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




Mu-ku-teki Suizen

"MU-KU-TEKI SUIZEN"
No-hole Flute Blowing Meditation
Calligraphy by Myōan Taizan
- Higuchi Taizan?
(in the author's collection)



Myō-an

"MYŌ-AN"
The Duality of the Clear
and the Obscure
By Tanikita Muchiku, 1875-1957



Mind-Moon-Circle

"MIND-MOON-CIRCLE"
Calligraphy by Ryōkan
18th or early 19th century
(shown in negative)


Chronology

JAPAN 8 • 1883 ...

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".


Cordial thanks to Taguchi Shigeo & Kirsten Refsing (PhD, Professor Emerita), Denmark, for assisting me with the translation and interpretation of essential texts presented on this webpage, related to the Myōan Taizan-ha tradition of "Ascetic Shakuhachi Practice".



THE REORGANIZATION and CONTINUATION of ASCETIC SHAKUHACHI PRACTICES in JAPAN

1883: The 1871 government ban on religious mendicancy is lifted.



明暗協会 - MYŌAN KYŌKAI
明暗対山派本曲 - MYŌAN TAIZAN-HA HONKYOKU

1890 - THE MYŌAN SOCIETY is FOUNDED

In July, 1890 (Meiji 23), a new shakuhachi society, the Myōan kyōkai, 明暗教会, was established - with the purpose of the preservation and continued practice of original Komusō Shakuhachi music.
A comprehensive repertory of carefully chosen shakuhachi pieces, the socalled honkyoku, had been compiled by Higuchi Taizan, 1856-1914, who became the first head instructor of a new line of ascetic shakuhachi practice, the Myōan Taizan-ha, 明暗対山派,

According to Machida Kashō, 1956, p. 375, however, the information is given somewhat differently,

"The Fuke sect had been outlawed in 1871, and the following year the regimen of the mendicant had been proscribed. This led to great difficulties in the propagation of Buddhism, however, and in 1878 the various sects jointly petitioned the government for permission to revive mendicancy.

In 1881 the request was granted by the Ministry of the Interior.

In 1883 the Meian Kyōkai (Meian Society) was founded with Prince Kujō as its head, its purpose being to preserve the komusō system, even if The Fuke Sect itself could not be revived. - - - "

Much later, probably beginning in the early 1950s, various Suizen gyōka shō, 吹禅行化証, or "Ascetic Shakuhachi Practice Certificates", were issued, replacing the former Komusō gyōka shō 虚無僧行化証, of the Edo Period.

Suizen gyōke seiganbun

Present-day Suizen gyōka seiganbun, 吹禅行化誓願文,
"Ascetic Shakuhachi Practice Oath", issued after 1950.

The source of the above given information, it should be noted, is the website named Myōan dōshukai, 明暗導主会: Myōan dōshukai


明暗寺三十五世 樋口対山

MYŌAN-JI SANJŪGO-SE HIGUCHI TAIZAN

Higuchi Taizan

Higuchi Taizan - 1856-1914


Chōshi, calligraphed by Higuchi Taizan

Chōshi, calligraphed by Higuchi Taizan
A treasure of the Higuchi Family
In: Ikeda Juzan shū. Taizan-fu shūi, 1985, p. 62




20th CENTURY

1930s

Okabe Village: Two komusō walking in the Snow

Okabe Village: Two komusō walking in the Snow
Tanzaku print, 1930s, by Takahashi Shōtei, 1871-1945
Sources: www.degener.com & www.shotei.com




明暗寺三十七世 谷北無竹

MYŌAN-JI SANJŪNANA-SE TANIKITA MUCHIKU


Tanikita Muchiku

Tanikita Muchiku - 1878-1957


1940s?

Myōan sōbō

'MYŌAN SŌ BŌ'
"Bright-Dark Pair Forget"

Calligraphy in honkyoku ori-hon dated 1941? (Shōwa 16?)
by Tanikita Rōan Muchiku, 1878-1957
Reproduced in Inagaki, 1981



Ch#0333; tan haku-un kō - sh#0333; tetsu heki tan shin

'CHŌ TAN HAKU-UN KŌ - SHŌ TETSU HEKI TAN SHIN

調干白雲高、聲徹碧潭深。

"The Music drinks of the Eminence of White Clouds;
The Voice permeates the Profundity of Blue Water in the Deep"

Chinese poem in honkyoku ori-hon dated 1941? (Shōwa 16?)
by Tanikita Rōan Muchiku, 1878-1957
in praise of a famous poem by Fuke Zenji's
master Banzan Hōshaku, 720-814
Reproduced in Inagaki, 1981
Trsl. by Torsten Olafsson, 2010



普化正宗明暗寺 - FUKE SHŌSHŪ MYŌAN-JI

1950: In March, "The Temple of Light and Darkness of the True Fuke Sect", Fuke Shōshū Myōan-ji, is established in the Zen'ei-in, subtemple of Tōfuku-ji, SE Kyōto, as the official head temple of all Fuke Shakuhachi branches in Japan.


Kyōto Myōan-ji, 1977

The gate of Kyōto Myōan-ji, the signboard reading
"Myōan-ji - Fundamental Spiritual Training Center for the Shakuhachi" Photo by Torsten Olafsson, 1977




池田壽山 - IKEDA JUZAN


Ikeda Juzan

Ikeda Juzan - 1888-1976
In: Ikeda Juzan shū, 1985


1960

Ikeda Juzan sumi-e, 1960: Shakuhachi and 'Ichion jōbutsu'

Shakuhachi and 'Ichion jōbutsu' calligraphy
Sumi-e dated 1960 (Shōwa 35) by Ikeda Juzan, 1888-1976,
a prominent student of Higuchi Taizan
Reproduced in Ikeda Juzan shū, 1985




Kyōto Myōan-ji, 1977

Kyōto Myōan-ji, Main Hall completed in 1969
Photo by Torsten Olafsson, 1977




禅尺八 - ZEN SHAKUHACHI
尺八禅 - SHAKUHACHI ZEN
修養の尺八 - SHŪYŌ no SHAKUHACHI


明暗寺四十世 芳村普庵宗心

MYŌAN-JI YONJŪ-SE YOSHIMURA FUAN SŌSHIN


Yoshimura Sōshin

Yoshimura Sōshin - 1904-1988


1977 - YOSHIMURA FUAN SŌSHIN

此れは明暗尺八吹奏と言ふ物でわ有りません。
決定された吹奏法と言ふ物は御在いません。
唯、私の言えまするは素直な心で、
唯、一心に吹くるが私の心です。

技功を弄して、上手に吹くとか、
大いにならして、人に聞かせ様等
と言ふ我の心を持って吹くるは
一番悪い人間の心だと
私は考えて居ります。

技功によって変わった音を出す人も有りますが、
明暗寺尺八吹奏は自分の心に音を聞かせて
自分がその音によって、心を修めるるが
私の禅尺八の有り方と考えて居ります。

なかなか言葉では表現出来ませんが、
つまり禅尺八としての尺八は唯々
心を素直に持って, 我の心による
技功に成らない様、修養の尺八です。

此の修養の毎日の積み重ねが
自分と言ふ人間の心に成ります。

何るも、自然にさからうるは悪いるです。
自然に副って、道をあやまらぬ様にと
私は日々心がけて居ります。


"Myōan Shakuhachi can not be likened to the playing of an ordinary wind instrument.
Such thing as a fixed way of playing does not exist.
What I can say is, plainly, that I am only concerned with directing my blowing towards my own Self - with a gentle mind."

It is my opinion that people who trifle with skill of playing and "play well" - who exercise exceedingly intending to impress the listener and the like - that way of blowing with an egocentric mind represents the worst of human attitudes (that I can think of).

There are people who can produce changing sounds depending on technical skill, but as for the shakuhachi practice of the Myōan Temple,
I believe that the ideal way of Zen Shakuhachi is to let one's true Mind listen to the sounds and to cultivate one's own Self in accordance with those sounds.

I can not easily express this in words but to practice the shakuhachi of Zen Shakuhachi is indeed a way of mental training and self-cultivation that is practiced with an open and humble mind and does not develop into (mere) technical skill with a selfish attitude.

The accumulation of this daily practice will, eventually, bring about the realization of the true Self of one's Human Nature.

It is, in any case, wrong to act against Nature.
I am devoting myself every day to follow Nature and not to be mistaken about the Way."

     Yoshimura Fuan Sōshin, Myōan-ji, August 9, 1977.
     Private correspondance. Trsl. by Torsten Olafsson




明暗尺八 - MYŌAN SHAKUHACHI
明暗雙雙 - MYŌAN SŌSŌ
法器 - HŌKI


小沢盛山

1978 - OZAWA SEIZAN

Ozawa Seizan, letter of recommendation, 1978

Detail of a letter of recommendation for T.O.
written by Ozawa Seizan in Spring, 1978
See translation below ...


当明暗尺八は、普化宗に属じ日本古耒の伝承されじ
尺八お法器として、明暗双々円通無碍の実力を修得じ、虚に帰して、精神の修養を高めんとするしので有る。 これを吹禅と稱する。


"Myōan Shakuhachi is related to the Fuke Sect of Shakuhachi and it has as its purpose to employ the ancient Japanese shakuhachi flute as a Dharma instrument [hō-ki] in order that one understands the Ultimately Adual Nature of the 'Clear' and the 'Un-clear' [Myō-An] and experiences the Essence of Non-substantiality [kyo] through self-cultivation.
This practice is called Suizen."

     My teacher Ozawa Seizan, Myōan-ji, 1978, in a letter
     of recommendation. Trsl. by Torsten Olafsson.



Ozawa Seizan, 1978

Ozawa Seizan Sensei - Spring, 1978




1985

The Tantric symbol 'A' & 'Suizen godo'

Opening pages of a honkyoku book (ori-hon)
written by Matsumoto Kyozan, 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, residing in the center of the
Taizō-kai (Womb Realm) mandala (Skt.: Garbhadātu)
of Japanese Tantric Buddhism (Shingon)
Trsl. by Torsten Olafsson




Link to the next page: The West
Link to the previous page: Japan 7 • 1767-1883


List of references:

Christopher Blasdel & Kamisangō Yūkō:
     The Shakuhachi. A Manual for Learning.
     Ongaku no Tomo-sha, Tokyo, 1988, 2008.
     Available at www.shakuhachi.com.
Andreas Gutzwiller: Die Shakuhachi der Kinko-Schule.
     Bärenreiter - Kassel, Basel, London, 1983.
Ikeda Juzan shū. Taizan-fu shūi. Tokyo, 1985.
Inagaki Ihaku, Izui Seizan & Takahashi Ryochiku, editors:
      Myōan Sanjūnana-sei Tanikita Muchiku-shū.
      Taizan-fu shūi. Tanikita Renzō, Kyoto, 1981.
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.
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
     Transmission in the Shakuhachi Honkyoku Tradition.
     PhD thesis, Univerity of Sidney, 1992.
     Available online at: www.rileylee.net/thesis.html.
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.
     Nichiren Shoshu International Center, Tokyo, 1983.
Daigan Matsunaga & Alicia Matsunaga: Foundation of Japanese
     Buddhism. Vol. I: The Aristocratic Age. Vol. II: The Mass Move-
     ment. Buddhist Books International, Los Angeles, Tokyo, 1974, 1976.
Michel Mohr: 'Imagining Indian Zen: Tōrei's Commentary on the
     Ta-mo-to-lo ch'an ching and the Rediscovery of
     Early Meditation Techniques during the Tokugawa Era.'
     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.
     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
     Shakuhachi Credo. On Early 17th Century Ascetic Shakuhachi
     Ideology. Publ. by Tai Hei Shakuhachi, California, 2003.
     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.'
     In: Monumenta Nipponica XXXII, 4. Sophia University, Tokyo, 1977.
Shibayama Zenkei: A Flower Does Not Talk.
     Charles E. Tuttle Company, Inc. 1970, 1975.
Shūhō Yokō, edited by Mori Hikotarō. Publ. by the Kōkoku-ji,
     Yura, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, 1938, 1981.
Daisetzu Teitarō Suzuki: Essays in Zen Buddhism I, II & III.
     Rider & Company, London, Vol. I: 1950, 1980. Vol. II: 1953, 1980.
     Vol. III: 1953, 1977.
Daisetzu Teitarō Suzuki: Zen and Japanese Culture.
     Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1970, 1973.
Takahashi Tone: Tozan-ryū: An Innovation of the
     Shakuhachi Tradition from Fuke-shū to Secularism.
     Unpublished Doctor of Philosophy thesis.
     The Florida State University, 1990. Purchasable at:
     www.shakuhachi.com
Tomimori Kyozan: Myōan Shakuhachi Tsūkai.
     Myōan Kyozan Bōdōyūkai, Tokyo, 1979. 
Tsuge Gen'ichi: 'The History of the Kyotaku.'
     In: Asian Music, Vol. VIII, 2. New York, 1977.
     Available online at: www.links.jstor.org
Royall Tyler, trsl.: Selected Writings of Suzuki Shōsan.
     Cornell University, East Asia Papers, New York, 1977
Ueno Katami: Shakuhachi no rekishi.
     Shimada Ongaku Shuppan, Tokyo, 3rd impr., 1984.
Ueno Katami: Shakuhachi no rekishi. Revised and expanded edition.
     Shuppan Geijutsu-sha, Tokyo, 2002.
Zengaku Jiten, ed. by Jimbo Nyoten & Andō Bun'ei,
     Shōbō Genzō Chūkai Zensho Kankōkai,
     Tokyo, 1962. Page 1501.

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