Shakuhachi



禅尺八 真理研究 ホームページ

The Zen Shakuhachi Truth Research Web Pages

Introduction & Critical Guide to the Study of Early Ascetic Shakuhachi History & Ideology in Particular

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

 



Introduction

About this Research Project

Realizations & Conclusions

Highlighted Pictures

Highlighted Quotations

Texts, Quotations & Illustrations
A Chronological Overview:

 •  India
 •  China
 •  Japan
 •  The West

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


Errors, Misconceptions & Loose Ends

The Source Collections

The Written Sources

1470?: The Kyōgen Play Rakuami

1505: Kōrin's Shakuhachi Essay

1512: The Taigenshō Music Treatise

The Komosō & Fuke-komosō Sources

1614: The Keichō kemmon-shū

1628: The Kaidō Honsoku Evidence

1628: The Kaidō Honsoku Thesis

1640s?: The Hotoke-gotoba Evidence

1646: Isshi Bunshu's Letter
     to the Komusō Sandō Mugetsu


1646 ... The Hottō Kokushi Legend

The Early Komusō Texts

The Kyōto/Kansai Sources

The Edo/Kantō/Tōkyō Sources

1664: Shichiku shoshinshū

1677: The Empō 5, 6th Month
     Reihō-ji Ordinance


1678: The Empō 5, 12th Month
     Komusō-ha Oboe Memorandum


1687: The Jōkyō 4, 6th Month
     Reihō-ji Ordinance


1694: Engetsu's Honsoku deshi ...

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


1732: The Shakuhachi denrai-ki

1735: Myōan-ji's Kyorei-zan engi ...

1740?: Keichō no okitegaki -
     Existing Reprint Versions


1795: Kyotaku denki kokujikai

1816: Miyaji Ikkan's Shakuhachi hikki

1823: Hisamatsu Fūyō's Hitori mondō

1848: Bakufu Government Decree
     re-administrating the "Fuke Sect"


1871: Bakufu Government Decree
     bans & dissolves the "Fuke Sect"


1890 ... The Legacy of Higuchi Taizan

1930s: Uramoto Setchō Credo

1970s: Myōan Taizan-ha Thought & Credos

Honkyoku Music History
     Ascetic Shakuhachi Titles


Miyagawa Nyozan's Honkyoku 'Ajikan'

Myōan Taizan-ha Notation

Literature

Links

Profile / Bio / CV

Contact Info




Kyōhō Period komusō

Kyōhō Period komusō
Detail of a wood-cut print in:
'Jinbutsu sō-ga', 1724
National Diet Library
Source: Ueno, 1984



Hōreki Period komusō

Hōreki Period komusō
Wood-cut print in:
'Ehon mitsu wagusa', 1758
National Diet Library
Source: Ueno, 1984




Chronology

JAPAN 6 • 1664-1767

India
China 1 •
6000 B.C.-A.D. 500
China 2 • A.D. 500 ...
Japan 1 • 600-1233
Japan 2 • 1233-1477
Japan 3 • 1477-1560
Japan 4 • 1560-1614
Japan 5 • 1614-1664
Japan 6 • 1664-1767
Japan 7 • 1767-1883
Japan 8 • 1883 ...
The West • 1298 ...












A list of references is included at page bottom.
A complete bibliography can be found on this separate webpage: "Literature".


1664: The shōgunate, or bakufu, orders every daimyō to establish in their domain an officer of religious investigation, i.e. either a magistrate of religion (shūmon bugyō) or magistrate of temples and shrines (jisha bugyō).

1665: Registries of religious affiliation are now being produced on a nationwide scale.

1671: The registry's format is finally standardized - the system of religious inspection and obligatory temple certification has now become completely consolidated by law and is carried out effectively, on a yearly basis, in all of Japan.




1664-1767 - THE AGE of THE KYŌTO MYŌAN-JI's RISE to PROMINENCE

こむ - KOMUSŌ no TE

1664 - SHICHIKU SHOSHINSHŪ by NAKAMURA SŌSAN


Shichiku Shoshinshū: Komusō chapter. Copyright © by Waseda University, Tokyo

The Komusō chapter in Shichiku Shoshinshū,
1773 edition (An'ei 2), Part 1, page 6
Waseda University Library, Tokyo


虚無僧尺八というは
長さ一尺八寸に切ゆえ尺八というとぞ、
濫觴はたしかに不知、
そのかみ由良の法燈此道の祖たるよしいへども
了簡せず、
昔よりぼろぼろの家に用る物と聞こえたり、
梵字、漢字、色おし、 しら梵字などいひしもの
此尺八の執行者と聞こえたり。

近き此不人というこむ僧有て、
「ごろ」という手お吹出し、その外「れんぼながし」、
「京れんぼ」、「さむ也井川」、「吉田」
などいうさまざまの手有之、
いづれも律呂の調子にあはせたる物とは聞こえず、
されども我道にあらざれば、其深き事をしらず。


"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.




根竹尺八 - KONJIKU SHAKUHACHI

1666 - UKIYO MONOGATARI - 浮世物語

Alternative date: 1661


Root-end shakuhachi-playing komusō in the 'Ukiyo monogatari', 1661

Root-end shakuhachi-playing komusō in the 'Ukiyo monogatari', 1661,
by Asai Ryōi, 1612-1691. Source: Ueno, 2002, p. 218

This is, possibly, the so far earliest known picture of the 'konjiku', or "root-end",
type of shakuhachi, invented and continuously refined by the komusō.

I must be noted, however, that this particular illustration is not - and strangely so - included in the 1710 imprint of the 'Ukiyo monogatari', which is owned and now displayed online by the Waseda University Library in Tokyo:

Waseda University Library






訓蒙図彙 - KINMŌ ZŪ-I

1666: The very first "encyclopedia" of Japan is created and published by the Neo-Confucian scholar Nakamura Tekisai who lived from 1629 to 1702!

Link to the National Diet Library's online version of the encyclopedia (go to page 2 on the NDL webpage), 1666-edition: Kinmō zū-i, 1666



檀家制度 - DANKA SEIDO

THE DANKA SYSTEM of RELIGIOUS INSPECTION

1671: The registry's format is finally standardized. The system of religious inspection and obligatory temple certification has now become completely consolidated by law and is carried out effectively - and efficiently on a yearly basis, in all of Japan - with expectable exceptions, of course.

Read more here: Wikipedia: The Danka System



往古之掟拾七ヶ條 /
先師拾七ヶ條掟 /
先師十七ヶ条


ŌKO NO JŌ JŪ-NANA-KE JŌ /
SENSHI JŪ-NANA-KE JŌ-JŌ /
SENSHI JŪ-NANA-KE JŌ

1677

Dated Enpō 5, 6th month = July, 1677

"17 Article Regulation of Ancient Times"

This very significant set of komusō regulations appears to have been issued by the Edo twin temples Ichigetsu-ji and Reihō-ji, dated the 6th month of the year Enpō 5: July, 1677.

July 1677 17-article regulation

July 1677 17-article regulation


     Source: Yamaguchi, 2005, pp. 169-170.



- OBOE
覚え三ヶ条 - OBOE SANGE JŌ
延宝の御掟 - ENPŌ no GO-OKITE
延宝の御法度 - ENPŌ no GO-HATTO

Dated December 18, 1677?
No, no - not at all:
Actually dated 1678, January 11th - a Tuesday, according to the contemporary Western Gregorian Calendar!

Enpō 5 Oboe document reprint at Matsudo City Museum in Chiba
- Edited reprint of the socalled "Edict of the Enpō Period"
Matsudo City Museum, Chiba - the Komusō Room
Photo taken by Ronald Nelson in summer 2014.

This document is regarded as representing "fullproof" evidence of the socalled
"Fuke Sect" being officially recognized and authorized by the "Temple & Shrine Magistrate" in Edo towards the close of the 5th year of the Enpō Period (1673-1681).


"Komusō Memorandum" - Enpō 5:

Is this really the "Official Recognition and Authorization of the Komusō Fraternity" - a socalled kōnin, 公認?

I myself find that extremely difficult to believe as neither the very term Fuke-sh, 普化宗 - nor the shakuhachi, 尺八, for that matter - are mentioned in the text at all.
Not even the very central terms Rinzai Zen, 臨済禅, be it just Zen, , appear in the text!

The document is dated "5th year of the Enpō Era, hinotomi, 12th month, 18th day":

延宝五丁巳年十二月十八日

There is one rather significant "problem" here, however:
That particular date is not valid at all. In fact, it never existed!
The cyclical calendar sign for the year Enpō 5 was tsuchinoe uma, 戊午 (the 55th of the sexagenary cycle), NOT hinotomi, 丁巳 (the 54th of the sexagenary cycle) as given in the document.

In other words: The year in question: Enpō 5, 延宝五 does not correspond with the calendar sign!
In fact, the correct date would have been: 延宝五戊午年十二月十八日.

How could the official Magistrates of Temples and Shrines have made such a notable mistake?
Possibly, very simply, because they did not.
This document was most probably created - I mean: forged - by the komusō themselves, and not produced by the Tokugawa authorities at all!

You are most welcome to check the date right here on this website, yourself: NengoCalc.

Well now, this is not all, believe me:

First, the shift of cyclical signs from hinotomi, 丁巳, to tsuchinoe uma, 戊午 happened on the 8th day in the 12th month of Enpō 5, which corresponds with the Western date "January 1, 1678"!
Secondly, not least - consequently: The 18th day in the 12th month of the 5th year in the Enpō Period did not "fall" in 1677 at all.
The actual date according to the Gregorian calender was: January 11th, 1678!

Supplementary comments regarding this most fascinating document:

This very important document is commonly referred to as Enpō gonen no hatto, 延寶五年の法度 [Kurihara, 1975, p. 155 & Nakatsuka, 1979, p. 208], "The 1677 Edict" [Sanford, 1977), the "Ordinance of 1677" [Riley Kelly Lee, 1993], "das Edikt von 1677" [Gutzwiller, 1983], "The 1677 Memorandum" [Gunnar Jinmei Linder, 2012], and "the Bakufu's first legal notification (Enpō year 5, 1677)",
(Bakufu no) - - - saisho no reitashi (Enpō go-nen, 1677),
(幕府の) - - - 最初の令達 (延宝五年、一六七七), Kamisangō, 1974, ch. 10, p. 17].

In this very context, Kamisangō (1974) also uses the term kō-nin, 公認, which specifically translates as "official recognition", and "authorization".



一 本寺之住職者其末寺并本寺弟子仲間以衆許
撰器量可相定縱附有由諸師其弟子を以相対
後住契約并遺状不可取立於末寺住職者其
所之弟子共相談之上任本寺可居置事.

一 弟子契約之儀改其人慥ニ証文を以取可極之肖
火法追放人等不抱置事.

   附し虚無僧佐法古来之通相定本寺纏弥入念
急度可申付事.

一 末寺并弟子一宗之肖法人之仕置之時者小料之者ハ
類本寺江可任差図ニ大料之族者奉行所へ達落着
可申付為理不尽働仕間敷候.

右之條々堅可相守之若於違背ハ可為曲事者也.

  延宝五丁巳年十二月十八日   

大田摂津守○印
板倉石見守○印
小出山城守○印

    虚無僧諸流 

     本寺中
     末寺中


Being addressed to "All Factions of the Komusō", Komusō shoryū, 虚無僧諸流 (or Komusō shoha, 虚無僧諸派), the text of this document is widely being recognized - and praised - as the actual "official government authorization" of the komusō fraternity's existence and activities.

In his PhD thesis (2012), Gunnar Jinmei Linder comments as follows (p. 112):

"Content of the 1677 Memorandum

The document is dated December 18 *) [see comment below], the fifth year of the Enpō era (1677), and addressed to the various factions of komusō, at their main and branch temples.
The text consists of three items, which regulate the following aspects of the komusō temples:

Item (1) regulates the administration of the temples, stating that the main and branch temples should elect their head monks in a democratic way, and that the administration should be fair.

Item (2) regulates the acceptance of students, stating that the main and branch temples should investigate new apprentices carefully before approving them, and that the temples should avoid admitting criminals and suspicious people to their ranks.

Item (3) regulates the compliance with the laws that govern society, stating that the main and branch temples should not punish the monks in their own way, but should adhere to the laws and regulations issued by the central authorities.

After the three items, a warning is added: “The clauses [given] above should be obeyed firmly. In case of violation, this will be punished.” "


A more exact and full translation and analysis may be presented here sometime in the future.

*) In the traditional Japanese lunar calendar the "12th month" of the year was roughly equivalent with our Western month of January, not that of December.

This was so, too, in the 5th year of the Enpō Period in which the 1st day of the 12th month corresponded with the 25th day of December 1677 in the West.

Consequently, the 18th day of the Japanese 12th month "fell" in 1678, more precisely on January the 11th, 1678 - which was a Tuesday, btw.

     Sources: Tsuchihashi, 1952, p. 100 & Bramsen, 1880, page (frame) 70:
     "On Japanese Chronology and Calendars".
     and the online nengo calculator "NengoCalc", c/o Universität
     Tübingen, Deutschland, link: NengoCalc.
     You may consult Zöllner, 2003, as well.


     Primary sources: Kurihara, 1975, pp. 155-156,
     Nakatsuka, 1979, pp. 208-209, Ueno, 2002, pp. 222-223
     Lee, 1993, ch. 3.5.2, Yamaguchi, 2005, pp. 168-169
     & Linder, 2012, pp. 111-113.
     I have found the above version of the text on this web page:
     The Ranzan City Society for the Study of Old Books. T.O.


In a very comprehensive collection of historical Japanese religious documents, published in 1921-1926, in Vol. 16 the 'Enpō go-nen' ordinance is being referred to as 'Komusō kaku', 虚無僧覚, "Komusō Memorandum" (link, go to frames 70 and 71): "Sources for the Investigation of Religious Institutions", Vol. 16, pp. 117-118, text no. 99. Published in 1925.



c. 1680-1681?: Acc. to Mikami Sanji writing a noteworthy double article on the Fuke-shŪ in 1902, a commissioner of the national Temples & Shrine Magistrates Office Jisha-bugyō supposedly named Inaba Tango no Kami Masamori, 稲葉丹後守正盛, should have made a note stating that the renowned Neo-Confucian scholar and administrator Arai Hakuseki, 新井白石, 1657-1725, should have expressed serious doubt regarding the authenticity of the so called Keichō okitegaki acc. to legendary tradition signed by the first shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu himself in 1614.

It has, however, not been possible to identifynor verify the actual existence nor possible writings at all of this Inaba Tango no Kami Masamori. T.O.

References: See Linder, 2012, pp. 122-123, and WikiPedia:
Jisha-bugtō

Acc. to shakuhachi historian Yamato Hōmei, the Keichō okitegaki was most probably fabricated as late as in 1751.



妙安寺 - MYŌAN-JI
雍州府志

1682-1686: YŌSHŪFU-SHI - Records of the Kyōto Area

雍州府志 巻四
寺院門上
妙安寺
在 蓮華王院 南 而為禪刹。


"Records of the Kyōto Area, Volume 4
Temples & Shrines, Part 1
Myōan-ji is located south of the Rengeō-in, 蓮華王院, "Hall of the Lotus King" [the Sanjūsangen-dō], and it is a Zen temple."

The descriptive text continues like this, in Max Deeg's translation (Deeg, 2007, p. 26):

"In the recent past there was a strange monk called Roan. Nobody knows where he comes from. At his time he was very close to master Ikkyū of the Daitoku-ji, Ryūgoku-zan 龍寶山. He had a predilection for the practice of the wind-holes (that is: flutes) and he loved to blow the shakuhachi.
He called himself ‘the ascetic wind-hole’ (fūketsu-dōsha 風穴道者).
Originally he lived in the district of Uji 宇治 in the (hermitage) Kyūkō-an 吸江菴.
He also lived in this temple (Myōan-ji) for a while. As people say, this is the main temple of the komusō.” "

This may be regarded as the earliest known written reference to the Kyōto Myōan Temple in Eastern Kyōto (Higashiyama Area) although the name is written with different characters.

The famous Sanjūsangen-dō, 三十三間堂, with its 1001 golden Kannon statues is situated just south of the present Shichi-jō Avenue in the Higashiyama area.

However, there is general consensus that not long afterwards and until 1871 the Kyoreizan Myōan-ji was rather located a short distance to the North, in the close neighbourhood of the famous Edo Period Dai-butsu, 大仏, "Great Buddha", of the Tendai temple Hōkō-ji, 方広寺, right north of the Toyokuni Shrine.
Other close neighbours in this area are the present-day Kyōto National Museum to the South and the Myōhō-in to the East.

     10 volumes by Kurokawa Dōyū, died 1691.
     Source: Yamaguchi, 2005, p. 82.
     Trsl. Torsten Olafsson, 2013.




鈴法寺掟 - REIHŌ-JI no OKITE
"Reihō-ji Ordinance"
普化宗 - FUKE-SHŪ

1687 - Jōkyō 4, 6th month

This is the oldest known surviving komusō document in which the appellation Fuke-shū, 普化宗, appears in print!

It is, however, only at the very end of the document that the text concludes as follows;
普化禅宗惣本寺 鈴法寺 - FUKE ZEN-SHŪ SŌ-HONJI REIHŌ-JI
"Reihō-ji, Mother Temple of the Entire Fuke Zen Sect".

     Source: Nakatsuka, 1979, p. 396.



托鉢修行 - TAKUHATSU SHUGYŌ
根竹尺八 - KONJIKU SHAKUHACHI


人倫訓蒙図彙

1690 - JINRIN KINMŌ ZU-I


Two komusō in Jinrin kinmō zu-i, 1690

Two komusō playing root-end shakuhachi
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

In: Ueno, 2002, p. 219

This is the so far possibly oldest known surviving picture showing 'komusō'
performing 'takuhatsu', or: 'being entrusted with a bowl'
(practicing ascetic religious mendicancy) at the gate of a house.

Their flutes are certainly of the heavy 'kon-jiku', or "root-end" type.


Two komusō in Jinrin kinmō zu-i, 1690

Two komusō in Jinrin kinmō zu-i, 1690

Do note that the figure to the left is clad in the traditional outfit of a Buddhist monk whereas the figure on the right is wearing the costume of an early 'komusō'.




本則弟子江申渡定
HONSOKU DESHI E MŌSHI-WATASHI SADAME
"Announcement of Regulations for Disciples of the First Seal"
明暗寺 - MYŌAN-JI

1694

This is the oldest known relatively historically reliable document originating with the Myōan Temple in Kyōto!

Here, for the very first time, also, we meet the term honkyoku, 本曲, "original", "basic", or "true" piece of music - in print!

     Source: Nakatsuka, 1979, pp. 166-169.
     For short resumés of the document's contents, see Linder, 2012,
     pp. 125-126 & Lee, 1993, ch. 3.6.




俳句 - HAIKU

LATE 17th CENTURY


Bashō: Bamboos and a haiku
Bashō: Bamboos and a haiku - late 17th century


古池や
蛙飛び込む
水の音

ふるいけや
かわずとびむ
みずのおと


Furu ike ya
kawazu tobikomu
mizu no oto

"Olden pond ...
frog jumps in ...
sound of water ... "

     Or, in the proper 5-7-5 syllable version:

"There, an olden pond -
Leaping frog drops into it -
Ahh, sound of water ... "

     Matsuo Bashō, 1644-1694. Trsl. by Torsten Olafsson.



1695


Komusō in Kashiragaki zōho kinmō zu-i, 1695

A 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 kanji for 'komosō', 'mat monk',
are given. In the text block above, 'komosō' is explained
with the archaic terms of 'bo(n)ron', 'bo(n)ronji', 'kanji', and 'boro'.



The text concludes that a 'komosō' is using the shakuhachi for 'shugyō",
修行, "ascetic practice" - which is, certainly, not only limited to Zen Buddhist tradtions.
Shimane University Library Digital Archive #1316
Direct link: Volume 4-7, go to frame 8


The text describing the komosō picture appears to read as follows:

薦僧
薦僧は梵論ともいう、梵論字、漢字ともいう。
又暮露とも書く。尺八をふき、諸国を修行す。


"The "mat monk(s)" is/are also called both 'boron', 'boronji', and 'kanji'.
Besides, one also writes 'boro'. Blowing the shakuhachi,
they perform ascetic practices [shugyō] all over the country. "

     Trsl. by Torsten Olafsson, 2013
     An updated and enlarged edition of this encyclopedia
     was published in 1789.




年山紀文 - NENZAN KIBUN

1702

尺八
- - -
此ごろ我國にては、こも僧というもの、これを吹て、
活計のなかだちとして、上つがたの人は、
いやしき物のやうに、おぼしめされたり。
或人の曰、こも僧の尺八は洞簫とは形ちもかはれりとぞ。
- - -


"SHAKUHACHI
- - -
In Japan [lit.: "my country'] the socalled komosō are blowing it;
being their means of survival, upper class people consider them to be mean people.
Some people say that the shakuhachi of the komosō is certainly different from the dōshō [the Chinese dòng-xiāo]. - - - "

     Nenzan kibun vol. 2 by Andō Tameakira, 安藤為草.
     Source: Koji Ruien Vol. 35, p. 1002.
     Trsl. by T.O., 2015.




Most probably created after 1695 and no later than 1735 ...

虚鐸傳記 - KYOTAKU DENKI - "The Recorded Tradition of the Imitated Bell

寄竹 - KICHIKU - or, YORITAKE?

三虚霊譜 - SAN-KYOREI-FU - The Three "Empty Spirit Notations"

It is well known that the legend of the Kyotaku, the "imitated bell", has, for long, been regarded as a forgery, or more precisely: A fabrication.

There can no more be any doubt that the text was primarily produced for the benefit and strengthened reputation of the Myōan Temple in SE Kyōto.

The monk Ton'o, the alleged author of the text, is however reported to have been active during the late Kan'ei period (1624-1644), and judging from the subject matter of the story, it could indeed very well have been composed already at that time.

It is, in any case, noteworthy, that central elements of the story about Hottō Kokushi, the four devoted men and Kyochiku (formerly Kichiku, in the Kyotaku denki) were in fact in existence in 1735, contained in the Myōan-ji document Kyorei-zan engi narabi-ni sankyorei-fu ben, see below.

- - -

学心学之有日、禅已熟、曲已就、
而告別干張参辞舒州、
而解纜干明州、南宋理宗宝帝祐二年、帰船干本邦。


"Gakushin [i.e.: Kakushin, alias Hottō Kokushi] studied the art of the kyotaku. As the days passed, he went to the heart of Zen philosophy and attained proficiency in the kyotaku;
finally he took leave of San [Kakushin's alleged kyotaku teacher Chōsan] (to return to Japan).
Gakushin left Hsü-Chow for Ming-Chow, where he unmoored his ship.
It was in the second year of the Sung Dynasty that he returned to Japan, where it was the sixth year of Kenchō, in the the reign of Emperor Gofukakasu."

自是学心、或高野山入、或出洛陽城、
逍遊有年、造立一寺干紀州、号西方寺、
而終住干此。


"Thereafter, Gakushin confined himself in a mountain temple at Kōyasan, sometimes visiting the capital (Kyoto).
Years passed, and he founded a Buddhist temple named Saihōji in the province of Kishū [present-day Kōkoku-ji in Wakayama Pref.],
where he established his permanent abode.

- - -

徒中有寄竹者、以禅心殊切、敬師益甚、
学心亦親眤之異干他弟子、
一時学心告之、


"Among his numerous students, there was one called Kichiku. The more earnest he became in his devotion to Zen Buddhism, the more ardent was his admiration for his master.
Gakushin also took a more kindly interest in him than in other students.
One day Gakushin told Kichiku:"

以在宋之時伝 得虚鐸音今尚能調之、
且謂、欲長授干汝面嗣此之伝、
寄竹踊躍拝謝、伝此之音、熟習嗜寿日不置。


"'When I was (studying) in the country of Sung, I was instructed in the kyotaku and I perform on it well even today.
I would like to initiate you in this flute in the hope that, as my successor, you will pass this art on to posterity.'
Kichiku, dancing for joy and expressing his gratitude, received instruction in this music and attained proficiency in the instrument. He took delight in playing it everyday untiringly."

他弟子、国作、理正、法普、宗恕、
四人亦能学此管、世称四居士。


"There were four more students - - Kokusaku, Risei, Hōfu and Sōjo - - who also learned this flute well. They were known to the world under the (collective) title Shikoji ("Four Devoted Men")."
- - -

     Quoted from the 'Kyotaku denki', trsl. by Tsuge Gen'ichi, 1977.
     Printed in Asian Music, Vol. VIII, 2. New York, 1977.
     The complete translation is available at: www.links.jstor.org




本寺証文 - HONJI SHŌMON

1702 & 1705

"Parent Temple Confirmation" (from Kōkoku-ji to Kyōto Myōan-ji)

本寺証文
一 京都大仏明暗寺当山之為末寺事著明也。
為後証仍如件。
宝永二酉年臘月三日
興国寺現住月江
印判
明暗寺


"Parent Temple Confirmation.
This is a clarification [or, confirmation] that the Kyōto Daibutsu Myōan Temple is [now] a branch [or, sub] temple of this temple.
In order for the future the certificate is therefore thus [written].
The 2nd year of Hōei, Year of the Bird [1705], the 12th lunar month, 3rd day.
Gakkō - chief administrator of the Kōkoku Temple.
[Seal]
To the Myōan Temple. "

In 1703 the chief administrator of the Kyōto Myōan Temple, named Gyokudō, 玉道, wrote a letter of petition, dated the 27th day of the 9th month in that year, to the then abbot, named Bairyū, 梅龍, of the Kōkoku Temple in Yura, present Wakayama Prefecture.
Gyokudō argued for the Myōan-ji to be accepted as a sub temple of the Kōkoku-ji, but more than two years should pass before the Kōkoku Temple finally confirmed the new "mother-child" temple relationship.

     Source: Nakatsuka, 1979, pp. 254-260.
     Trsl. by T.O., 2012.




鈴法寺覚 - REIHŌ-JI OBOE
"Reihō-ji Memorandum"
普化宗 - FUKE-SHŪ

1722 - Kyōhō 7, 6th month

This is yet another important surviving document issued by the Reihō-ji in Edo in 1722.

     Source: Nakatuska, 1979, pp. 400-401.
     Short quotation in Koji Ruien 9, p.1114.




花街風俗図絵巻

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




大津絵 - ŌTSU-E

女虚無僧 - ONNA KOMUSŌ

Appearing from the Early 18th Century

Ōtsu-e style painting of a female komusō

Undated Ōtsu-e style folk art painting of a female komusō.
This popular motif may have been inspired by 'komusō' figures
like those in the 'Hanamachi fūzoku-zu emaki' scroll above.
Artist unknown. Waseda University Library, Tōkyō.

Read more about Ōtsu-e here: www.ootsue.com: What is Ōtsu-e?




虚竹 - KYOCHIKU

Kyochiku RyŌen Zenshi - legendary founder of Myōan-ji

Kyochiku Ryōen Zenji - legendary founder
of the temple Kyoreizan Myōan-ji in SE Kyōto
Statue in the main hall of Myōan-ji
Origin, artist and date unknown. In: Tomimori, 1979


1735 - KYOREI-ZAN ENGI NARABI ni SANKYOREI-FU BEN

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-SHŌ-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,

虚霊山縁起並ニ三虚霊譜辯,

"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).

- - -

Par. 2:
興国開山法灯国師入宋帰国之日、
宋地、国作、宋恕、理正、法普
之四居士随待来干我邦、
皆是風顛漢、而以普化為祖、以尺八為法器、
幽柄鷲峰 谷、尋常弄尺八為遊戯三味、
共旧跡干今号普化谷。


"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'."

Par. 4:
虚竹有投機偈伝、
   一従載断両頭後、
   尺八寸中通古今、
   吹起無生真一曲、
   三千里外絶知音、


"Kyochiku had [or, favoured] a speculative Buddhist verse
which says,

'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,
beyond limit.'"

Par. 5:
嘗虚竹在城州宇治、号朗菴主、
命終樹塔於宇治郡五筒庄中、
人呼為普化塚也。


"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'."

Par. 6:
至於第二世明普、居干洛東、
建立虚霊山明暗寺、
於今普化一流相承来也、


"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."

- - -

     The full text is reprinted in Nakatsuka, 1979, pp. 133-135.
     Digitized by Iida Kyōrei c/o Koshūan website
     Trsl. by Torsten Olafsson, 2010, 2013.



五輪塔 - GORINTŌ

om gorintō  om gorintō  om 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.




一月寺虚無僧本則 - ICHIGETSU-JI KOMUSŌ HONSOKU

1740

Ichigetsu-ji komusō honsoku dated 1740

Ichigetsu-ji komusō honsoku dated 1740
Matsudo City Museum, Chiba
Source / Link: Yatō Osamu's website




梵字 - BONJI

Mid-18th century?

HĀM

"HĀM"
representing Fudō Myōō, the 'Immovable Wisdom King'
of Tantric Buddhism, Shingon in Japan. Sanskrit Siddham calligraphy
(Jap.: 'bonji') by Zen master Hakuin Ekaku. Early 18th century

"At twenty-four he was at Eigenji in Takada, Echigo. His training had advanced to the spirituality of Oneness - the identity of subject and object.
One day in January, as he was sitting as usual throughout the night in Zazen samadhi, the bronze temple bell sounded to announce dawn. At this moment, all of a sudden, he had his awakening. It is recorded that he jumped up with joy."

     Shibayama Zenkei, 1975, reporting on the realization
     of Hakuin Ekaku, 1685-1768.




- SATORI
無孔笛 - MUKUTEKI

Mid-18th century? - TŌREI and the FLUTE WITHOUT HOLES:


Circle - calligraphy by Tōrei Enji

Circle - calligraphy by Tōrei Enji, 1721-1792

" - - - I received a small statue of Bodhidharma on the fifth day of the fifth month of 1746. While I was absorbed in seated meditation after having made prostrations [in front of the statue], I suddenly entered the ineffable melody of the flute without holes [mukuteki no myōchō}. - - - "

     Quotation from Tōrei Enji's commentary on the Ta-mo-to-lo
     ch'an ching
entitled 'Darumatara zenkyō settsu kōsho',
     first publ. in 1784. Trsl. by Michel Mohr, 2006, p. 228.
     Tōrei was the Dharma successor and biographer of Hakuin Ekaku.




巣籠 - TSURU no SUGOMORI
仮名手本忠臣蔵 - KANA DEHON CHŪSHINGURA

1748

The famous honkyoku Tsuru no Sugomori, 巣籠, is referred to in Japanese literature for the very first time, in the significant Bunraku and Kabuki versions of the play Kana dehon Chūshingura, "The Treasury of Loyal Retainers".



天蓋 - TENGAI

1749

3 kabuki actors each carrying a 'tengai'

The actor Matsumoto Koshirō II in the role as
Kakogawa Honzō in the Kabuki play 'Kanadehon Chūshingura".
Woodblock print by Torii Kiyoshige (c. 1724-1764, active 1735-1754)




Dated 1751 by shakuhachi historian Yamato Hōmei acc. to whom the first version of the document was fabricated.

Link to the rælevant webpage of Mr. Yamato

慶長之掟書 - KEICHŌ no OKITEGAKI/JŌSHO

Original date acc. to the many versions of that "document": 1614 - "The Keichō (Period) Edict"

御入国 之節 被仰渡 候 御掟書
(ごにゅうこく のせつ おおせ わたされ そうろう おんおきてがき)

GO-NYŪKOKU no SETSU ŌSE WATASARE SŌRŌ ON-OKITEGAKI

“Decree About Bestowing Entrance to the Different Provinces”

Do note: Acc. to Max Deeg the oldest "attested" version of a 'Keichō no okitegaki' is dated as late as 1792! Deeg, 2007, p. 27.


10 paragraph version of the Keichō no okitegaki

10 paragraph version of the 'Keichō no okitegaki'
Kokuritsu Kōbun Shokan/National Archives of Japan:
Naikaku Bunko Library/Cabinet Library, Japan
In Ueno, 2002, p. 209


浪人虚無憎 - RŌNIN KOMUSŌ
- KATANA

(1) "The komusō fraternity is a religious group specifically designed to serve the needs of rōnin and samurai who wish to withdraw temporarily from the world.
The temples of the komusō do not pertain to the jurisdiction of the authorities in which they are located. Furthermore, they are reserved only for the samurai."

(3) "If a komusō chances upon a suspicious individual, he has the right to arrest him and deliver him to the local authorities."

(8) "When a samurai enters the temple's grounds carrying a sword dripping with blood [切血刃], he should first be interrogated by the temple's authorities, prior to be given refuge."

     Selected clauses from the earliest version of the 'Keichō
     no jōsho'. Trsl. by Takahashi Tone, 1990, pp. 55 &56.

     To study the Jap. text of two different versions of the
     'Keichō no jōsho', you may visit these pages:
     Wikipedia, Japan,
     & Iida Kyorei's shakuhachi webpages

     For complete translations and thorough studies of 6
     surviving versions of the 'Keichō jōsho', do consult
     Takahashi Tone's remarkable thesis on the subject (see the bibliography
     below). Although dated 1614 (Keichō 19), the document is a later
     fabrication, possibly first produced around 1751, acc. to Yamato Hōmei.
     See Riley Kelly Lee's thesis, chapter 3.5.2, for a
     full translation of a 21-article version of the okitegaki.



托鉢 - TAKUHATSU
懷劔 - KAIKEN
懐剣 - FUTOKORO-GATANA

RELIGIOUS MENDICANCY & THE SHORT DAGGER

In some later, more comprehensive versions of the Keichō no okitegaki, this particular clause is included:

"A komusō should not carry arms during his takuhatsu [religious mendicancy]. He is only allowed to have a dagger shorter than one shaku [1 Jap. foot = 30.5 cm] and hide it in his clothing."

     Sources: Takahashi, 1990, p. 58; Kurihara, 1975, p. 137.



天蓋 - TENGAI

1752-1755


3 kabuki actors each carrying a 'tengai'

The kabuki actors Nakamura Kumetarō I, Onoe Kikugorō I
and Sanogawa Ichimatsu I each carrying a 'tengai'.
Woodblock print by Torii Kiyoshige (c. 1724-1764, active 1735-1754)




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




京都明暗寺

1767? - THE KYŌTO MYŌAN-JI RISES to STATUS of 'RINZAI ZEN TEMPLE'

According to James H. Sanford, 1977, pp. 431-432 (basing himself on the writings of Koide Kōhei, 1970, Imaeda Aishin, 1962, and Nishiyama Matsunosuke, 1956):

" - - - Originally Myōanji was a sub-temple of Reihōji, but in 1767 it managed to have itself redesignated as a branch temple of Kōkokuji. In this way the Kyōto temple was able to connect itself directly to the lineage of the alleged first Japanese proponent of the Fuke sect, Hattō Kokushi, who was also the founder of Kōkokuji - although by the 1700s Kōkokuji had itself become a branch temple of the Myōshinji line of Rinzai Zen. - - - "

A comment:
The redesignation did in fact take place much earlier, namely in 1705 - judging from documents and information presented by Nakatsuka Chikuzen (1979, p. 256) and Yamaguchi Masayoshi (2005, pp. 144-145).



天蓋 - TENGAI

A popular woodblock print theme around the early 1770s:
The face of a komusō reflected in a mirror

c. 1770

A komusō's is face reflected in a mirror

By Isoda Koryūsai (1735-1790; active 1764-1788)


c. 1770

A komusō's is face reflected in a mirror

By Isoda Koryūsai (1735-1790; active 1764-1788)


1769-1770

A komusō's is face reflected in a mirror

By Suzuki Harunobu (c. 1725-1770)


c. 1770

A komusō's is face reflected in a mirror

By Isoda Koryūsai (1735-1790; active 1764-1788)




Link to the next page: Japan 7 • 1767-1883
Link to the previous page: Japan 5 • 1614-1664


List of references:

Christopher Blasdel & Kamisangō Yūkō:
     The Shakuhachi. A Manual for Learning.
     Ongaku no Tomosha, Tokyo, (1988) 2008.
     Available at www.shakuhachi.com.
William Bramsen: Japanese Chronological Tables.
     Printed at the "Seishi Bunsha" office, Tokyo, 1880.
Sir Charles Eliot: Japanese Buddhism. London, 1935.
      3rd impression, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1964.
Andreas Gutzwiller: Die Shakuhachi der Kinko-Schule.
     Bärenreiter - Kassel, Basel, London, 1983.
Ikeda Juzan shū. Taizan-fu shūi. Tokyo, 1985.
Imaeda Aishin: Zenshū no rekishi.
     Shibundō, Tokyo, 1962.
Inagaki Ihaku, Izui Seizan & Takahashi Ryochiku, editors:
      Myōan Sanjūnana-sei Tanikita Muchiku-shū.
      Taizan-fu shūi. Tanikita Renzō, Kyoto, 1981.
Kamisangō Yūkō: "Shakuhachi gaku ryakushi:
     suizen no rikai no tame ni". In descriptive notes for
     "Suizen: Chikuho ryū ni miru fuke shakuhachi no keifu."
     Nippon Columbia LP recording KX 7001-3: pp. 9-22, Tokyo, 1974.
Kitahara Ikuya, Masumoto Misao & Matsuda Akira:
     The Encyclopedia of Musical Instruments: The Shakuhachi.
     Ongakusha, Tokyo, 1990.
Kiyū Shōran. Comp. by Kitamura Nobuyo (1784-1856), first publ. in 1830.
     Reprint by Seikōkan Shuppanbu, Tokyo, 1933.
Koide Kōhei: Nihon no dentō ongaku.
     Ongaku no tomosha, Tokyo;, 1970.
Koji Ruien. Ruien Kankōkai, Tokyo, 1896-1914. Reduced size reprint ed.
     by Jungū Shichō, Tokyo, 1927-1930. Latest edition: Yoshikawa
     Kōbunkan, Tokyo, 1967-1971. Vol. 9: Section on Religion.
     Vols. 32 & 35: Section on Music.
Kondō Ichitarō & Charles S. Terry: The Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji
     by Hokusai. Heibonsha, Tokyo, 1968.
Kurihara Kōta: Shakuhachi shikō. Chikuyūsha, Tokyo, 1918, 1975.
Riley Kelly Lee: Yearning for the Bell: A Study of
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     Available online at: www.rileylee.net/thesis.html.
Gunnar Jinmei Linder:
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     Historical Authenticity and Transmission of Tradition.
     Ph.d. dissertation, Department of Oriental Languages,
     Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, 2012. Dennis Eugene Lishka: Buddhist Wisdom and Its Expression as Art:
     The Dharma of the Zen Master Takuan.
     Unpublished Doctor of Philosophy thesis.
     University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1976. Purchasable at:
     UMI Dissertation Services - www.il.proquest.com. Cat. no.: 7708798.
Tomohiro Matsuda, ed., et al.:
     A Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts.
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Daigan Matsunaga & Alicia Matsunaga: Foundation of Japanese
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Michel Mohr: 'Imagining Indian Zen: Tōrei's Commentary on the
     Ta-mo-to-lo ch'an ching and the Rediscovery of
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     In: Steven Heine & Dale S. Wright, eds.: Zen Classics.
     Formative Texts in the History of Zen Buddhism.
     Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York, 2006.
Nakatsuka Chikuzen: Kinko-ryū Shakuhachi Shikan.
     Nihon Ongaku-sha, Tokyo, 1979.
Nishiyama Matsunosuke: Iemoto monogatari.
     Chūō Kōronsha,Tokyo, 1971, 1976.
Nishiyama Matsunosuke: Iemoto no kenkyū.
     Azekura Shobō,, Tokyo, 1956.
Nishiyama Matsunosuke: Iemoto no kenkyū.
     Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, Tokyo, 1982.
Nishiyama Matsunosuke: 'Komusō no ura-omote'.
     In: Kikan hōgaku 5, Ongaku no Tomo-sha, Tokyo, 1975, pp. 26-30.
Torsten Olafsson: Kaidō Honsoku, 1628: The Komosō's Fuke
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     Includes a CD-ROM with the author's complete M.A. thesis on
     the same subject, University of Copenhagen, 1987.
     Purchasable at www.shakuhachi.com.
James H. Sanford: 'Shakuhachi Zen. The Fukeshū and Komusō.'
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     Vol. III: 1953, 1977.
Daisetzu Teitarō Suzuki: Zen and Japanese Culture.
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Takahashi Tone: Tozan-ryū: An Innovation of the
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     Unpublished Doctor of Philosophy thesis.
     The Florida State University, 1990. Purchasable at:
     www.shakuhachi.com
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     from 601 to 1872 A.D.
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     Available online at: www.links.jstor.org
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Yamaguchi Masayoshi: Shakuhachi-shi gaisetsu.
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Zengaku Jiten, ed. by Jimbo Nyoten & Andō Bun'ei,
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     Tokyo, 1962. Page 1501.
Reinhard Zöllner: Japanische Zeitrechnung.
     Iudicium Verlag, München, 2003.

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