Shakuhachi



「禅尺八」歴史的証拠の研究   ホームページ
      "Zen Shakuhachi" rekishi-teki shōko no kenkyū hōmupēji

The "Zen Shakuhachi" Historical Evidence Research Web Pages

Introduction & Guide to the Critical Study and Substantiation of Early Ascetic Shakuhachi Culture in Particular:
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

Sitemap - All Menu Items List

Newly Added Extra Web Page Menus


T.O. Profile / Bio / CV

     Torsten Olafsson


About this Research Project

Preliminary Realizations & Conclusions





Important new webpages as of Spring,      Summer & Autumn, 2021:


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

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'?


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


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


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


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



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



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


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: The Early Setsuyō-shū Dictionaries


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


1621-1625: The Neo-Confucian Scholar Hayashi Razan
     on the Shakuhachi, Komosō and Related Matters


1623: Anrakuan Sakuden's Encounter
     with a Wandering Fuke-komosō


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


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


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

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'


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


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



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"



1751: The Keichō 19/1614 'Komusō' Certificate
     The Many Different All Fabricated Versions



1752: Kyōto Myōan-ji Founder Engetsu
     Ryōgen's 23 Fixed Rules for the 'Komusō'



1795: The Kyotaku denki kokujikai Source Book


1816: Miyaji Ikkan's Shakuhachi hikki Book

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


1830: The Kiyū shōran Encyclopedia
     on 'Komosō' & 'Shakuhachi'







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



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"



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







2 - POST-WW2 till TODAY: JAPAN

     1945 ...



1950: "The Myōan Temple of the True Fuke Sect"
     Inauguration at Tōfuku Temple in SE Kyōto


1950s: Yasuda Tenzan, Hirazumi Taizan & 'Suizen'

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



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



The Legacy of the Late Myōan Taizan-ha Teachers
     Yoshimura Fuan Sōshin & Ozawa 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 / References

Links

Contact Info

Disclaimer


WELCOME INTRODUCTION

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

Introduction & Guide to the Critical Study and Substantiation of Early Ascetic Shakuhachi Culture in Particular: 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




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 "ordinated" - 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





きな 吹禅

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

This is a research project in continuous progress - webpage last updated
on October 15, 2021, at 1:00 p.m., with more false and even bordering on fraud statements about 'Suizen', "Shakuhachi Meditation", and Ascetic Shakuhachi history and ideology in general:

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






Zen-shakuhachi.dk Weekly Website Statistics
from August 1, 2021, to August 8, 2021

Web statistics August 1, 2021, to August 8, 2021,

Top 4 countries/regions from which the visits took place:
U.S.A.: 450, Asia (China/India): 319, Europe: 104, Russia: 34.




May 8, 2021:

A Truly Sad Situation: How Many More Lies Can You Keep On Believing In ... ?

Why Are So Many Still Lying And Misleading The Readers, and Believers,
About Ascetic Shakuhachi Cultural History, Chronology, Ideology & Practices ... ?

No matter what you may be feeling or thinking, these are the plain and simple facts:

Overall conclusion that has manifested itself
     as an inevitable result of the present, decades long 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", "mindfulness", "healing" 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'.




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


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 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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Mukuteki suizen

"Mukuteki suizen"

無孔笛吹禅

Signed by
'Myōan Taizan'