1735: Myōan-ji's Kyorei-zan engi ... document
虚霊山縁起並ぴに三虚霊譜瓣 - Kyorei-zan engi narabi ni sankyorei-fu ben
"Origin of the Myōan-ji and Tradition of the Three Honorable Music Pieces
Date: Kyōhō 20, 9th month - October, 1735
無生真 - MU-JŌ-SHIN
Among the many old Fuke Shakuhachi textual sources preserved at the Myōan-ji in Kyōto, one especially fascinating document is entitled
Kyorei-zan engi narabi ni sankyorei-fu ben,
"Towards an Understanding of the Origin of the Empty Spirit Mountain [i.e. the Kyōto Myōan-ji] and a Discourse about the Three Empty Spirit Music Pieces [i.e. Mukaiji, Kyorei & Kokū]".
Dated 1735 (Kyōhō 20, 9th month) this hand-scroll bears the signature of Kandō Ichiyū, 寛堂一宥,
18th abbot in the traditional Myōan-ji lineage, who died in 1738, Genbun 3, 2nd month, 23rd day (Nakatsuka Chikuzen, 1979, pp. 133 & 150).
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"The founder of the Kōkoku (Temple), Hottō Kokushi, travelled to Sung (China), and on the day of his return (to Japan),
four Buddhist laymen of Chinese descent, Kokusaku, Sōjo, Risei and Hōfu, accompanied him to our country.
They were all highly cultured Chinese and with Fuke as their role model [lit. ancestor] and the shakuhachi as implement of the Buddhist Law [hōki],
confining [or, secluding] themselves in the valley beneath the Eagle Peak [the mountain where Kōkoku-ji is located],
they used to take pleasure in playing the shakuhachi as a way of practicing meditation [sammai].
Today, the site of their old common dwelling place [kyūseki] is called 'The Valley of Fuke'."
"Kyochiku had [or, favoured] a speculative Buddhist verse
'When one has cut off Dualism,
the essence of the shakuhassun
transcends Past and Present.
That one sound blowing forth
of the True Reality of the Non-born
exceeds the deepest of friendships,
"Once Kyochiku stayed in Uji in Jōshū [mod. Kyōto Prefecture] he called himself 'Rōan the Hermit'.
By the end of his life he erected a five-levelled monument
[a 'gorintō' grave pagoda?] in the vicinity of Uji.
People call it 'The Grave of Fuke'."
"As for Kyochiku's successor Myōfu, when he lived in the East of the capital [Kyōto Higashiyama],
he established [lit.: build] the Empty Spirit Mountain Myōan Temple,
and so the School [Jap.: ichi-ryū] of Fuke has been preserved till today."
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The full text is reprinted in Nakatsuka, 1979, pp. 133-135.
Digitized by Iida Kyōrei c/o
Trsl. by Torsten Olafsson, 2010, 2013.
五輪塔 - GORINTŌ
Gorintō - The Shingon Buddhist five element pagoda
- is a very common type of grave monument in Japan.
The five "rings" represent the Five Buddhist Elements of the Universe:
Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Space.
The gorintō is believed to possess strong magical powers.