachi "admirers" in general.

Very little indeed of what you can find and read in most of the books and articles, in phonogram cover notes and on the internet - be that on websites or weblogs presented in a variety of languages - can actually be soberly corroborated when first one is investigating the totality of known, preserved text and picture source materials etc. - the multitude, comprehensiveness and complexity of which is not only aweinspiring but truly terrifying.




Early 1870s:

The old, worn Kyōto Myōan-ji gate - disassembled sometime after 1871 - can be seen and appreciated within the precincts of the Yūzū Nenbutsu sect's mother temple Dainenbutsu-ji,
大念仏寺, in Hirano-ku, Ōsaka:

Old Myouan-ji gate at Dainenbutsu-ji in Osaka
Old Myouan-ji gate at Dainenbutsu-ji in Osaka

The old Myōan-ji gate reinstalled at Dainenbutsu-ji in Hirano-ku, Ōsaka.
Photos: Torsten O., March 13, 2019





Selected Findings

The most important - some might think: Controversial, heretic, provocative, maybe even somehow insulting? findings and conclusions at the present time of writing are the following:


 •  There existed nothing like an "established Zen shakuhachi tradition" during the Japanese Middle Ages, the Muromachi Period, nor before that time, for that matter.

 •  Nothing, no one, nor any "group", such as specifically a so called "Fuke Sect", Fuke-shū,
普化宗, was "officially approved" in 1677-1678.

In fact, that never happened, even later. Period

 •  The earliest possibly reliable written evidence of anything like a "Fuke Sect", Fuke-shū,
普化宗, is dated 1687 - produced by the Edo temple Reihō-ji, 鈴法寺.

That particular document, in the version of it that has been preserved till today, however, may well have been somehow "falsified" in that respect / to that "effect" at a later date, by its editors.

 •  The so called Fuke-shū - if ever it might have existed and functioned in some form of capacity as a "unified, top-down organized religious congregation" on a nation-wide basis at all - it was definitely neer "a genuine sect of Rinzai Zen Buddhism".

There are no surviving documents or other evidence at all that can be seen to support such a belief or even claim.

The only "temple" that appears to have enjoyed if only some however limited degree of "connection" with the established Rinzai Sect organization was the Myōan Temple in Eastern Kyōto - see entries 1703 & 1705.

None of the early extant Myōan Temple documents mention any Fuke-shū at all in their contents. In fact, dated even as late as 1752, a very central and comprehensive Myōan Temple document refers to the "congregation" as Komusō shūmon, 虚無僧宗門, i.e. "Komusō Sect / Creed / Doctrine" - not Fuke-shū, or Fuke-shūmon.

 •  The oldest convincingly dated existing pictorial representation of a typical long and heavy root-end bamboo flute of the komusō is dated 1690.

 •  The earliest written mention of the term honkyoku, 本曲, is dated 1694 - in the oldest reliable Kyōto Myōan Temple document, that we know of.

 •  The earliest fully trustworthy reference to actual honkyoku music piece titles is dated as "late" as 1732.

 •  The term sui-zen, 吹禅, was not known and used in Japan before 1950.

 •  The terms zen shakuhachi, 禅尺八, and shakuhachi zen, 尺八禅, were not "invented" and spread in the world before the 1970s, at the earliest.




The provinces of Western Japan during the early 17th century, from Tokugawa Ieyasu, 1600-1616 ...

The provinces of Japan during the early 17th century, from Tokugawa Ieyasu, 1600-1616 ...
Source: Wikipedia: Provinces of Japan

Click in the picture to enlarge in a new browser window




The ESS Summer School Vejle 2017 "Pictures & Quotations Exhibition"

A section of the ESS Vejle Summer 2017

On the European Shakuhachi Society founder and chair person Kiku Day's kind invitation,
Danish/Icelandic Torsten Olafsson designed and presented a
"Zen Shakuhachi Reality Research Pix & Quotes Exhibition"
for the ESS Summer School Vejle 2017 event ...




Significant Friendly International Collaborations

Kiku Day who is now a longtime permanent resident of beautiful rural Mid-Western Denmark has been a dear and respected friend of mine for many years.

With her superb PhD degree in Ethnomusicology from SOAS in London, Kiku took the courageous steps and necessary initiatives to establish the European Shakuhachi Society while still acting prominently in the capacity as that very important community's most energetically event-making, inspirational chairperson.

Kiku Day     Kiku Day performing

Read much more here on Kiku's personal homepage


I was enthusiastically assisting and supporting Kiku Day in preparing for the succesful ESS Summer School 2017 that took place in Vejle, Jutland, Denmark.




The European Shakuhachi Society - founded by Kiku Day in January, 2008

European Shakuhachi Society

Click here to link to the European Shakuhachi Society's official homepage


July 2017: ESS Shakuhachi Summer School in Vejle, Mid-Western Denmark



In 2003, Mr. Monty H. Levenson of Tai Hei Shakuhachi in Willits, N. California, USA, generously printed and published my Kaidō honsoku,
海道本則, MA thesis (1987) - still available from www.shakuhachi.com.

You may click in the photos to study a presentation of the publication:

Tai Hei Shakuhachi hanko    Monty H. Levenson    Kaidō honsoku edition cover

Read more about Monty H. Levenson on the web page "The West", entry "1970".



Mr. Ronald Nelson, president of the International Shakuhachi Society (ISS, at www.komuso.com) has supplied to me both numerous scannings of essential rare Japanese texts and, not least, most valuable photos of his taken in the "Komusō Room" of the Matsudo City Museum in NW Chiba and at the Tokyo National Museum.

Please do visit the outstanding art photographer's no less than breathtakingly amazing picture website and appreciate his numerous photos from the trips of his all over East and South Asia - and elsewhere:

Monty H. Levenson

Link to the "Ronald Nelson Photography" homepage


Photo: Japanese tōrii gate. Source: Ronald Nelson's personal Facebook page.




Mr. Kishi Kiyokazu, 貴志清一, Japan, has contributed prominently with so far two very important historical Fuke Shakuhachi texts/documents generously made readable here in modern Japanese, transcribed from the Kanbun and classical Japanese originals, respectively.

Kishi Kiyokazu

Kishi Kiyokazu

Do visit Mr. Kishi's comprehensive Japanese website via this link:

Link to 尺八吹奏研究会HP - The Shakuhachi Performance Research Society HomePage edited by Kishi Kiyokazu

Links to recent 2016 updates on the homepage can be found page bottom on this newly updated web page:

Link to The January 11, 1678 Komusō-ha Oboe-gaki web page

Kishi Kiyokazu's fine work on Hisamatsu Fuyō's Hitori mondō dated 1823 can be appreciated here:

Link to the 1823 Hitori mondō webpage





Ozawa Seizan Myōan 1.8 shakuhachi

1.8 Myōan Taizan-ha shakuhachi made by Ozawa Seizan, 1939-2012





Mu-ku-teki Suizen      Myōan Taizan signature & seal

'MU-KU-TEKI SUI ZEN'
"No-Hole-Flute Breathing Contemplation"

Calligraphy signed 'Myōan Taizan'


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Mukuteki suizen

"Mukuteki suizen"

無孔笛吹禅

Signed by
Myōan Taizan
(No date)