About this Research Project
Newly Added Extra Web Page Menus
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"?
Preliminary Realizations & Conclusions
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
regarding Komusō, Fuke-shū, Suizen etc.
The Source Collections
The Japanese Written Sources - An Overview
Texts, Quotations & Illustrations
A Chronological Panorama
• INDIA - 1 webpage
• CHINA - 2 webpages
• JAPAN - 8 webpages
• The WEST - 1 webpage
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
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. 1640
The Komosō & Fuke-sō / Fuke-komosō Sources
1550-1560: The 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-sō
1628: The Kaidō honsoku Fuke-komosō Credo
1637-1640: The Shimabara Uprising on Kyūshū,
the National "Sects Inspection Bureau"
and the Final Extinction of All Catholic Believers
c. 1640?: The Kaidō honsoku "Version 2"
ERA of the KOMUSŌ
"Monks of the Non-Dual & None-ness"
c. 1640 to 1871
The Early Komusō-related Texts
- from c. 1640 to c. 1752
c. 1640?: The Strange Butsu-gen Komusō Document
1646: Abbot Isshi Bunshu's Letter to the
"Proto-Komusō" 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
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 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 Admin
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.
Post-Edo & Post-WW2 Period History Sources & Matters
The Re-Writing & Re-Falsification
of Shakuhachi Narratives
1 - MEIJI PERIOD till the mid-19th CENTURY
1871? (1843-44): The Komusō zakki
From 1879 ... 1896-1914 & 1967-1971:
The Koji ruien Source Collection
2 - POST-WW2 till TODAY: JAPAN
1950: "The Myōan Temple of the True Fuke Sect"
Inauguration at Tōfuku Temple in SE Kyōto
1960: Uramoto Setchō's Essay about
Gyō no ongaku: "Music of Asceticism"
3 - POST-WW2 till TODAY: The WEST
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
Profile / Bio / CV
1664: The Shichiku shoshinshū Music Treatise by Nakamura Sōsan
手 - KOMUSŌ no TE
The Komusō chapter in Shichiku Shoshinshū,
1773 edition (An'ei 2), Part 1, page 6
Waseda University Library, Tokyo
"The komusō shakuhachi is named 'shakuhachi' because its length has been cut to the measure of 1 foot and 8 inches.
Its origin is certainly unknown.
Although it is being said that Hottō of Yura [Shinchi Kakushin] was the founder [of the komusō], that I do not ascertain.
One hears that, since ancient times, this thing [the shakuhachi] was used by the 'boroboro' practitioners, and also that the socalled 'bonji', 'kanji', iro-oshi', and
'shira-bonji' were people who performed this shakuhachi ceremoniously.
There are nowadays some outcasts [Jap.: fu-nin, "non-persons"] who are called 'komusō';
they are blowing a piece of music named 'Goro' - besides there are other tunes such as 'Renbo Nagashi', 'Miyako Renbo',
'Samunaru Ikawa', and 'Yoshida'.
One does not hear any of these pieces being played in the 'ritsu' [Dorian] or the 'ryō' [Mixolydian] musical modes.
As this, however, is not the tradition of my own, I do not know about this matter in depth."
Written and published by Nakamura Sōsan, 1664.
Trsl. by Torsten Olafsson, 2010.
Sources: Ueno, 1983, pp. 204 & 280, and
Shichiku Shoshinshū, 1773 edition,
Part 1, p. 6, owned by Waseda University, Tokyo.
This is, to the best of my knowledge, the oldest extant text
in which names of komusō music pieces are recorded.
An old copy of the Shichiku Shoshinshū is preserved
at Waseda University, Tokyo.
Follow this link to study a full photographic documentation
(PDF, 15,8 MB) of the book: Shichiku Shoshinshū.
Go to PDF page 5, right side, to study the komusō chapter.
Link to Shichiku Shoshinshū, bibliographical details.
Copyright restricted © by Waseda University, Tokyo.