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
     "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: 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


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



1871? (1843-44): The Komusō zakki
     Source Collection



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



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



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


Early 20th Century Historians & Musicians, Japan:
     Kurihara Kōta, Uramoto Setchō,
     Nakatsuka Chikuzen, Tanikita Mujiku,
     Tomimori Kyozan, Ikeda Jūzan a.o.



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







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


Highlighted Illustrations


INDIA

c. 2600 BCE:

Yogic Seal from Mohenjo-daro in the Indus Valley, N. India

Square seal depicting a nude male deity with three faces,
seated in yogic position on a throne.
Harappan Bronze Age Culture, c. 2600-1900 BCE.
Dimensions: 2.65 x 2.7 cm, 0.83 to 0.86 cm thickness.
Excavated at Mohenjo-daro, present-day Punjab, Pakistan.

Now in the Islamabad Museum.
Source: https://www.harappa.com/indus/33.html




CHINA

Around 750 A.D.:

Musicians pictured in a wall painting in Cave 25, 'Yulin', at Tun-huang on the Silk Road in W. China

Musicians pictured in a wall painting in Cave 25, 'Yulin',
at Tun-huang on the Silk Road, in W. China.
The player at the top appears to be blowing a very long, quite thin flute that quite much

resembles the modern Chinese 6-holed 't'ung-hsiao', 洞簫, Jap.: 'dōshō'.
Source: Izumi Takeo, 2016, p. 5




Around 970 A.D.:

Female Chinese musicians performaing in the emperor's palace

Female Chinese musicians performing in the T'ang Emperor's palace, mid-8th century.
In the backgrouns to the right we see a musician blowing a medium long vertical flute
- maybe a 't'ung-hsiao', 洞簫, Jap.: 'dōshō'.
Scroll painting on silk attributed to the Chinese Imperial court painter Chou Wen-chü, ca. 970.
Source: Werner Speiser, 1961, p. 176






JAPAN

Around 700 A.D.?:


Bodhisattva playing a shakuhachi

Small sculpture of a bodhisattva playing a shakuhachi look-alike.
Discovered in 2009 during a restoration of the canopy overhanging the Shaka Triad being housed in the Hōryū-ji Kondō.
Source: Yatō Umiosa's Komusō website


Hōryū-ji Kondō, Nara - 7th century

Hōryū-ji Kondō, Nara - Photo: T.O. 1977


Bodhisattva playing a shakuhachi



Hōryū-ji Kondō, Nara - 7th century

Hōryū-ji Kondō, Nara - Photo: T.O. 1977





8th century A.D.:

Bodhisattva musician playing the shakuhachi, Todai-ji

Bodhisattva musician playing the shakuhachi, Tōdai-ji, Nara.
Detail of a large bronze lamp standing in front of the Great Buddha Hall.
One of the very few remains of the original 8th century temple.
Source: Wikipedia, Japan







c. 1470 to c. 1550: ERA of the 'KOMOSŌ' "Mat Monks"

薦僧




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





1521-1532:


Two komosō in Kyōto, c. 1530

Two 'komosō' playing vertical flutes in a Kyōto street
Detail of the folding screen 'Raku-chū raku-gai zu byōbu',
"Pictures from In and Around the Capital",
Machida-bon edition.
Dated to between 1521 and 1532.


Two komosō in Kyōto, c. 1530

Close-up detail of the folding screen 'Raku-chū raku-gai zu byōbu',
"Pictures from In and Around the Capital",
Machida-bon edition.
The National Museum of Japanese History, Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture




1549

The Spanish Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier lands in Kagoshima and begins movement to spread Christian teaching in Japan.


Francis Xavier - 1506-1552

Japanese portrait of Francis Xavier (1506-1552)
Kōbe City Museum, Kōbe, Japan





c. 1550 to 1628 or c. 1640?: ERA of the FUKE-KOMOSŌ

普化薦僧




c. 1550-1560

普化僧 - FUKE-SŌ synonymous with KOMOSŌ: コモ

節用集 - SETSUYŌSHŪ DICTIONARY VERSIONS: Guides to Character Readings



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

Details from the 'Ryūmon bunko no Setsuyōshū'
Library of Nara Women's University - precise date unclear


When, approximately, did the komosō of Medieval Japan adopt Fuke Zenji as their idol of shakuhachi asceticism?
A few late Muromachi Period versions of the popular dictionary Setsuyōshū", "Economical Collection" or "Collection [of Words] for Everyday Use", do actually present noteworthy evidence in that respect:


'Fuke-sō' & 'Komosō' in the Setsuyōshū

Readings for the kanji 'Komo-sō' and 'Fu-ke(-sō)'
in three different early versions of the 'Setsuyōshū'
- second half of the 16th century





After 1560 - Late Muromachi Period:

Komosō playing the hitoyogiri in a street

'Komosō' playing a 'hitoyogiri' in a street (center)
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). Tokyo National Museum


Tsukinami fūzoku-zu byōbu full view

Komosō playing the hitoyogiri in a street, close-up

Do we actually see the 'komosō' above wearing a long sword, possibly made of wood (?),
the tip of which is protruding from his left side, appearing just beneath the bed roll
that he is carrying on his back?

Link to an online, inter-active website presenting the complete screen:
Tokyo National Museum - E-Museum online





1574:

Two komosō in Kyōto

'Komosō' playing a vertical flute in a Kyōto street
Detail of the folding screen 'Raku-chū raku-gai zu byōbu',
"Pictures from In and Around the Capital",
Uesugi-bon edition. Commissioned by Oda Nobunaga.
The Yonezawa City Uesugi Museum, Yamagata Prefecture






1597:

The 26 Christian Martyrs in Nagasaki

The 26 Christian Martyrs in Nagasaki. Painting by Eustaquio Maria de Nenclares, 1862.
On February 5, 1597, 26 Christians - missionaries and Japanese followers alike -
were crucified at Nishizaka in Nagasaki,
on the order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, then the absolute ruler of Japan.






1600:

The Sekigahara Battle

The Sekigahara Battle

Source: WikiMedia





Late Momoyama Period? (1573-1615) - Early 17th century?

Yet unidentified and undated quite early 17th century komosō picture   Matching folding screen section for komosō picture

Yet unidentified and undated early 17th century komosō picture

Yet unidentified, so far undated, quite early 17th century 'komosō' picture.
Apparently part of a rather typical Azuchi-Momoyama Period gold-leaf decorated folding screen
with everyday scenes, dating from the early 1600's?




OBS: Dated 1735, this picture is indeed a curiosity - sort of an "anachronism":

Painting of a Komosō, begging in a street

Very similar in theme and execution as the picture above, this is one of 12 illustrations on a folding screen being dated to 1735 and entitled 'Shokunin zukushi-e byōbu', 職人尽絵屏風,
"Pictures of People of Various Occupations in Their Workshops".
One would not term it "a copy", however, but rather an anachronism, as the shown mat-carrying 'komosō' type of mendicant flute-player had been replaced by the 'komusō' many decades before 1735.

The art historian Kazuko Kameda-Madar has described the screen in this article (link) at www.academia.edu:
"Pictures of People of Various Occupations in Their Workshops"






1614-15:

The Siege of Ōsaka Castle

The Siege of Ōsaka Castle

Source: WikiMedia





1624-1630 - Early Kan'ei Period:

Two 'komosō' in a painting of an Umbrella Maker & two Fuke-Komosō painted by Iwasa Matabei before 1630

Two 'Fuke-komosō' in a painting of an Umbrella Maker & two Fuke-Komosō painted by Iwasa Matabei before 1630


Painting of a Parasol-maker & 2 Fuke-komosō

Painting of an Umbrella Maker & two Fuke-komosō
by Iwasa Matabei, 1578-1650

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

Owned by the Nezu Art Museum, Tōkyō.
Official however highly questionable museological title of the work:

傘張 虚無僧図

According to recognized Japanese sources quoted on the internet,
this picture was originally one out of 8 illustrations on an exquisite folding screen
by Iwasa Matabei known as the 'Ikeda byōbu', among other names:
"The Ikeda Folding Screen", 池田屏風.
Link to the web page in question: Cultural Heritage Online

Japanese art specialists do conclusively date the unique original folding screen
to the Kan'ei Period, 1624-1644 - not later than 1630.


Close view of two Fuke-komosō in a painting of an Umbrella Maker & two Fuke-Komosō

Close view of two 'Fuke-komosō' in a painting of an Umbrella Maker & two Fuke-Komosō





Very early Edo Period (early 17th century) komo-sō, 薦僧/菰僧, style mendicant miyo-giri shakuhachi,
三節切り尺八, flute player

Close view of two komosō in Picture of Parasol-maker & Komusō

This is a modern Japanese painting depicting an early 17th century 'Fuke-komosō' "Fuke Mat Monk"

- definitely not a 'komusō', 虚無僧 !!!

Web source - new link: Randokku blog





After 1628?, or from c. 1640?: ERA of the KOMUSŌ
- the "Lay Monks of the Non-dual & None-ness"

虚無僧




LAY MONKS of the NON-DUAL & NONENESS

1629:

The practice of fumi-e, 踏み絵 - the forced trampling of Christian images - is introduced and kept in constant national execution and effect through the year 1858.

The religious authorities of the Tokugawa shōgunate requires suspected Christians to step on images of Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary in order to prove that they are not members of that outlawed religion.

Fumi-e   Fumi-e

Fumi-e: Jesus Christ & the Virgin Mary



Fumi-e inquisitional ceremony in the early 19th century. Painting by Keiga Kawahara, around 1826

Painting of a 'fumi-e' inquisitional ceremony by Keiga Kawahara, created sometime during 1800-1829.

Source: National Library of the Netherlands. Link: geheugenvannederland.nl





Most probably 1630s-1640s:

Painting of Three Komosō

Painting of three early 'komusō'?
Attributed to Iwasa Matabei, 1578-1650.
Possibly dating from the 1630s.

Owned by the Shingon Sect temple Tōya-san Fumon-ji Taishō-in near Matsudo City in NW. Chiba Pref. Source: Yamaguchi Masayoshi, 2005, p. 176.


Painting of Three Komosō

Painting of three early 'komusō'?
Acc. to Kakizaki Shōhō this picture should date from the Genroku Period, 1688-1704.
If that were so, Iwasa Matabei, 1578-1650, cannot be the artist.





Most probably 1630s-1640s:

Picture of a Komosō in a Kyōto street

Picture of an early 'komusō'? in a Kyōto street.
Detail of a yet not fully recognized and identified version
of a 'Raku-chū raku-gai zu byōbu'.
Possibly dating from the 1630s.
Source: Izumi Takeo, 2013, pp. 82-83.


Picture of a Komosō in a Kyōto street

You find the detail in the very bottom of the screen, right above the Japanese character, 'zu', .
The screen is a treasure of the Tanabe City Fine Arts Hall.
Source: Izumi Takeo, 2015, p. 81.





Most probably 1630s-1640s:

Yet not fully identified and dated early 17th century komosō picture

Yet not fully identified and dated early 17th century 'komusō'? picture.
Possibly dating from the 1630s?
Exhibited at Matsudo City Museum, Matsudo-shi, NW Chiba Pref.


Yet not fully identified and dated early 17th century komosō picture

Detail


Yet not fully identified and dated early 17th century komosō picture

The above picture photographed at the Matsudo City Museum in Chiba
by Ronald Nelson, summer 2014.


Postcard purchased by Bandō Jirō's companion

Acc. to Bandō Jirō's weblog, however: From a (yet obscure!) 17th century art work entitled
Jidai fūzokuga-fuku", 時代風俗画幅, "Scroll with Pictures of Customs of the Day".

Postcard purchased by a companion of Bandō Jirō's at Matsudo City Museum in Autumn 2012

Link: Bandō Jirō's weblog





1637-38 - THE SHIMABARA REBELLION

1637: Christian farmers, warriors, rōnin (masterless samurai) and others revolt against the authorities on the Shimabara Peninsula in Kyūshū.
When the uprising was put down in 1638, tens of thousands had been killed. All surviving rebels, numbering in the thousands, were decapitated.
Christianity was now strictly outlawed in Japan and informers were encouraged.


Folding screen depicting the rebellion at Shimabara

'Shimabara ran-zu byōbu'
"Folding screen depicting the rebellion at Shimabara".
Source: Wikipedia.





"LAY MONKS of the NON-DUAL & NONENESS"




c. 1640-1645/1646: The term komu shizen, 虚無自然 is introduced.

Isshi Bunshu - 1608-1645/46

Isshi Bunshu, 一絲和尚, a most renowned Rinzai Zen abbot whose master was the great Rinzai Zen master Takuan Sōhō (1573-1645), lived from 1608 to 1645 (or 1646).
Portrait preserved at the temple Hōjō-ji in Kameoka City, Kyōto Prefecture.

A letter from Abbot Isshi to a certain hermit named Sandō Mugetsu Anjū, 山堂無月庵主, presumably written shortly before Isshi's death in 1645/1646, presents the oldest known, surviving mention of the term 'komusō', 虚無僧, "Monk of the Non-Dual & None-ness".


Here is a carefully retouched scanning of a xerox copy of the original hand-scroll, supplied to me in April, 1985, by the Kōkoku Temple in Yura, Wakayama.

View a full reproduction of Abbot Isshi's Letter to the komusō Sandō Mugetsu as PDF file: 1 MB


Go to this webpage to study a full translation of Abbot Isshi's letter til Sandō Mugetsu:
Isshi Bunshu's Komu Shizen & Komusō Letter





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 - UKIYO MONOGATARI by ASAI RYŌI

浮世物語 - "Tales from the Floating World"

浅井了意 - ASAI RYŌI - c. 1612-1691


Picture of two possible komusō in the Ukiyo monogatari

Here you see a genuine, original picture of possibly two 1660s, very early komusō being featured in the short story collection 'Ukiyo monogatari', "Tales of the Floating World", by Asai Ryōi.

This really rarely shown illustration was reprinted/reproduced in 1916 in a very comprehensive 12 volume collection of selected masterpieces of Japanese Tokugawa Period literature,
the 'Tokugawa bungei ruiju', Volume 2.

The short story with that particular unique picture attached does not at all mention any neither 'komo-sō', nor 'komu-sō', so the two flute playing persons could only have been placed in the illustration to create some sort of an authentic 'cosy' atmosphere for the narrative.

As you can see - very contrary to several more recent really poor, misleading redrawn copies of the two figures - the flute being played in the front is both thin and quite long,
i.e. not at all a 'konjiku', 根竹 "root-end", type of 'shakuhachi'.

So, what do you honestly think those two flute players were actually playing when wandering around, from gate to gate, begging their humble best to hopefully survive?

I myself believe: Definitely no 'honkyoku'!





Probably no later than 1683:

Komusō in Tohi zumaki

A komusō playing a root-end shakuhachi in a Kyōto street
Detail from the 'Tohi zumaki', 都鄙図巻, "Sights in and around Kyōto".
A very long and impressive picture scroll painted on silk. By Sumiyoshi Gukei, 1631-1705
Originally a treasure of the Konbu-in in Nara, now exhibited at (link) Tōkyō National Museum

Sumiyoshi Gukei was born and lived in Kyōto until 1683 when he moved to Edo,
present day Tōkyō, where he died in 1705.

In: Izumi Takeo, 2013, p. 93.







1685

大怒佐 / 大 ぬさ / 大幣 - ŌNUSA
"Streamers" - author/creator unknown

三味線初心書 - Shamisen shoshin-sho

Two komusō in 'Ōnusa', 1685

Two komusō in 'Ōnusa', 1685

Two 'komusō' playing thin vertical flutes in front of a gate.
Printed in the shamisen beginners' book 'Ōnusa' in Kyōto, 1685.

Source: Kyōto Institute Library and Archives Search.
Link/URL - PDF frame 29: http://www.archives.kyoto.jp/websearchpe/detail/1779255/1/29

Two komusō in 'Ōnusa', 1685/1699/1916

The 'Ōnusa' was also included as a reprint in the 'Shichiku taizen', 糸竹大全, "Encyclopedia of Strings
and Bamboo" in 1687. reprinted in 1699, which, in turn, was reissued in modern typography in 1916.
Link to online version, go to frame 76, c/o The National Diet Library, Tokyo, PDF file





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
The Library of Kyōto University
Link to Kyōto University's online presentation of this volume


Two komusō in Jinrin kinmō zu-i, 1690





1695 - an entry about 'komosō', mat monks, in a Genroku Period encyclopedia:

Komusō in Kashiragaki zōho kinmō zu-i, 1695

A mendicant shakuhachi player wearing a pointed 'ami-gasa' straw hat
In: 'Kashiragaki zōho kinmō zu-i'
("Enlarged Elementary Encyclopedia with Illustrations"), 1695

A first edition, 'Kinmō zu-i', was published in 1666.
A third edition, 'Kashiragaki kinmō zu-i taisei', appeared in 1789.

Here, to the right of the flute player, the two kanji for 'komo-sō', 'mat monk',
are given. In the text block above, 'komo-sō' is explained
with the archaic terms of 'bo(n)ron', 'bo(n)ronji', 'kanji', and 'boro'.

The text concludes that a 'komo-sō' is using the shakuhachi for 'shugyō",
修行, "ascetic practice"
- which is, certainly, not only limited to Zen Buddhist traditions, however.

Shimane University Library Digital Archive #1316
Direct link: Volume 4-7, go to frame 8






1696 - a lonesome 'komusō' in a Genroku Period "floating world" story collection:

Komusō in Nippon bushi kagami/Kokon bushi kagami, 1696

Komusō in Nippon bushi kagami/Kokon bushi kagami, 1696

This very rarely shown picture of a wandering 'komusō' is depicted in Volume 3, on page 16, in the 1696 'ukiyo-zōshi', "floating world", story collection 'Kokon bushi kagami', 古今武士鑑,
a.k.a. 'Nippon bushi kagami, 日本武士鑑, which was created by Mukunashi Issetsu, born 1631, 椋梨一雪,
and published in both Ōsaka and Kyōto in the year Genroku 9.
The figure is not mentioned nor in any way characterized in the text to which it is attached.

The Kyūshū University Library, among other archives, owns an original copy of this precious work.






Early 18th CENTURY


Hanamachi fūzoku-zu emaki

Hanamachi fūzoku-zu emaki

A pair of komusō depicted in the 'Hanamachi fūzoku-zu emaki',
"Picture scroll of Manners and Customs on the Flower Avenue",
i.e. in the pleasure quarters - early 18th century
Artist unknown. The Tobacco and Salt Museum, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō





天蓋 - TENGAI

1758


Komusō in 'Ehon Mitsu wagusa', 1758

Komusō in a street, wearing a rather "deep" 'tengai'
In: "Ehon mitsu wagusa', volume 2, 1758
by Nishikawa Sukenobu (1671-1750)
National Diet Library, Tōkyō





1768:

2 'komusō' in the E-hon Azuma no hana

Book print of two 'komusō', 1768.
In: 'E-hon Azuma no hana', "Picture Book of Flowers of the East"
Illustration by Shigemasa Kitao, 1739-1820
Ritsumeikan University, Kyōto.

Two 'komusō' in the E-hon Azuma no hana

Source: http://www.rounanusi.jp/syakuhatisyouki/87mudai/86mudaitop.html


This is, so far, the oldest known 'komusō' picture the accompanying text of which
features the name of Fuke Zenji, 普化禅師, at the top, right.

The text at the top reads as follows:

Right side text:

尺八支那(しゃくはちハもろこし)の普化禅師にはじまり 本朝にては筑紫(つくし)の宮これを学び給ぶひけるにより 世々たへず行(おこなハ)るゝ。

"Shakuhachi began with Zen monk Fuke [P'u-k'o] in T'ang China [Morokoshi]. In our country [this dynasty] it was studied and taught in the Palace of the Nara Province [the Tsukushi Palace]."

Left side text:

名ある人ハ安田城長(やすだじやうなが) 大森宗勲(おおもりそうくん)等(とう)なり 今これを製 (ひらく)に 琴虎(きんこ)もって精(せい)とす。

"Famous people [who played it] were Yasuda Shironaga [Jōnaga?], Ōmori Sōkun and others. Nowadays it is being finely made strong with the use of 'kinko' [? lit. 'zither+tiger']."

Trsl. by Torsten Olafsson, 2017




1789:

Komusō in Kashiragaki zōho kinmō zu-i taisei, 1789

A shakuhachi player wearing a bee-hive-shaped 'tengai'
Do note that the Japanese characters to the left of the fluteplayer
reads 'komo-sō', not 'komo-sō'.

In: 'Kashiragaki zōho kinmo zu-i taisei'
('Enlarged Elementary Encyclopedia with Illustrations,
Complete edition'), Kansei 1, 1789, volume 4: "People".
Author: Nakamura Tekisai (1629-1702). Illustrator: Shimokawabe Shūsui.
The first edition, 'Kinmō zu-i', was published in 1666.
The second edition, 'Kashiragaki kinmō zu-i, appeared in 1695.





1791:

A 'komusō' receiving alms

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


Link to the Waseda University Library online archive - go to picture 43:
Woodcut print of a komusō receiving alms, 1791





1798:

Komusō on foot in among people an Edo street, 1798

Komusō on foot in among people an Edo street, 1798.
In the small illustrated story book 'Shiji no yukikai',
"Associations of the Four Seasons" by artist Kitao Shigemase, 1739-1820,
and author Santō Kyōgen, 1761-1816.





1806:

A 'komusō' by Katsushika Hokusai

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





1832:

Komusou, in Siebold, 1832

Komusō "pilgrim" in Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold's "Nippon", Tafelband 2, first published in 1832.

Komusou, in Siebold, 1832

Japanese wind instruments in Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold's "Nippon",
Tafelband 2, first published in 1832.





c. 1840?::

Wood cut print by Utagawa Hiroshige c. 1840?

Wood cut print by Utagawa Hiroshige showing a travelling komusō, c. 1840?
Picture contained in Hiroshige's lesser known work
'Tōkaidō gojūsan tsugi saiken zue',
"Details from "The 53 Stations of the Tōkaidō".
Source: The National Diet Library, Tōkyō.





Possibly the late Edo Period during the 1800s:

Horizontal scroll depicting the Edo Period Myōan Temple in the Echigo Province, right section. No date given

Horizontal scroll depicting the Edo Period Myōan Temple in the Echigo Province. No date given.
Printed on the inside of the hardcover of Tomimori, 1979.

Right section of the scroll. Click in the picture to enlarge and open in a new window.


Horizontal scroll the Edo Period Myōan Temple in the Echigo Province, left section. No date given

Horizontal scroll depicting the Edo Period Myōan Temple in the Echigo Province. No date given.
Printed on the inside of the hardcover of Tomimori, 1979.

Left section of the scroll. Click in the picture to enlarge and open in a new window.





1851-1852:

The locality Mitsuke from the series

Two 'komusō' crossing the treacherous river Tenryū at the locality Mitsuke.
From the series "Fifty-three Stations of Tōkaidō".
Wood-cut print by Utagawa Hiroshige, produced in 1851-52.





Possibly the late Edo Period during the mid-1800s:

Gate of the Edo temple Ichigetu-ji during the 1800s

Gate of the Edo temple Ichigetu-ji in Machido, NW Chiba, during the 1800s.
In the illustrated news publication 'Fūzoku gahō', 風俗画報, No. 279, 1889.





1860s? - The Final Days of the Edo Period komusō


Ichigetsu-ji komusō - late Tokugawa Period

Ichigetsu-ji komusō - late Tokugawa Period
Photograph in the collection of the Matsudo City Culture Hall, Tōkyō
Name of photographer unknown. In: Kikan hōgaku 5, 1975





1861/1864:
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.





Early 1870s:



The former Myōan-ji in Shirakawa, E. Kyōto

Gate of the former Myōan-ji at Kitashirakawa Shimo-Ikeda-chō in Eastern Kyōto
In: Tomimori, 1979


THE MOVE

With the abolition of the "Fuke Sect" in late November, 1871 (Meiji 4),
all of its "temples" and haunts were ordered to be closed, the premises be sold off, while komusō mendicancy was prohibited.
Acc. to Kanagawa resident shakuhachi player Maekawa Kōgetsu, 前川耕月, updating his weblog in late April, 2018, the old Myōan-ji main gate was first disassembled and moved to an elementary school in central Kyōto to be reassembled there.

Now, the old, worn Myōan-ji gate 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: T.O.





1890:


Higuchi Taizan

Higuchi Taizan - 1856-1914
Founded the Myōan Kyōkai and the Myōan Taizan-ha tradition of ascetic shakuhachi practice in 1890.
Time and photographer unknown.





1903:

Oil painting by Sakaki Teitoku

Oil painting by Sakaki Teitoku, 1858-1939: "Concert by Japanese and Western Instruments"
Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum, Japan





After 1890: Early 1900s? - Early modern Myōan kyōkai komusō

Myōan kyōkai komusō after 1890

Myōan kyōkai komusō, early 1900s?
Name of photographer unknown.
Source: pinterest.com





Yoshimura Fuan Sōshin

Yoshimura Fuan Sōshin - 1904-1998






Ozawa Seizan Myōan 1.8 shakuhachi

1.8 foot Myōan Taizan-ha shakuhachi made by Ozawa Seizan
not later than early 1978. Photo by Christoffer Askman


Ozawa Seizan Myōan 1.8 shakuhachi

Ozawa Seizan sensei, 1939-2012 - Spring 1978.
Photo: T.O.






Mu-ku-teki Suizen      Myōan Taizan signature & seal

'MU-KU-TEKI SUI-ZEN'
"No Hole Flute - Blowing a Flute Non-dualistic Contemplation Practice"

Calligraphy signed 'Myōan Taizan', the 2nd present times
Myōan Temple chief monk Hirazumi Taizan, 平住台山, (a.k.a. Myōan Taizan),
inaugurated in 1952, died in 1984 (Shōwa 59).

Signature and stamps deciphered by Kosuge Daisetsu (Komusō kenkyūkai/Hosshin-ji),
and Sato Nakazato, Japan. A present to Torsten Olafsson
given by his teacher Ozawa Seizan in Summer, 1978






The Tantric symbol 'A' & 'Suizen godo'

Opening pages of a honkyoku folding book (ori-hon)
written by Matsumoto Kyozan, 松本虚三, dated 1985.

To the right: 'Suizen godō':
'Suizen Way of Buddhist Enlightenment'.

To the left the Sanskrit seed syllable 'A' (Jap.: 'A')
of the Buddha Mahāvairocana, or
Dainichi Nyorai, who resides in the center of the
Taizō-kai (Womb Realm) mandala (Skt.: Garbhadātu)
of Japanese Tantric Buddhism (Shingon).
© T.O.


Taizō-kai mandala, Tō-ji, Kyōto

Taizō-kai (Womb Realm) mandala - Tō-ji, Kyōto, 9th century
Source: Wikipedia, Japan


Vairocana Buddha

Vairocana Buddha (Jap.: Dainichi Nyorai) - Tōdai-ji, Nara, 8th c.
In Sino-Japanese Buddhism, Vairocana is seen as the embodiment
of the Buddhist concept of 'shunyata': "emptiness" - or rather: "non-duality".
Vairocana is a central figure in Japanese Shingon Buddhism.
Source: Wikipedia.


Daibutsu-den Tōdai-ji, Nara

The Great Buddha Hall (Jap.: Daibutsu-den) - Tōdai-ji, Nara
in which the Great Vairocana Buddha is seated.
Source: Wikipedia, Japan






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