Shakuhachi



「修行尺八」歴史的証拠の研究   ホームページ
      'Shugyō Shakuhachi' rekishi-teki shōko no kenkyū hōmupēji - zen-shakuhachi.dk

The "Ascetic Shakuhachi" Historical Evidence Research Web Pages

Introduction & Guide to the Documentation & Critical Study of Ascetic, Non-Dualistic Shakuhachi Culture, East & West:
Historical Chronology, Philology, Etymology, Vocabulary, Terminology, Concepts, Ideology, Iconology & Practices

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 / Front Page / Home

Main Menu Items List - Site Map:
     All Web Pages on this Website


New Web Pages and Web Page Updates


T.O. Profile / Bio / CV

Torsten Olafsson Profile Featured in the Music Magazine
     Hōgaku Journal Vol. 430, Nov., 2022

Profile Status Update, Late 2022. Original Profile
     submitted to Hōgaku Journal Vol. 430, Nov., 2022

Disclaimer





Highlighted updated webpages as of January 27, 2023:

Overall conclusion that has manifested itself
     as the inevitable outcome of the present,
     more than 4 decades long research project


Torsten Olafsson Profile Featured in the Music Magazine
     Hōgaku Journal Vol. 430, Nov., 2022

Profile Status Update, Late 2022. Original Profile
     submitted to Hōgaku Journal Vol. 430, Nov., 2022

1930: Kobayashi Shizan & Tomimori Kyozan
     Co-publicize the Shakuhachi Concept 'Suishō-zen' a.o.


1950s ... : The Origin of 'Suizen' at Kyōto Myōan-ji:
     Kobayashi Shizan, Tomimori Kyozan,
     Tanikita Muchiku, Yasuda Tenzan,
     Hirazumi Taizan, Koizumi Ryōan,
     Fukumoto Kyoan, Yoshimura Sōshin a.o.


1890-1950: The Remarkably Differing Narratives
     about the Kyōto Myōan-ji, the "Myōan Society" and the
     'Taizan-ha' Tradition of 'Suizen' Shakuhachi Practice


1950s: A Modern 'Komusō' 'Suizen' 'Takuhatsu' Credo

1974 ...: Untruthful 'Suizen' & "Shakuhachi Meditation"
     Information & Assertions, East & West
     - Presented in Western Languages, Primarily


1977 & 1978: The Legacy of the Late Myōan Taizan-ha
     'Suizen' Teachers Yoshimura Fuan Sōshin
     & Ozawa Zetsugai Seizan


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

1974: The Year of the End of 'Shakuhachi Suizen'
     - When the Term 'Suizen' was Kidnapped, Hi-jacked,
     and Degraded into Mere "New Age", "Healing",
     "Holism", and "Mindfulness" Meaninglessness


1950s ... : The Origin of 'Suizen' at Kyōto Myōan-ji:
     Kobayashi Shizan, Tomimori Kyozan,
     Tanikita Muchiku, Yasuda Tenzan,
     Hirazumi Taizan, Koizumi Ryōan,
     Fukumoto Kyoan, Yoshimura Sōshin a.o.


1852: Kyōto Myōan-ji's 32nd 'Kansu' Rodō Genkyō's
     Commandments Regarding 'Komusō' Begging Practice
     and 'Sui-teki shugyō' - and the Possible Origin
     of the Now so Very Misused Term 'Suizen'?


1705: The Kōkoku Temple Ordination Platform
     and Kyōto Myōan-ji's Fake "Chief Monks" -
     In the Words of Makihara Ichiro, August 10, 2007

1861 ... : Shakuhachi, Fuke & 'Komusō' Narratives
     Authored and Published in Western Languages


1630 at the latest: Iwasa Matabei's Famous Painting of
     Two 'Fuke-Komosō' With Swords & An Umbrella Maker





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



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


A Critical Look at the European Shakuhachi Society's
     Official Online "History And Origins"
     and "Glossary" Web Pages


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



ca. 600 to ca. 1500: The Fanciful Fully Fabricated Fairytales
     about Prince Shōtoku, Ennin, Fuke and 'Kyorei', Kakua,
     the Kojidan "Blind Monks", Kakushin/Hottō Kokushi,
     the Four Chinese Buddhist Laymen, Kichiku/Kyochiku,
     Kyomu/Kusunoki Masakatsu, the 'Boroboro',
     Ikkyū, Fuke-dōsha, Rōan & Rakuami


ca. 600 to ca. 1480: Pre-Komosō Non-Duality
     The Non-Dualism of Huineng, Shih-t'ou, P'u-k'o, Dōgen,
     Ming-chi, Ikkyū, Rōan & Rakuami

ca. 630-645: Did the Imperial Music Master
     Lü Ts'ai really Invent the "Chinese Shakuhachi"?



ERA of the KOMOSŌ - The "Mat Monks"

     ca. 1450 to ca. 1550



1470s?: The Dance-kyōgen Play Rakuami

1474: Tōyō Eichō and Ikkyū Sōjun at the
     Inauguration of the Rebuilt Daitoku Temple, Kyōto


1486: The Ōuchi Clan's Ban
     on Komosō, Jugglers & Monkey Keepers


1494 & 1501: Two Enchanting Muromachi Period
     Poetry Contest Picture Scrolls


1512: The Taigenshō Court Music Treatise






ERA of the FUKE-SŌ / FUKE-KOMOSŌ

     ca. 1550 to ca. 1628?



The Komosō & Fuke-sō / Fuke-komosō Sources


1550-1560: Fuke and the Early Setsuyō-shū Dictionaries

1571: The Term 'Komosō shakuhachi' appears
     in Top-ranking Imperial Court Minister
     Yamashina Tokitsugu's Diary "Tokitsugu's Chronicle"



1614: The Keichō kenmon-shū Short Story Book:
     The Fuke-komosō in Hachiō-ji, West of Edo City


1614: The Keichō kenmon-shū Short Story Book:
     A Story about a Fuke-komosō and his Mother


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


1628: The Kaidō honsoku Fuke-komosō Credo






ERA of the KOMUSŌ
     "Pseudo-Monks of the Non-Dual & None-ness"

     ca. 1628? to 1871



The Early 'Komusō'-related Texts
     - from ca. 1628? to ca. 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


ca. 1640?: The Kaidō honsoku "Version 2" Copy

1640?: Was a Very Early "Komusō Temple" built
     in Nagasaki on the Island of Kyūshū?


ca. 1640?: The Strange Butsu-gen 'Komusō' Document

1640-1646: Abbot Isshi Bunshu's Letter to Sandō Mugetsu
     - the 1981 Kowata Suigetsu Version of the Text


1646 at the latest: 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'


1649: Hiroshima Fief Authorities Issue Regulation
     to Control 'Komosō' and Other Claimed "Troublemakers"


1650s?: The Kaidō honsoku "Version 3" Copy

1653 to 1687: The Shōgunate Takes Legislative Measures
     to Regulate & Control Society Including All Social Groups
     Namely: Warrior/Samurai, Farmer, Craftsman, Merchant,
     Religious, Imperial - and, not least: "Outcast"


1657: 'Tōzoku-jin sansaku jōjō' - A Government Directive
     to Investigate 'Komusō' and Other "Outlaws"



The Kyōto/Kansai Sources


1659?: A Falsely Dated Myōan-ji Document Revealed

1664: The Shichiku shoshinshū Music Treatise

ca. 1665-1675?: The Kyotaku denki Fairy Tale:
     Shinchi Kakushin, Kichiku & Kyōto Myōan-ji


ca. 1665-1675?: The Kyotaku denki Original Text, 1795/1981
     edition, the Kyotaku denki kokujikai Illustrations,
     and Tsuge Gen'ichi's 1977 Translation



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



ca. 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"



1748: Chikamatsu's Play Kanadehon Chūshingura
     and the Komusō Shakuhachi Piece 'Tsuru no sugomori'


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'


1779-1784: Isaac Titsingh's Account of a Pure Land Sect
     Funeral with Entertaining 'Yamabushi' and 'Komusō'



1795: The Kyotaku denki kokujikai Source Book

1795: The Kyotaku denki Original Text, 1795/1981
     edition, the Kyotaku denki kokujikai Illustrations,
     and Tsuge Gen'ichi's 1977 Translation



1816: Miyaji Ikkan's Shakuhachi hikki Book

1819: The Ranzan City Society for the Study of
     Old Documents: Keichō no okitegaki, Enpō 5 Oboe,
     Okite & Shakuhachi kyoku-moku


1819, 1st Month: The Ranzan Old Documents Study Society
     Presents List of 18+17 Shakuhachi Music Pieces
     of the Early Kinko Shakuhachi Tradition


1823: Hisamatsu Fūyō's Hitori mondō a.o. texts

1871: Map of 26 "'Suizen' Temples" compiled by Steve Weiss
     - "approved by Kurahashi Kōdō II", 2005

1871: Edo Period 'Komusō' Bath House Temples
     ... and Bamboo Tea Whisk Making ...
     Did the Meiji Government's November 30th Ban
     on the so called "Fuke Sect" also Put a Sudden Stop
     to a Thriving 'Komusō' Bath House Temple Business?







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



1872-1878 (1843-44): The Komusō zakki
     Source Collection



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


1880-1899: Tokugawa kinreikō - A Source Collection
     of Tokugawa Period Laws & Regulations



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


1890-1950: The Remarkably Differing Narratives
     about the Kyōto Myōan-ji, the "Myōan Society" and the
     'Taizan-ha' Tradition of 'Suizen' Shakuhachi Practice


Early to mid-20th Century Research Pioneers,
     Author Musicians, Editors & Publishers, Japan:
     Mikami Sanji, Kurihara Kōta, Uramoto Setchō,
     Nakatsuka Chikuzen, Mori Hikotarō, Tanikita Muchiku,
     Nishimura Kokū, Takahashi Kūzan, Tomimori Kyozan,
     Ikeda Juzan a.o.


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


1930: Kobayashi Shizan & Tomimori Kyozan
     Co-publicize the Shakuhachi Concept 'Suishō-zen' a.o.



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







2 - POST-WW2 till TODAY: JAPAN

     1945 ...



1950s ... : The Origin of 'Suizen' at Kyōto Myōan-ji:
     Kobayashi Shizan, Tomimori Kyozan,
     Tanikita Muchiku, Yasuda Tenzan,
     Hirazumi Taizan, Koizumi Ryōan,
     Fukumoto Kyoan, Yoshimura Sōshin a.o.


1950s: A Modern 'Komusō' 'Suizen' 'Takuhatsu' Credo

1960: Uramoto Setchō's Essay about
     'Gyō no ongaku': "Music of Asceticism"


1974: The Year of the End of 'Shakuhachi Suizen'
     - When the Term 'Suizen' was Kidnapped, Hi-jacked,
     and Degraded into Mere "New Age", "Healing",
     "Holism", and "Mindfulness" Meaninglessness


1974 ...: Untruthful 'Suizen' & "Shakuhachi Meditation"
     Information & Assertions, East & West
     - Presented in Western Languages, Primarily



Shakuhachi Historianship in Japan Today?:
     The "Traditionalists" and the "Truth Tellers"



1977 & 1978: The Legacy of the Late Myōan Taizan-ha
     'Suizen' Teachers Yoshimura Fuan Sōshin
     & Ozawa Zetsugai 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 in Western Languages

Literature in Eastern Languages

Links

T.O. Profile / Bio / CV

Profile Status Update, 2022

Contact Info

Disclaimer


WELCOME INTRODUCTION

Unveiling & Verifying the Actual Historical Origins & Unique Secrets
of Ascetic, Non-Dualistic Shakuhachi Traditions, Ideologies & Practices

Introduction & Guide
to the Documentation & Critical Study of Ascetic, Non-Dualistic Shakuhachi Culture, East & West:
Historical Chronology, Philology, Etymology, Vocabulary, Terminology, Concepts, Ideology, Iconology & Practices

- by Danish/Icelandic Torsten Mukuteki Olafsson, Denmark: Multimusician, Composer, Music Editor, Graphical Designer, Japanologist, Translator, Shakuhachi Historian, Author & Lecturer

- from the very beginning, in 2003: An unbiased, non-profit, documentary evidence based research and information endeavour completely independent of any external funding, totally devoid of self-promoting academic career aspirations and possible implicated imagined income prospects ...
     - only the objective, unbiased truth matters


Remarkable News as of February 6, 2023, at 12:45 p.m.

Matt Gillan's Important late 2021 Yale Journal of Music & Religion Article
has now Passed the 1.200 Downloads Line

Just about a quarter to 1:00 p.m. today, Feb. 6, '23, Prof. Matt Gillan's online article had been downloaded 1.200 times.

Then, at about 1:15 p.m.: 1.203 downloads.

The title, "Sankyoku Magazine and the Invention of the Shakuhachi as Religious Instrument
in Early 20th-Century Japan", does indeed speak for itself, don't you think?

Click here to download your own copy of the PDF file, free of charge:

https://elischolar.library.yale.edu/yjmr/vol7/iss1/2/

By the way, if the shakuhachi was not a "religious instrument" prior to the 1920s, what else could it have been before then, possibly?



A Question/Q & Answer/A Update as of February 5, 2023:

Kiku Day, Q: "What is the role of the ethnomusicologist when historical facts
and beliefs of players do not correspond?"

That is one central question asked by Kiku Day, SOAS PhD, in JPA SEM's new Youtube feature, edited and presented by JPA Co-Chair Justin R. Hunter, titled "The Shakuhachi by Dr. Kiku Day" - read more below.

A:

Basically, any academically trained and officially authorized "ethnomusicologist" must tell the verifiable truth - nothing else, simple as that.

But, what is "the truth" about the shakuhachi through "history"?

Firstly, the more or less "academic" discipline of "Ethnomusicology" developed from its "academic" predecessor "Comparative Musicology" which was established during the last few decades of the 19th century.

In those days, Western classical music was predominantly regarded as in everything "far superior" compared with all other global "non-Western" music traditions.
Those were overall and collectively being considered and described as downright "primitive", "inferior".

That outlook even encompassed the many centuries old music cultures of the Far East, most of which are indeed characteristic for their quite well documented histories and often rather detailed and also quite secretive notation systems.


A:

Now, here is a short quotation from the SEM's current definition of "Ethnomusicology":

"The practice of ethnographic fieldwork and historical research are of equal importance."
Source web page link:
https://study.com/learn/lesson/ethnomusicology-overview-history.html


Well, as for "ethnographic fieldwork" you can choose the approach of research that focuses on field recording selected "native" musicians playing their local instruments; then return back home to your study, transcribe the recorded music, analyze and describe the recorded music as it simply "sounds". That is supposed to be so called "objective", "neutral".

Or, you may take one step further and make it possible to be accepted as a student of some particular native player and experience how it feels "subjectively" to become a player, yourself.

Then, quite importantly, you are now enjoying the privilege of learning how to understand the music notation and how to actually be enabled yourself to recreate the "musical sounds" in accordance with the notation and, not least: how to "mimick" your teacher's way of interpreting the music notation as well as the whole tradition itself.

Also: That is commonly described as "learning by rote" - or, "by heart"? - despite the fact that here there are actual notations in front of the student and in play during the training!

A:

However, with learning "ascetic shakuhachi" "music" playing in particular - precisely described, and defined, by Uramoto Setchō as "Gyō no ongaku", 行の音楽, here inevitably arises the obvious conflict between attempting to be at work as the objective "outsider scholar" while at the same time acting as an "insider disciple" in the role as a - maybe long-time - student of a native shakuhachi teacher.

That is simply impossible: The field-working ethnomusicologist who knows about her or his shakuhachi teacher's orthodox, traditionalistic unfounded beliefs, and does not openly challenge these, will inevitably be compromizing the required, mandatory role to be performing as an "un-biased, objective acadamic researcher".

While the "professional" ethnomusicologist is expected to observe that "ethnographic field work and historical research are of equal importance", in the case of "ascetic shakuhachi" history studies, that proves to be simply utterly impossible.

Aspiring "ethnomusicologists" are not expected, nor obliged, to also be qualifying professionally as competent "Japanologists", "Linguists", "Philologists", "Etymologists".
In order to be capable of specializing in language disciplines as: Classical Chinese, Classical Japanese, Kanbun, Pre-Modern & Modern Japanese that involves many years of language studies that are also coupled with thorough insight studies in Japanese cultural history as a whole, in all its diversity, complexity, and indisputable uniqueness.

A:

So, how can any ordinary Western ethnomusicologist possibly know anything in proper depth about the actual "historical facts" when it comes to that of the "shakuhachi"?

Well, that is of course not possible. So, how can a Western ethnomusicologist who has no real insight in the shakuhachi history documentary evidence have an ethical problem in relation to traditionalistically thinking, "myth" believing players in Japan regarding "historical facts"?

This discussion will maybe be continued ...



News announcement as of February 6, 2023, updated:

Kiku Day:
"The Shakuhachi: Its Capricious Background and the Body in Performance"

On February 1, 2023, Japanese Performing Arts/JPA SEM c/o The Society of Ethnomusicology publicized a long feature on Youtube titled

"The Shakuhachi by Dr. Kiku Day"

Quoting the first part of the Abstract:

"The shakuhachi is believed to have been a meditation tool of the notorious komusō monks, who wandered the street as mendicanting *) Zen Buddhist monks.

The instrument and the monks’ background are surrounded by mystery, which makes myth and historical facts difficult to differentiate.

The recent years a change in the scholarship of the shakuhachi has been observed, which aborgated **) the belief that the Fuke sect were a subsect to Rinzai Zen.

In this paper I will consider historical facts and the importance myths have played in the minds of shakuhachi players at least since the beginning of the 20th century.

What is the role of the ethnomusicologist when historical facts and beliefs of players do not correspond?"

Here you have a direct, active link to the JPA SEM Youtube video:

JPA SEM: "The Shakuhachi by Dr. Kiku Day"

Quoting from the abstract,

"What is the role of the ethnomusicologist when historical facts and beliefs of players do not correspond?"

... please go to time point 31:25 and onwards through the video to learn what Dr. Kiku Day is explaining in that regard.

Notes: *) "mendicanting" should probably read as "mendicant"; **) "aborgated" should probably read as "abrogated".

More comments to follow ...


All the best - Torsten Olafsson, February 4, 2023



Update as of February 5, 2023, updated:

A Remarkable Article by Prof. Matt Gillan, PhD, in Ichi-on jōbutsu 51, 2022, pp. 2-30

一音成仏明治中期の新聞記事における普化宗復興運動
と明暗教会の成立過程

'Meiji chūki no shinbun kiji ni okeru Fuke-shū fukkō undō to Myōan kyōkai no seiritsu katei'

"Mid-Meiji Period Newspaper Articles about a Fuke Sect Revival
and the Myōan Society ['Myōan kyōkai'] Formation Proces"


xxx   xxx

Ichi-on jōbutsu 51, 2022, cover front - Matt Gillan article in 'Ichi-on jōbutsu' 2022, first page


Prof. Matt Gillan's late 2021 online article titled "Sankyoku Magazine and the Invention of the Shakuhachi as Religious Instrument in Early 20th-Century Japan", published by the Yale Journal of Music & Religion, has now - in this very moment of writing - been downloaded 1.196 times.

Prof. Gillan, who has been teaching Musicology at the International Christian University in Tokyo since 2007, represents a quite rare exception to this general rule and academic state of affairs:

Very many Western "academically" trained musicologists and ethnomusicologists - along with numerous shakuhachi players - who keep on writing categorically about Japanese music, including that of the shakuhachi, not least, obviously do not know how to properly read Japanese, at all, and can therefore never support their often really fanciful narratives and claims with solid quotations from actual reliable Japanese documentary evidence - whether such might actually exist, at all.

However, Matt Gillan is a warmly welcomed present-day exception: He is now featured in the 2022 edition of the highly esteemed Japanese journal 'Ichi-on jōbutsu', which is published annually by the 'Komusō kenkyū-kai', 虚無僧研究会, the "Komusō Research Society", operating in Tokyo for now about half a century, or so.

The article of his is printed on pages 2 through 30 in the journal.
What an extraordinary - til' this moment truly unheard of - honourable achievement and accomplishment of a Western shakuhachi history researcher!

Gillan's literary and scholarly contribution, composed in fine Japanese, focuses on preserved printed material about how some persistent efforts were exerted to revive the so called "Fuke Sect" and komusō begging practices, 'taku-hatsu', 托鉢, in pre-modern, Mid-Meiji Shakuhachi Japan, as well as how the 'Myōan kyōkai', the "Myōan Society", gradually took shape and was eventually founded in, or just around, the year 1890 - including Myōan Taizan-ha Shakuhachi founder Higuchi Taizan's role in the process.

The printed articles investigated and commented upon date from the period 1880 through 1895.

Only one of these, dated 1894, 4th month, 22nd day, appears to be touching upon the subject of the very early, late 19th century, relationship between the Myōan Society and the Tōfuku-ji sub temple Zen'e-in, 善慧院, that was later "transformed" into the "modern", present-day Myōan Temple, though that happened only as late as in 1950.

One particular source of significant information illuminated by Matt Gillan is the Buddhist journal titled 'Meikyō shinshi', 明教新誌, that was published in Japan between 1874 and 1901.

Hopefully, Prof. Gillan will at some time share the cream of his findings and conclusions
with an English language reading public.

By the way: Matt is also an active musician, playing both keyboards, shamisen and Myōan shakuhachi.
Read more here:

Yale Journal of Music & Religion



Separate web page uploaded on January 27, 2023

Overall conclusion that has manifested itself as the inevitable outcome
     of the present, more than 4 decades long research project

Direct link to the new separate web page:

Overall conclusion that has manifested itself as the inevitable outcome
     of the present, more than 4 decades long research project




Update as of January 27, 2023:

Ignore and Forget about these All Fabricated Documents and All their Contents ...
     What will then be Left of Credible “Fuke Shakuhachi History”?

1 - 虚鐸伝記
2 - 延宝五年の覚
3 - 慶長之掟書
4 - 虚鐸伝記国字解


Those are the four documents *) and their contents that should be completely left out of the entire "historical" narrative - ignored and banned from the "equation" of credible "historical facts":

1 - ‘Kyotaku denki’ – most probably conceived between circa 1665 and 1675, judging from the overall context.

2 - ‘Enpō 5-nen no oboe’, the “Edict of Enpō 5”- dated January 11, 1678 - NB not Dec., 18, 1677!

3 - ‘Keichō (no) okitegaki’ – first edition among many quite probably first created in 1751.

4 - ’Kyotaku denki kokuji-kai’ – published in Kyōto in 1795, including the mysterious ‘Kyotaku denki’ text.

Note *) The nickname title 'Keichō (no) okitegaki' actually covers quite a number of document versions that were created during about a century, circa 1750-1850, or possibly so.
'Oboe', , "Memorandum", is the actual headline of the document that is commonly mentioned as the "Edict of 1677", or similar.

A new web page that focuses on that significant matter of concern is being prepared for the time being.
T.O. Jan. 27, 2023.




Update as of January 23, 2023:

The 'Suizen' Stone Monument at Myōan-ji - and 'Suizen', the Term?

In 1966, a now very popular, even "pretty hyped", 'Suizen' stone monument was erected to the left inside of the gate of Kyōto Myōan-ji.

Very little, if any, documentation so far seems to be available about who specifically decided regarding the monument's construction and installation at the site of the Myōan Temple at Tōfuku-ji in SE Kyōto.

However, this is pretty simple: The very term and concept of 'Suizen' did not exist before the year 1950, when the "modern" Myōan Temple was inaugurated.

Acc. to Dean Delbene's MyoanShakuhachiBlogspot website, the monument was erected as late as in 1966, i.e. only a few years before the completion of the temple's new main hall, in 1969.
However, Mr. Delbene does not disclose the source of that piece of information of his.
See links below.

Suizen monument at Myōan-ji, Kyōto. Photo by Torsten Olafsson, early Spring, 1977

Photo by Torsten Olafsson, early Spring, 1977.


Those of you who have already read Prof. Matt Gillan's late 2021 online article in the Yale Journal of Music & Religion will have noticed that the term 'Suizen' is not being mentioned to appear anywhere there, at all - except for only once in the bibliography, that is.

That is because 'Suizen' was first conceived in or just a little before or after the year 1950, at the Myōan Temple in Kyōto - simple as that.

All the while quite many Japanese shakuhachi players began, between WW1 and WW2, to "re-define" and describe the shakuhachi flute as a de facto "religious instrument", the term 'Suizen' was not presented at all in any of their numerous writings appearing in the renowned music magazine Sankyoku at the time.
Nor anywhere else, for that matter.

Which is why the following two statements by Kiku Day make very little sense, if any, indeed:

"Suizen ( 吹禅): lit.: Blowing Zen or meditation playing shakuhachi. A word that is engraved in a Stone at Myōanji temple, Kyoto, Japan.
According to ethnomusicologist Tsukitani Tsuneko, it is a word that did not appear before early 20th century."

"Shakuhachi and meditation undoubtedly overlap due to history. And shakuhachi playing as meditation is often described as suizen (lit. blowing Zen), often as a counterpart to zazen (lit. sitting Zen or the meditation practice performed in Zen Buddhism).

However, I have not seen the word suizen in any historical documents, and nor had prof. Tsukitani Tsuneko (1944–2010), who explained to me, that the first time the word appeared was when the stone, in which the word is engraved, was erected at the Myōanji temple in Kyoto in the early 20th century (personal conversation 2007).

Thus, meditation continued to be important for (some) shakuhachi players even after the abolishment of the Fuke sect, although—as noted—the transmission of practice seems to have faded away."

Quoted from pages 26 (notes) and 13, respectively, in Kiku Day's 2014 thesis titled

"Mindful playing, mindful practice: The shakuhachi as a modern meditation tool."
An assignment submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Mindfulness Instructor Course at Skolen for Anvendt Meditation. 10 October 2014.

So, in fact, the 'Suizen' stone monument, erected at Myōan-ji after WW2, probably in 1966, does not constitute any evidence of the shakuhachi having been used importantly for meditation before 1871, nor entering the early 20th century.

Neither could the "transmission" of a practice that never existed ever "fade away" ...

     Sources:
http://myoanshakuhachi.blogspot.com/2012/06/those-who-wanted-to-emphasize-suizen.html      http://myoanshakuhachi.blogspot.com/2012/06/




Torsten Olafsson Profile Featured in the Music Magazine
     Hōgaku Journal Vol. 430, Nov., 2022

xxx   xxx

Hōgaku Journal Vol. 430 page 39 - Hōgaku Journal Vol. 430, cover front

Click in the photos to study the Japanese text and read an English translation of the presentation.



"Umbrella-maker and itinerant bamboo-flute players" - 1620s, before 1630

The Smithsonian Institution's Freer Gallery of Art is now hosting and exhibiting a really unique piece of Japanese art, formerly owned by the Nezu Museum in Tōkyō:



The painting was created by the famous visual artist Iwasa Matabei, 1578-1650, according to Japanese art historians: No later than 1630.

We here see two flute playing 'komosō' "mat monks", 薦僧, who at that time, early in the 17th century, were still being depicted as having carried long samurai swords - which the later 'komusō', 虚無僧, "Monks of Non-Duality" definitely did not:



The 'komosō' preceded the 'komusō' who actually "took over" the itinerant shakuhachi player beggar "scene" during the middle decades of the 17th century - that is, of course:
During the really harsh process while the Tokugawa government almost completely succeeded in exterminating Western Christianity from Japanese society.

Click here to see and read more about Iwasa Matabei's utterly remarkable 'komosō' painting.



The Very Very Short History of 'SUI-ZEN' - and before then: 'SUI-SHŌ-ZEN'
New Documentary Evidence presented on January 5, 2023

吹禅 & 吹簫禅 ,

The "framing" of shakuhachi playing as the blowing of "an Instrument of the Law of the Buddha", 'hō-ki' - earliest recorded in a preserved Kyōto Myōan Temple document dated 1735 (not 1694, ed. *) - did not at all at that time in any way suggest, be it indicate, that the shakuhachi was then:
Neither defined, nor used in any way, as "an instrument used for meditation" by the 'komusō'.

In fact, it was only as late as after World War I, 1914-1918, during the 1920s and 1930s, that new generations of Kyōto Myōan Temple shakuhachi practitioners began, in writing and public print, to seriously "re-invent" and "frame" the shakuhachi as "a Tool used for Zen Meditation", the way in which modern Western shakuhachi players in particular, since World War II, 1939-1945, have kept insisting that to have been the case for many many centuries in the past, indeed - though of course, that is a completely non-substantiated claim.
No documentary evidence - no proof - has ever been presented.

It is, indeed, pretty remarkable - to say the least - that the Kyōto Myōan Temple itself keeps claiming, on its official website, that 13th century Hottō Kokushi, 1203–1298, should have established any practice of 'sui-shō-zen' as well as 'sui-zen' as the equivalents, or "expedients", of 'zazen' for those who engage in ascetic practice to seek socalled "enlightenment", or "personal realization", through 'Zazen': socalled "Zen Buddhist meditation".

That is what you are being made to believe on these two Myōan Temple web pages:

http://myouan-doushukai.org/suizen.html
http://myouan-doushukai.org/en.html

The fact is, evidently, that absolutely none of the numerous original 13th century documents related to Hottō Kokushi's life and merits that have been preserved and published in print by his own temple, the Kōkoku-ji, in 1938 and 1981, ever mention anything about the shakuhachi, be it "shakuhachi meditation" - at all!

So, honestly, it is really saddening, that the Myōan Temple in Kyōto does not present the international public with true, documentary evidence based clarifications regarding the temple's actual history, the true sources of Taizan-ha 'hon-kyoku', and the real background of the very recent, very "modern" term/concept of 'Suizen'.

The term 'Suizen' was only "invented" in, or just after, the year 1950. That is an indisputable fact.

But, already before 1950, i.e. first in 1928, the Kyōto Myōan Temple first represented by Tomimori Kyozan, and again in 1930, by hímself and Kobayashi Shizan together, publicized the newly invented term 'Sui-shō-zen' in a very important book.
Read about that book here - an introduction:

1930: Kobayashi Shizan & Tomimori Kyozan
     Co-publicize the Shakuhachi Concept 'Suishō-zen' a.o.


To learn much more about 'Suizen', do visit these web pages, also:

1950s ... : The Origin of 'Suizen' at Kyōto Myōan-ji:
     Kobayashi Shizan, Tomimori Kyozan,
     Tanikita Muchiku, Yasuda Tenzan,
     Hirazumi Taizan, Koizumi Ryōan,
     Fukumoto Kyoan, Yoshimura Sōshin a.o.


Wikipedia: Inaccuracies & Misunderstandings
     about 'Komusō', 'Fuke-shū', 'Suizen' et cetera


*) The term 'hon-kyoku' first appears in preserved writing dated 1694, where as 'hō-ki' first is to be seen in 1735.

Links to relevant local web pages:

1694: Myōan-ji Founder Engetsu Ryōgen's
     23 Rules for his 'Komusō' Disciples


1735: Kyōto Myōan-ji Temple Chief Administrator
     Kandō Ichiyū's Letter about 'Sankyorei-fu',
     the "Three Non-Dual Spirit Music Pieces"



More Unique Shakuhachi Literature News
as of December 27, 2022, ca. 7 p.m. Danish time:

Now 1.100+ downloads !!!

SOAS PhD, Myōan Shakuhachi player and International Christian University, Tokyo, teacher Matt Gillan's myth-busting online article published by The Yale Institute of Sacred Music has now reached, and passed, 1.100 downloads from the website:

Matt Gillan: "Sankyoku Magazine and the Invention of the Shakuhachi
     as Religious Instrument in Early 20th-Century Japan."
     In: Yale Journal of Music & Religion, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2021.

Direct download link: https://elischolar.library.yale.edu/yjmr/vol7/iss1/2/



Update as of November 3, 2022:

A New Online Article By Kiku Day Has Appeared:

"Mindful playing: a practice research investigation into shakuhachi playing and meditation."
In: Ethnomusicology Forum, No. 31:1, pp. 143-159.
Published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2022.
Direct, active link to the article

Opening paragraph, direct quotation:

"ABSTRACT
This article describes a practice research project investigating how the practice of meditation may be integrated into the playing of shakuhachi, an instrument utilised during the Edo period (1603– 1867) as a tool for spiritual practice by monks of the Fuke sect and later becoming part of the hōgaku (Japanese traditional music) world as a stage instrument. Although we cannot know how the monks were trained to use the shakuhachi in meditation, I have combined my own shakuhachi and meditation experiences, in order to investigate how a shakuhachi player today may approach the incorporation of meditation in their musical practice."
Kiku Day, 2022

COMMENT by T.O., Nov. 3, 2022:

It is indeed very worthy of attention that there exists only one single Edo Period piece of (possible) documentary evidence of the shakuhachi having ever been used as anything like "a special instrument of meditation", namely in an essay written by the early 1800s shakuhachi player Hisamatsu Fūyō, 1791-1871.
The term used is that of 'zen-ki', 禅器, "non-dualistic realization tool".

The idea to re-define the shakuhachi as "a religious/spiritual instrument" only appeared - in numerous writings - as late as during 1920-1930s' interwar Japan.
That has been well described by British musicologist Matt Gillan (full name Matthew Gillan) in an online article published in October, 2021.

And the promotion of the shakuhachi as a socalled "religious instrument of Buddhist meditation" was an invention, adoption and a product of Western New Age and Holism movements arising in the West only during the post-war 2 mid-1960s, beginning in U.S.A., slowly also spreading to Europe, as well, from the North in England and Scandinavia longer towards the South.

It is therefore completely futile to keep theorizing about, and searching for, any imagined, forgotten or hidden "shakuhachi meditation training methods and techniques" ever created, described and practised, by any Edo Period komusō, socalled "Fuke monks", or anyone else, for that matter.

Non-existing, never happened - plainly speaking!




October 30, 2022:

The highly esteemed Japanese music magazine Hōgaku Journal november, 2022,
issue no. 430, features short presentations of Western shakuhachi personalities
Cornelius Boots, Cal./USA, and Torsten Olafsson, Denmark

Introduction by Torsten Olafsson, Oct. 30, 2022:

In Summer, 2022, on behalf of Hōgaku Journal editor Tanaka Takafumi, Kiku Day invited me to produce a presentation of myself for a profile to be printed in a forthcoming issue of the important magazine that covers all aspects of traditional Japanese music.

I was prompted to also tell at length about my research findings, but it turned out that the slot space in the journal was much more limited than expected:
reduced to but half a page.

For you to know what I actually delivered to the Hōgaku Journal, here you have the complete, unabridged and unredacted text in English.
That is, except for a few translations to English of specially selected Japanese quotations meant to be shown in Japanese, only, in the magazine.

Click here to open a PDF-file that contains the full contents of the Profile Status Update, 2022.



September 29, 2022:

”Historical Facts”, ”Beliefs of Players”
– and The Much Challenged “Ethnomusicologist”?

In renowned ethnomusicologist Kiku Day’s Facebook invitation to her September 24, 2022,
Zoom Webinar titled
“The Shakuhachi - its capricious background and the body in performance”,
Kiku – a PhD academic from SOAS in London - asked:

“What is the role of the ethnomusicologist when historical facts and beliefs of players do not correspond?”

Read more in this illustration of a flyer, published by Kiku Day on Facebook on September 7, 2022:

Kiku Day Sept. 24, 2022, Zoom Webinar invitation flyer


Regretfully so, however, the webinar was cancelled in the very last minute, allegedly due to illness.

Visit Kiku Day's Facebook page, URL: https://www.facebook.com/kikuday.

Note: Kiku Day, beside being - among other - an academically trained shakuhachi practice & performance researcher, is also herself a practicing shakuhachi player and a close, longtime student of Okuda Atsuya, b. 1945, of the 'Zensabō' Tradition of Jinashi Shakuhachi.

What may be Kiku Day's realization of some "ethical conflict" regarding that double role of hers in her study activities?

Not to speak of other both ethnomusicologists and shakuhachi players who may be facing a similar ethical conflict and obvious personal dilemma?

Well, dear readers: What do you think? What is you opinon?

Visit Kiku Day's personal website, URL: http://www.kikuday.com/.




EXTRAORDINARY SHAKUHACHI HISTORY NEWS
as of September 25, 2022, 4:45 p.m. Danish time:

1.000+ downloads !!!

SOAS PhD, Myōan Shakuhachi player and International Christian University, Tokyo, teacher Matt Gillan's myth-busting online article published by The Yale Institute of Sacred Music has now reached, soon to pass, 1.001 downloads from the website:

Matt Gillan: "Sankyoku Magazine and the Invention of the Shakuhachi
     as Religious Instrument in Early 20th-Century Japan."
     In: Yale Journal of Music & Religion, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2021.

Direct download link: https://elischolar.library.yale.edu/yjmr/vol7/iss1/2/




WEBSITE WEEKLY STATISTICS as of September 8, 2022:

September 1 through September 8 week's website documented number of visitors:
1.705 in all :-)

Web statistics July 23, 2022, to July 30, 2022

Top 5 countries/regions from which the visits have taken place:
USA: 856, Asia: 302, Europe: 284, Korea/Japan: 99, Russia: 42.



WEBSITE WEEKLY STATISTICS as of September 2, 2022:

August 26 through September 2 week's website documented number of visitors:
1.432 in all :-)

Web statistics July 23, 2022, to July 30, 2022

Top 5 countries/regions from which the visits have taken place:
USA: 604, Asia: 306, Europe: 239, Korea/Japan: 71, Russia: 42.



WEBSITE WEEKLY STATISTICS as of July 30, 2022:

July 23rd through July 30th week's website documented number of visitors:
1.163 in all :-)

Web statistics July 23, 2022, to July 30, 2022

Web statistics July 23, 2022, to July 30, 2022

Top 3 countries/regions from which the visits have taken place:
EUROPE: 378, USA: 242, CHINA: 225.



WEBSITE WEEKLY STATISTICS as of July 2, 2022:

June 25th through 2nd of July week's website documented number of visitors:
987 in all :-)

Web statistics June 25, 2022, to July 2, 2022

Top 5 countries/regions from which the visits took place:
Europe: 312, China: 226, USA: 207, Japan/Korea: 58, Russia: 32.



WEBSITE STATISTICS as of June 27, 2022:

20th through 27th of June week's website documented number of visitors: 888 :-)

Zen-shakuhachi statistics as of June 27, 2022, att 6 p.m.


Top 4 list of Zen-Shakuhachi.dk website visitors:

USA: 317
China: 236
Europe: 203
Japan/South Korea: 46



REMARKABLE SHAKUHACHI NEWS as of June 15, 2022:

900+ downloads!!!

SOAS PhD, Myōan Shakuhachi player and International Christian University, Tokyo, teacher Matt Gillan's myth-busting online article published by The Yale Institute of Sacred Music has now passed 900 downloads from the website:

Matt Gillan: "Sankyoku Magazine and the Invention of the Shakuhachi
     as Religious Instrument in Early 20th-Century Japan."
     In: Yale Journal of Music & Religion, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2021.

Direct download link: https://elischolar.library.yale.edu/yjmr/vol7/iss1/2/

LATEST Shakuhachi NEWS as of April 20, 2022:

SOAS PhD, Myōan Shakuhachi player and International Christian University, Tokyo, music professor Matt Gillan's myth-busting online article published by The Yale Institute of Sacred Music is now enjoying close to 550 downloads from the website:

Matt Gillan: "Sankyoku Magazine and the Invention of the Shakuhachi
     as Religious Instrument in Early 20th-Century Japan."
     In: Yale Journal of Music & Religion, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2021.

Direct download link: https://elischolar.library.yale.edu/yjmr/vol7/iss1/2/



ANNOUNCEMENT of January 1, 2022

A New Improved Version of Zen-Shakuhachi.dk has been Uploaded

Now, the website Zen-Shakuhachi.dk has had its name changed to
'The "Ascetic Shakuhachi" Historical Evidence Research Web Pages'.

In Japanese, 'Shugyō Shakuhachi' rekishi-teki shōko no kenkyū hōmupēji.

Also, the menu navigation options have been changed to the effect that there will now be only
two complete Main Menu Item Lists to work with and to choose from while one is studying
the presented research material:

The list displayed to the left on this very Home/Introduction Page: the "Index" HTML page,
and a separate fully dedicated "All Web Pages on this Website" webpage.

Do note that for every new webpage you are then clicking on the menus to study, these will always open and be shown in a new browser window on your screen, so that the main menu(s) shall always be readily open and accessible.

While the change has been taking place, some webpages may have dissappeared for but a while and then soon reappeared - i.e unless the contents may have been moved to other new or expanded webpages and the original webpages have then been removed.

Sorry about the possible confusion and inconveniences until all the webpages came into place again.

Happy 2022 browsing, searching, and reading Cheers Torsten Mukuteki Olafsson




尺八 関係 全然無 い。

'Zen to shakuhachi: Kankei ga zenzen nai.'

     - "Zen and Shakuhachi?: No Connection at All."

     - Yoshida Mitsukuni, 1921-1991, in March, 1977.


虚無僧 吹禅 関係 全然 ありません。

'Komusō to Suizen: Kankei ga zenzen arimasen.'

     - "Komusō and Suizen?: No Connection at All."

     - Torsten Olafsson, b. 1950, in January, 2022.


正義 重要 です。

'Seigi wa jūyō desu.'

     - "JUSTICE MATTERS"

     - Glenn Louis Kirschner, b. 1961.


歴史的事実 重要

'Rekishi-teki jijitsu ga jūyō.'

     - "HISTORICAL FACTS MATTER"

     - Torsten Olafsson, b. 1950.





January 1, 2022:

In 2021, A New Really Important Article about Shakuhachi History and Ideology
was Published Online, for Free Download:

Matt Gillan: "Sankyoku Magazine and the Invention of the Shakuhachi
     as Religious Instrument in Early 20th-Century Japan."
     In: Yale Journal of Music & Religion, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2021.

Direct download link: https://elischolar.library.yale.edu/yjmr/vol7/iss1/2/

Do note, in any case, that there does not exist any documentary evidence of any solid, well established and long-lasting "affiliation" between a socalled "Fuke Sect" and the Edo Period Rinzai Zen Institution - except for some however quite questionable "connection" between the former Myōan Temple in Kyōto and the Kōkoku Temple in Yura, Edo Province of Kii, present Wakayama Prefecture.

Also, it is noteworthy that neither is the 1928-30 term 'Sui-shō-zen', 吹簫禅,
nor the 1950s term 'Suizen', 吹禅, to be found in any of the numerous 1921-1944 'Sankyoku' articles inspected.

No matter what you may feel like speculating and wishing for, do not be mistaken:
Matt Gillan, who earned his PhD from SOAS in London, clearly confirms in his study that the shakuhachi was "invented as religious instrument" in Japan only as late as years after
World War One.


These statements quoted from Matt Gillan's Conclusion in his essay on page 39 are especially noteworthy:

"The shakuhachi is a hugely misunderstood instrument both in Japan and abroad.
As Deeg notes, the common image of the shakuhachi as an "instrument of Zen meditation" is not supported by much more than circumstantial evidence in pre-twentieth-century Japanese history.

As Deeg and other writers have stated, these kinds of images are often romanticized Orientalist inventions by Western audiences and shakuhachi players, and have little to do with the cultural position of the shakuhachi in Japan at any historical period."
- - -
"It seems beyond dispute that, at the very least, Edo-period shakuhachi players carried out mendicant activities based around a network of “temples,” and that they claimed a lineage that stretched back to the ninth-century Chinese Zen monk Puhua/Fuke.
All of these elements were referenced by the early twentieth-century protagonists I have discussed. My slightly provocative use of the word “invention” in the title of this essay is not meant to imply that the Edo-period shakuhachi had no cultural meanings that we might retrospectively describe with words such as “religion” or shūkyō.
Rather, it is clear that religious meanings of the shakuhachi were socially constructed in pre–World War II Japan using new religious terminology and conceptions that were very much of their time, and were implicitly connected with Japanese modernity and its place in the early twentieth-century world."
- - -
"Although the shakuhachi’s official religious origins and affiliations are unclear, the instrument was hugely influential in the development of modern conceptions of musical spirituality in early twentieth-century Japan."
                                                    Matt Gillan, 2021




No: Zen Priests did not "use the shakuhachi as a tool for meditation in order to reach enlightenment during the Edo Period" (1603-1867). Period!

'Komusō' were not "Zen Priests". Period!

Read much more on these two webpages, updated yet once again on October 15, 2021:

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

Furthermore, the Edo Period Kyōto Daibutsu Myōan-ji paid (!) the Kōkoku Temple in Yura
for their fake "monks" to be fraudfully "ordained" and given the tonsure - read more here:

1705: The Kōkoku Temple Ordination Platform
     and Kyōto Myōan-ji's Fake "Chief Monks" -
     In the Words of Makihara Ichirō, August 10, 2007





Latest new web page upload: November 24, 2021

1974: The Year of the End of 'Shakuhachi Suizen'
     - When the Term 'Suizen' was Kidnapped, Hi-jacked,
     and Degraded into Mere "New Age", "Healing",
     "Holism", and "Mindfulness" Meaninglessness





きな 吹禅

'ŌKI-na SUIZEN no USO' - The Big 'Suizen' Lie

The Pathetic Suizen Hoax and Conspiracy

This is a research project in continuous progress - webpage last updated
on January 8, 2022, with more false and even bordering on fraud statements about 'Suizen', "Shakuhachi Meditation", and Ascetic Shakuhachi history and ideology in general:

1974 ...: Untruthful 'Suizen' & "Shakuhachi Meditation"
     Information & Assertions, East & West
     - Presented in Western Languages, Primarily





中塚竹禅 - NAKATSUKA CHIKUZEN

In Memory of - in Warm Respect for - the late, honorable Nakatsuka Chikuzen,
October 3, 1887 - May 5, 1944.

Kinkoryū shakuhachi shikan, title page, 1979   Kinkoryū shakuhachi shikan, 1979, offered by Nihon no Furuhon-ya

'Kinko-ryū shakuhachi shikan,' 1979.
Left: Title page. Right: 2nd hand copy once offered by Nihon no Furuhon-ya.

Japanese title: "中塚竹禅: 琴古流尺八史観"
'Nakatsuka Chikuzen: Kinko-ryū shakuhachi shikan'
"A Historical View of the Kinko Tradition of Shakuhachi"
Publ. by Nihon Ongaku-sha, Tokyo, 1979


Nakatsuka Chikuzen was an important representative of Japan's pre-WW2 Kinko-ryū Shakuhachi tradition and music movement.

During the late 1930s, his sincere desire to research and delve deeply into the history of the shakuhachi led him to travel, locate, meticulously copy, analyze and present his comments on a multitude of preserved books, documents and texts related to the shakuhachi covering a period of more than 1200 years.

Some Western researchers and writers dealing with shakuhachi history have tended, quite unrightfully, to bagatellize and minimalize Nakatsuka Chikuzen's contributions and merits as a "shakuhachi history" scholar".

For example, renowned American musicologist and professor William P. Malm *, who as early as in 1959 stated that Nakatsuka Chikuzen's research was "incomplete", a viewpoint that has later been echoed by US citizen Dean Delbene. **
It actually appears to be quite clear that very few present-day shakuhachi historians and writers can ever have studied Nakatsuka's work in particularly thorough, exhaustive and critical detail, this being the case outside of Japan, especially.

The fact is that no one will ever get to the bottom of the extremely comprehensive preserved research material illuminating shakuhachi history and ideology.

Prof. Malm is in a way somewhat excused, however, as Nakatsuka Chikuzen's numerous articles in the music magazine 'Sankyoku', 1936-39, could not have been well known, be it available at all, in the West as early as during the 1950s, I presume.

Front cover of 'Sankyoku' No. 188, November, 1937   Nakatsuka Chikuzen in Gendai ongaku taikan, 1927, page 185

Left: Front cover of the music magazine 'Sankyoku', 三曲, No. 188, November, 1937.
In this particular issue you find the first known reprints of both the 'Kaidō honsoku' document of 1628, and Isshi Bunshu's letter to Sandō Mugetsu dating from the early 1640s.
Right: Nakatsuka Chikuzen in 'Gendai ongaku taikan', 1927, page 185.
Source: Gunnar Linder Ph.D. dissertation, 2012, page 76.
Link to complete PDF-version of thesis:
http://su.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:488776/FULLTEXT01.pdf


However, after 1979, when the publishing company Nihon Ongaku-sha re-published the entire bulk of Nakatsuka's original 'Sankyoku' articles in one, single impressive and authoritative 600+ pages book, there has been absolute no excuse for any degree of rejecting the central importance of Nakatsuka Chikuzen's contributions in the field of shakuhachi history and ideology research.

It is in this essential book, that I was fortunate to obtain in the Spring of 1983, I discovered the two above mentioned source documents, reprinted and commented on on pages 268 through 273.

Ascetic shakuhachi history and idiology research files and material c/o T. Olafsson

Ascetic shakuhachi history and idiology research files and material c/o T. Olafsson

Ascetic shakuhachi history and idiology research files and material c/o T. Olafsson

Ascetic shakuhachi history and ideology research files and material c/o T. Olafsson

References, links:

*) Scroll, search for Prof. Malm's text about the 'Komusō' here

**) Dean Del Bene's blog page about Prof. Malm's writings in 1959


Click here to study Yatō Osamu's complete list showing chapters and parts contained in Nakatsuka Chikuzen's essential 1979 book

Kind regards, Torsten Olafsson, November 29, 2021





Zen-shakuhachi.dk Weekly Website Statistics from July 31, 2021, to August 7, 2021

Web statistics July 31, 2021, to August 7, 2021,

Top 3 countries/regions from which the visits took place:
Asia (China/India): 442, U.S.A.: 320, Europe: 91.





"吹禅"?

'SUI-ZEN' "Translated" to English as "Blowing Zen" ... ?

- Well, first of all: "Zen" is not "an Explanation! "Zen" is not "a Religion"!

"Zen" is just "a Method" to Improve and Further Refine,
and Free, Your Mind, Your Being, Your Existence - From Dualism ...

Well, really ... Using the same word or term in a "translation" as in the original text
is not a "translation", the result is devoid of meaning.

A more proper, academically and philologically fitting "interpretation" of 'Sui-zen' could be:
"Flute-blown Meditation", or "Flute-driven Mental Training".

The Japanese 'kanji' for 'sui' is also used in the verb 'fuku', "吹く", "to blow", both when f.i. the wind is blowing, 'kaze ga fuku', "風が吹く", or when you blow and play a wind instrument, 'kangakki wo fuku', "管楽器を吹く",
'Sui-zen' could also be re-phrased and read as "Shakuhachi Asceticism", or "Ascetic Bamboo Flute Practice".
Or, even better: Do not "translate" - just leave 'Suizen' as it is, and explain it in a note, instead.

"Asceticism" comes from Greek "áskesis" and means "Exercise, Training" - which is potentially an equivalent of Japanese 'Shu-gyō', "修行", "Ascetic Practices, Mental Training", and 'Shūyō', "修養", "Self-Improvement, Cultivation".

The term and concept 'Sui-zen' was invented only as late as after 1950, among a small group of both "genuine" Buddhist monks and practitioners of the Taizan-ha Way of Shakuhachi Asceticism at the Myōan Temple in Kyōto.

So, obviously, 'Sui-zen' could never have been practiced at anytime before 1950, be that during the Edo Period, 1603-1868, nor even less during the 13th century, as more and more writers and websites keep postulating.
'Sui-zen', therefore, can not be described as an "ancient tradition". Period

However, sadly so, with the 1974 release of the Columbia Japan KX 7001-03 triple-LP set
'Sui-zen', that new "fancy term" very soon went viral and nothing but "New Age fashion", first spreading within shakuhachi circles in Japan, then disseminating in the West, too, the term becoming more and more diluted, while its original semantics and "ideological essence" have now, eventually, been pretty much lost - not least "thanks to" that "fraudful" WWW Internet, as well.

Read more about 'Suizen' history matters here - an ongoing research project:

1950s ... : The Origin of 'Suizen' at Kyōto Myōan-ji:
     Kobayashi Shizan, Tomimori Kyozan,
     Tanikita Muchiku, Yasuda Tenzan,
     Hirazumi Taizan, Koizumi Ryōan,
     Fukumoto Kyoan, Yoshimura Sōshin a.o.


Links to closely related webpages:

1852: Kyōto Myōan-ji's 32nd 'Kansu' Rodō Genkyō's
     Commandments Regarding 'Komusō' Begging Practice
     and 'Sui-teki shugyō' - and the Possible Origin
     of the Now so Very Misused Term 'Suizen'?


1974 ...: Untruthful 'Suizen' & "Shakuhachi Meditation"
     Information & Assertions, East & West
     - Presented in Western Languages, Primarily


1861 ... : Shakuhachi, Fuke & 'Komusō' Narratives
     Authored and Published in Western Languages


Last updated on June 2, 2021




More Recently Updated Webpages as of May, 2021:

1549 ... The Catholic Christian Century in Japan
     & the Temple Patron Household System





Research-related Recommendations:

Dan E. Mayers, Esq.:

"Torsten Olafsson taught himself, unaided, to read ancient Japanese in order to complete the following thesis: an astonishing scholarly feat.

The conclusions of the thesis are not widely accepted by Japanese scholars but are interesting and challenging, throwing new light on an area in which Japanese scholarship has tended to become all too formal.

Those wishing further scholarly enlightenment should consult the original thesis, of which this is a very brief and incomplete summary. Only through study of the original thesis can a full appreciation be obtained of the scholarship involved."

Dan E. Mayers, Esq., d. 2014, editor, in The Annals of the International Shakuhachi Vol. II, 2005, page 138.


Tsukitani Tsuneko:

"The body of shakuhachi researchers in Japan is relatively small; names that recur in the bibliography include Kamisangō, Tsukitani/Tukitani, Seyama and Simura/Shimura.
It is regrettable that the most conspicuous work is being produced not in Japan
but by scholars abroad. (See the works by Fritsch, Gutzwiller, Keister, Lee, Olafsson.)"

Prof. Tsukitani Tsuneko, d. 2010, in The Ashgate Research Companion to Japanese Music, 2008, page 168.





"普化" "覚心" "虚無僧" "吹禅"?

証明 された 歴史的 関係 全然 有 りません

'Fuke', 'Kakushin', 'Komusō' & ... 'Suizen'?
No Proven Historical Connections Exist at All!

Forget It! No Proof, No Common Sense at Play There ...

The findings and conclusions presented on these research web pages are all based on
the actual concrete surviving, academically trustworthy written and pictorial source materials:

'Fuke', known as the monk 'P'u-k'o' in 9th century Buddhist T'ang China, most probably never even lived, to be frank.
Anyhow, how about the "idea" that some Chinese flute player named Chang would really have made up a melody, allegedly inspired by P'u-k'o's ringing a Buddhist monk beggar's bell, that could ever have survived til' this very day, in Japan?
Of course: Proof of anything like that, stretching over a timespan of almost 1200 years, is absolutely non-existant.

'Kakushin' lived in 13th century Japan and could never have imagined how, about 4 centuries later, his good name and reputation was destined to suffer from being fraudfully "hi-jacked"/"kidnapped" to play a very central role in a grand fake 'shakuhachi' "history" fabrication fraud executed by a steadily growing number of desperate unemployed 'samurai' warrior class members becoming "half-lay half-monk" beggars.

So called 'Komusō' "Pseudo-Monks of Non-Duality and Noneness" did not appear in Japan until after the middle decades of the 17th century at the earliest.

The concept of 'Suizen' was introduced into "modern" 'shakuhachi' ideology only after 1950 by a small group of genuine, dedicated Buddhist monks and Myōan Taizan-ha shakuhachi ascetics at the then newly inaugurated, rehabilitated 'Kyorei-zan Myōan-ji', now located in SE Kyōto within the compounds of the Tōfuku Zen Temple.

Those are the plain and simple facts.



The Top 15 List of Truly Embarrassing Pathetic and Fraudful Shakuhachi History
     Fabrications, Falsifications, Untruths, Lies ... & Fancy Fairy Tales

There exists no proof nor even the slightest suggestive historical evidence of any kind that
any of the below listed widespread, common claims and statements are "true", have any
"Merit on Earth", whatsoever!


Untruth #1 - 'Suizen' is "an ancient tradition of playing Japanese bamboo flute
     as a form of meditation" ...

Untruth #2 - A "Fuke Sect" was founded by a 9th century Chinese monk named 'Pu-hua' ...

Untruth #3 - A flute melody titled 'Kyorei' was created by some Chinese civilian named
     'Chang Po' in the early 9th century ...

Untruth #4 - A Japanese Shingon monk nicknamed 'Kakushin' brought 'Kyorei' to Japan
     accompanied by four "Buddhist laymen" - and then "invented" 'Suizen' ...

Untruth #5 - A disciple of Kakushin's named 'Kichiku' created two flute tunes titled
     'Mukaiji' and 'Kokū' ...

Untruth #6 - Kichiku's disciple 'Myōfu' established a "temple" in 1335 and called it 'Myōan-ji' ...

Untruth #7 - A defeated Japanese samurai general became the first so called 'Komusō' ...

Untruth #8 - A Japanese dictator granted special privileges to 'Komusō' in 1614 ...

Untruth #9 - 'Komusō' formed a "Buddhist sect" titled 'Fuke-shū' in the early 1600s ...

Untruth #10 - 'Komusō' blew a bamboo flute named 'shakuhachi' for "meditation"
     since the early 1600s ...

Untruth #11 - A 'Komusō' "temple" was founded on the Southern island Kyūshū in 1640 ...

Untruth #12 - A "Buddhist sect" titled 'Fuke-shū' was officially acknowledged in 1677 ...

Untruth #13 - By the eighteenth century, the mendicant monks - who now called themselves
     'Komusō' 'monks of emptiness' - - - were divided into about eighty regional temples
     around the country ...

Untruth #14 - The Myōan-ji in Kyōto "was founded by the 'Komusō' and Zen master 'Kichiku'
     (known honorarily as 'Kyochiku Ryōen Zenji')" ...

Untruth #15 - The Myōan-ji in Kyōto "is the former headquarters and the premier pilgrimage
     site of the Fuke sect of Rinzai Zen" ...


And so, and so, and so on ... there's no end to it - none of the above never, ever happened ...


We in the West, outside of Japan, those many of us who once - more than 50 years ago - became fascinated with that enchanting, mesmerizing sound of the shakuhachi - we were both misled and even downright fooled from the very beginning, sadly speaking.

And the deception continues to govern the scene, getting worse and worse, on and on!



No matter what you may call it, these are the plain facts:

Overall conclusion that has manifested itself
     as an inevitable result of the present research project

The asserted history and alleged characteristics of Ascetic Shakuhachi Culture in Japan have been most purposefully "constructed" since the very early beginnings.

This more or less constantly ongoing activity of deliberate source falsification, forging and fanciful myth fabrication is taking place still, this very day - generated by "professionals" and "amateurs" alike, inside as well as outside of Japan - be they both shakuhachi musicians and players, musicologists and "history" writers, book editors and publishers - beside a wide variety of enough so sincerely devoted shakuhachi "admirers" in general.

Very little indeed of what you can find and read in most of the books and articles, in phonogram cover notes and on the internet - be that on websites or weblogs presented in a variety of languages - can actually be soberly corroborated when first one is investigating the totality of known, preserved text and picture source materials etc. - the multitude, comprehensiveness and complexity of which is not only aweinspiring but truly terrifying.

The very most central and important fact having now been revealed is that there were absolutely no socalled 'Komusō', 虚無僧, "Pseudo-monks of Non-Duality & None-ness", in existence and action in Japan before the middle decades of 17th century, at the earliest!

Neither did the Edo Period 'Komusō' in their writings about themselves, nor any outsiders writing about the 'Komusō', present, document and share any kind of specific, collective and descriptive term for any ascetic use of the 'shakuhachi' for "mind-body enlightenment therapeutic" purposes - a.k.a. "meditation" in the West.

Anything like that only became "reality" in Japan after 1950, when 'Suizen' was, eventually, invented and established by the Myōan Temple in Kyōto to characterize and represent the extraordinary original ascetic shakuhachi culture celebrated and preserved within the circles of the Myōan Taizan-ha Tradition of 'Fuke Shakuhachi'.




修行尺八 修養尺八

     versus

演奏尺八 技巧尺八

'Shugyō' & 'Shūyō' Shakuhachi
     versus
'Ensō' & 'Gikō' Shakuhachi

"Ascetic" & "Self-Cultivation" Shakuhachi Breathing
     versus
"Entertainment" & "Show-Off" Shakuhachi Fingering?

     - Do You Know - and Appreciate - the Difference, Possibly, at All ... ?



FU-SHŌ FU-METSU

不生不滅

"NON-BORN NON-PERISHED"

According to Yamamoto Morihide who compiled and partly authored the famous 1795 Kyōto publication Kyotaku denki kokujikai, 虚鐸傳記国字解, this definitely the most fundamental principle underlying the teachings of all the schools of Mahayana Buddhism, including Chinese Ch'an and Japanese "Zen", was meant to be calligraphed on the wooden board that was, allegedly, placed on the grave of a deceased 'Komusō', 虚無僧, a "Pseudo-Monk of Non-Duality & None-ness".



MYŌ-AN SŌSŌ

明暗雙雙

"The Myō-an Pair of Light & Darkness Duality"

明頭来 明頭打
暗頭来 暗頭打
四方八面来 旋風打
虚空来 連架打


"The Bright Aspect of Duality appears,
The Bright Aspect of Duality hits,
The Dark Aspect of Duality appears,
The Dark Aspect of Duality hits,
Appearing from Anywhere & Everywhere,
Whirlwinds hit,
Non-Duality appears
- a Harvest Knife cuts through ..."

虚空, 'Ko-Kū': "Empty Sky"/"Emptiness" = "Absence of Duality" = "Non-Duality"

Ascetic shakuhachi practice is, simply, nothing but training and freeing yourself to non-egoistically appreciate the Essentially Non-Dual Nature of Ultimate Reality.



A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT as of April 27, 2021 (renewed)

史料 / 資料

SHIRYŌ / SHIRYŌ

Historical Materials Like Documents & Pictures etc.
= Documentary Evidence = Possible "Proof" or Possible "Disproof",
or Sometimes Only "Un-Proof" ...
i.e In Full Recognition of "The Three Logical States", namely,
1) Proven, 2) Disproved or 3) Unproven.

During the course of Spring and Summer 2021, a new, major expansion of this website is being prepared, realized and eventually publicized, case by case, step by step, webpage by webpage.

Many hitherto largely unnoticed surviving source texts and essential quotations are now continuously being added to this site, not least dating from the middle years of the 1600s, the time when the so called 'Komusō', 虚無僧, the "Pseudo-monks of the Non-Dual & None-ness", made their actual very first appearances in Japan.

Do note, that this website and the research project being illuminated here is presenting textual and pictorial documentary evidence ("facts") while, not least:

Debunking plain fiction, mere speculation, romantic wishful thinking, and utter non-truth.

Remember: We can only "know" and should only publicly share information that can be convincingly evidenced and proven, disproved - or un-proven - from truthfully and honestly presented, logically analyzed, and credible surviving source materials.

So, for any claim & mere postulation that anyone may make and share regarding shakuhachi history, ideology and practices in general - and shakuhachi asceticism in particular:

Show us your proof, the absolutely irrefutable textual and pictorial evidence of yours - if any such really exists?

Cheers Torsten Mukuteki Olafsson, Denmark



Prof. YOSHIDA MITSUKUNI, 吉田光邦, stating in a private conversation in March, 1977:


尺八 関係 全然無 い。

'Zen to shakuhachi: Kankei ga zenzen nai.'

     - "Zen and Shakuhachi?: No Connection at All."

     - Yoshida Mitsukuni, 1921-1991:
Since 1977 a highly esteemed professor of Science & Technology at Kyōto University who also wrote outstanding books and articles about Japanese Arts and Aesthetics.
Quoted from a private communication in Kyōto in Early Spring, 1977



On this website and in this research project the UTTER NON-ZEN-se in traditional 'Komusō' shakuhachi music "historianship" is being investigated and exposed



The CENTRAL 6 W's:

WHAT? WHERE? WHEN? WHO? HOW? WHY?

何事  何所  何時  何者  何様  何故

- those are the serious issues and proper questions to be truly honestly addressed and most soberly replied to ...



THE ESSENCE of ASCETIC SHAKUHACHI IDEOLOGY and PRACTICES:

不二 不生 無孔笛 修行 尺八 吹禅

Fu-ni Fu-shō Mu-ku-teki Shugyō Shakuhachi Suizen

Non-Dual Un-Born No Hole Flute Ascetic Practice Bamboo Flute Breathing Contemplation




अद्वैत and निर्वाण

ADVAITA ("Non-Duality") & NIRVANA ("Perfect Stilness", lit.: 'Breathed Out'):

The Ultimate Original Inspiration for Shakuhachi Asceticism

"Nirvana is a freeing from the chains of a false sense of individuality.
Nirvana is a state of nonduality (Advaita or Advaya);
a state where the illusion of a false sense of "I" (Parikalpita Swabhava, Fen-bie-xing – in Chinese) does not exist.

Expressed differently, liberation from the illusion of separateness
of the individual Self from the Whole is Nirvana.
Freedom is, Nirvana is, Truth is."

     Dr. Amartya Kumar Bhattacharya, 2019



Latest update as of November 11, 2020:

1653 to 1687: The Shōgunate Takes Legislative Measures
     to Regulate & Control Society Including All Social Groups
     Namely: Warrior/Samurai, Farmer, Craftsman, Merchant,
     Religious, Imperial - and, not least: "Outcast"


Latest updates as of November 3, 2020:

1649: Hiroshima Fief Authorities Issue Regulation
     to Control 'Komosō' and Other "Troublemakers"


1852: Kyōto Myōan-ji's 32nd 'Kansu' Rodō Genkyō's
     Commandments Regarding 'Komusō' Begging Practice
     and 'Sui-teki shugyō' - and the Possible Origin
     of the Now so Very Misused Term 'Suizen'?


Latest update as of October 24, 2020 - important additions re the terms
'Kisoku shugyō' (1818), 'Sui-teki shugyō' (1852), 'Sui-shō-zen' (1930),
and - 'Suizen' (after 1950):

Chronology of Ascetic Shakuhachi
     Ideology-related Terms, Concepts & Names




Latest update as of October 18, 2020 - significant new web page:

1657: 'Tōzoku-jin sansaku jōjō' -
     Shōgunal Order to Investigate 'Komusō' and Other "Outlaws"




Latest update as of August 21, 2020 - significant new web page:

The Chinese Ch'an Monk P'u-k'o, Ikkyū Sōjun, the 'Komosō'
     Beggars & the Imperialistic Catholic Christian Intruders
     - the Rōnin Samurai, the 'Fuke-Komosō', the 1640 All Sects
     Inspection Bureau, the Danka Seido System, the 'Komusō',
     the Kyotaku denki, the Kyōto Myōan Temple -
      - The Non-False Narrative




Latest update as of August 18, 2020 - significant new web page:

ca. 1665-1675?: The Kyotaku denki Original Text, 1795/1981 Ed.,
     the Kyotaku denki kokujikai Illustrations,
     and Tsuge Gen'ichi's 1977 Translation




Latest update as of July 24, 2020 - more information added:

1646 ... The Hottō Kokushi / Kakushin Legend:
     "The Four Buddhist Laymen" & the "disciple" Kichiku




Latest update as of July 12, 2020 - commentary expanded:

ca. 1665-1675?: The Kyotaku denki Fairy Tale:
     Shinchi Kakushin, Kichiku & Kyōto Myōan-ji




Latest update as of July 7, 2020 - a new comprehensive web page:

ca. 600 to ca. 1480: Pre-Komosō Non-Duality
     The Non-Dualism of Huineng, Shih-t'ou, P'u-k'o, Dōgen,
     Ming-chi, Ikkyū, Rōan & Rakuami




Latest update as of July 5, 2020 - more text and links added:

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




Latest update as of July 4, 2020 - about the 'Komusō' bath house temples:

1871: Edo Period 'Komusō' Bath Houses ... and Bamboo Tea Whisk Making ...
     Did the Meiji Government's November 30th Ban on the so called "Fuke Sect"
     also Put an Abrupt End to a Thriving 'Komusō' Bath House Temple Enterprise?




Latest update as of July 1, 2020 - new web page:

1852: Kyōto Myōan-ji's 32nd 'Kanshu' Rodō Genkyō's
     Commandments Regarding 'Komusō' Begging Practice
     and 'Sui-teki shugyō' - and the Possible Origin
     of the Now so Misused Term 'Suizen'?




Latest update as of June 30, 2020 - web page expanded:

The Amazing "Fuke Zenji, Fuke Sect
     & Fuke Shakuhachi" Legend Fabrication Hoax




Latest update as of June 29, 2020 - more text added:

1627-1629: Takuan Sōhō, the Purple Robe Affair, the
     Concept of 'Mu-shin Mu-nen' and the Myōan sōsō-shū




Latest updates as of June 27, 2020:
The monumental Meiji Period encyclopedia Koji ruien
and its biased and deceptive selection of sources about 'Fuke-shū' and 'Shakuhachi'

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


The complete 'Koji ruien' chapter about 'Fuke-shū'

The complete 'Koji ruien' chapter about 'Shakuhachi'



Latest updates as of June 21, 2020 - new text quotations presented:

1486: The Ōuchi Clan's Ban
     on Komosō, Jugglers & Monkey Keepers


1571: The Term 'Komosō shakuhachi' appears
     in Top-ranking Imperial Court Minister
     Yamashina Tokitsugu's Diary "Tokitsugu's Chronicle"


The Komosō & Fuke-sō / Fuke-komosō Sources



Latest updates as of June 16, 2020:


The Chinese Ch'an Monk P'u-k'o, Ikkyū Sōjun, the Komosō
     Beggars & the Imperialistic Catholic Christian Intruders
     - the Rōnin Samurai, the 'Fuke-Komosō', the 1640 All Sects
     Inspection Bureau, the Danka Seido System, the 'Komusō',
     the Kyōto Myōan Temple - and: the Kyotaku denki ... !
     - The Non-False Narrative


The Amazing Fuke Zenji / Fuke Shakuhachi /
     Fuke-shū Legend Fabrication Hoax




Latest updates as of May 20, 2020 - new texts:

1748: Chikamatsu's Play Kanadehon Chūshingura
     and the 'Komusō' Shakuhachi Piece 'Tsuru no sugomori'


1646: Abbot Isshi Bunshu's Letter to Sandō Mugetsu
     - the 1981 Kowata Suigetsu Version of the Text


Latest updates as of May 20, 2020 - important new information and pictures added:

1646: Abbot Isshi Bunshu's Letter to a
     "Proto-Komusō" named Sandō Mugetsu


1735: Kyōto Myōan-ji Temple Chief Administrator
     Kandō Ichiyū's Letter about 'Sankyorei-fu',
     the "Three Non-Dual Spirit Music Pieces"


1628: The Kaidō honsoku Fuke-komosō Credo

ca. 1640?: The Kaidō honsoku "Version 2" Copy

1650s?: The Kaidō honsoku "Version 3" Copy



Latest update as of April 14, 2020 - a new web page:

ca. 630: Did the Imperial Music Master
     Lü Ts'ai really Invent "the Chinese shakuhachi"?




Latest update as of April 5, 2020 - a new web page further updated:

A Critical Look at the European Shakuhachi Society's
     Official Online "History And Origins" and "Glossary" Web Pages





ZEN-SHAKUHACHI.DK WEBSITE ANNUAL STATISTICS
Feb. 11, 2019, to Feb. 10, 2020

zen-shakuhachi.dk website full year statistics for Feb. 11, 2019, to Feb. 10, 2020: Visits

zen-shakuhachi.dk website full year statistics for Feb. 11, 2019, to Feb. 10, 2020: Visits




ZEN-SHAKUHACHI.DK WEBSITE WEEKLY STATISTICS Nov. 19 to Nov. 26, 2019

zen-shakuhachi.dk website one week statistics for Nov. 19 through Nov 26, 2019: Visits

zen-shakuhachi.dk website one week statistics for Nov. 19 through Nov 26, 2019: Visits

zen-shakuhachi.dk website one week statistics for Nov. 19 to Nov. 26, 2019: Visits




虚無僧

Who was the very first so called 'Komusō',
     - "Pseudo-Monk of the Non-Dual & None-ness"?

     - When, Where - Why?




虚無僧寺

When was the very first so called 'Komusō' "temple" established?

     - Where, by Whom - and Why? How was it financed?




虚無僧 風呂寺

Did you know that some, many, maybe even all of the so called Edo Period
"Komusō temples" were in fact "professional bath house temples"?

     - How come that that has always been kept quite a deep secret?




臨在禅宗

Do you really - seriously - believe that all Edo Period
'Komusō' were "Rinzai Zen Buddhist Devotees"
- and: even "Rinzai Zen Buddhist Priests"?

     - How could that in any logical way have been the case? Show us the evidence, please ...




根竹尺八

Who created the very first 'Konjiku', or "Root-end", Shakuhachi?

     - When, Where - Why?




本曲

Who created the very first 'Honkyoku' - the ascetic shakuhachi solos of the 'Komusō'?

     - When, Where - why?




普化宗門

Was the so called 'Fuke Shūmon', "Fuke Sect Religious Denomination", ever
in any way a true, genuine "Sect of Rinzai Zen Buddhism"?

     - No, to be completely honest: That is simply impossible. Forget it.




薦僧 - 普化僧 - 普化薦僧 - 虚無僧

KOMO-SŌ, 'FUKE-SŌ', 'FUKE-KOMOSŌ' - or 'KOMU-SŌ'?

     - That's the Question!

The history of the 'Komusō' and the so called "Fuke Shakuhachi Tradition" is first of all
a deliberately deceptive pseudo-historical narrative of continuous fabrication and very purposeful falsification of alleged "written evidence", from the very Beginnings till the very Present.




浪人虚無僧 - 托鉢虚無僧 - 風呂虚無僧
- 本曲虚無僧 - 歌舞伎虚無僧

Rōnin KOMUSŌ - Takuhatsu KOMUSŌ - O'Furo KOMUSŌ
- Honkyoku KOMUSŌ - Kabuki KOMUSŌ

     - Do You Know the Difference - How to Distinguish?



KOMO-SŌ

薦僧

Era of the "Mat Monks": ca. 1470? to ca. 1550

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.





FUKE KOMO-SŌ/FUKE-SŌ

普化薦僧 / 普化菰僧 / 普化僧

Era of the "Fuke Mat Monks" / "Fuke Monks": ca. 1550 to 1628? (or ca. 1640?)


ca. 1550-1560:

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

Details from the 'Ryūmon bunko no Setsuyōshū'
Here, for the first time in "recorded history", we see the two characters for the 9th century Chinese Ch'an/Zen monk 'P'u-k'o'/'Fuke' to be pronounced as 'Fuke'+'sō', フケ
, "Fuke monk",
and presented as being synonymous with 'komo-sō', コモ
, "Mat monk".

Library of Nara Women's University
Mid-1500s - precise date unclear


Second half of the 16th Century:

Komosō playing the hitoyogiri in a street, close-up

'Komosō' playing a short 'hitoyogiri' flute in a street
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).
Source: Tokyo National Museum


Early Edo/Kan'ei Period before 1630:

Two 'Fuke Komosō' in a painting of a Parasol-maker & Two Komosō by Iwasa Matabei, before 1630
Painting of a Parasol-maker & 2 Fuke-komosō

Painting of a Parasol-maker & Two Fuke-komosō
by Iwasa Matabei, 1578-1650.

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

Official however highly questionable museological title of the work:

傘張 虚無僧図
'Kasa-hari • komusō-zu',
"Picture of an Umbrella Maker & Komusō".
Source: The Nezu Art Museum, Tōkyō.




KOMUSŌ

虚無僧

Era of the Edo Period "Pseudo-Monks of the Non-Dual & None-ness":
From 1640? (or perhaps 1628?) to November 30, 1871



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' -
"Pseudo-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:

Two komusō in Jinrin kinmō zu-i, 1690

Two 'Komusō' playing, thin vertical flutes.
In: 'Ukiyo monogatari', 1661 or 1665/1666 - Maki/Vol. 4, Story 3.
By Asai Ryōi.
Source: Exact original version unknown.


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


1791:

A 'Komusō' receiving alms

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


1806:

A 'komusō' by Katsushika Hokusai

Wood cut print of a 'Komusō' by Katsushika Hokusai, 1760-1849.
No. 53, 'Kusatsu', in: 'Tōkaidō gojūsan tsugi',
"53 Stations of the Tōkaidō", 1806 edition.
Source: www.hokusai-katsushika.org


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.
Source: Gustav A. Spieß, 1864.




MYŌAN KYŌKAI KOMUSŌ

明暗協会虚無僧

Era of the Myōan Society "Pseudo-Monks of the Non-Dual & Noneness": 1890 to 1950

Probably around 1900:

Hand-coloured komusō photograph by Nobukuni Enami, early 1900s

Early Myōan Society 'Komusō' by an unknown photographer. Possibly around 1900.
Source: flickr.com.


Early 1900s:

Hand-coloured komusō photograph by Nobukuni Enami, early 1900s

Hand-coloured 'Myōan Kyōkai 'Komusō' photograph by Nobukuni Enami, early 1900s.
Sources: io9.gizmodo.com & pinterest.com.



1924-1927:

Kyō komusō 1924-1927

Kyōto 'Komusō'
Name of photographer unknown.
Source: https://hznews.hangzhou.com.cn/wghz/content/2019-10/11/content_7282303_0.htm




POST WW2 KYŌTO MYŌAN-JI KOMUSŌ

京都明暗寺

Era of the "new" Kyōto Myōan Temple "Pseudo-Monks of the Non-Dual & Noneness":
1950 to the Present


Possibly 1960s-1970s?:

Hand-coloured komusō photograph by Nobukuni Enami, early 1900s

Two 'Komusō' in front of the Kyōto Myōan Temple Gate.
Source: myouan-doushukai.org


2009:

A komusō at the Himeji Castle Matsuri, August 1, 2009

A "modern" Myōan 'Komusō' at the Himeji Castle Festival in Hyōgo Prefecture, August 1, 2009.
Source: Wikimedia Commons.




Early 1870s:

The old, worn Kyōto Myōan-ji gate - disassembled sometime after 1871 - 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: Torsten O., March 13, 2019






Ozawa Seizan Myōan 1.8 shakuhachi

1.8 Myōan Taizan-ha shakuhachi made by Ozawa Seizan, 1939-2012





Mu-ku-teki Suizen      Myōan Taizan signature & seal

'MU-KU-TEKI SUI ZEN'
"No-Hole-Flute Breathing Contemplation"

Calligraphy signed 'Myōan Taizan'


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