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About this Research Project
Preliminary Realizations & Conclusions
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"?
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"
c. 1450 to c. 1550
1470s?: The Dance-kyōgen Play Rakuami
1474: Tōyō Eichō and Ikkyū Sōjun at the
Inauguration of the Rebuilt Daitoku Temple, Kyōto
1494 & 1501: Two Enchanting Muromachi Period
Poetry Contest Picture Scrolls
1512: The Taigenshō Court Music Treatise
ERA of the FUKE-SŌ / FUKE-KOMOSŌ
c. 1550 to c. 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
"Monks of the Non-Dual & None-ness"
c. 1628? to 1871
The Early Komusō-related Texts
- from c. 1628? to c. 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
c. 1640?: The Kaidō honsoku "Version 2"
1640?: Is a Very Early "Komusō Temple" built
in Nagasaki on the Island of Kyūshū?
c. 1640?: The Strange Butsu-gen Komusō Document
1646: 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
c, 1665-1675?: The Kyotaku denki Fairy Tale:
Shinchi Kakushin, Kichiku & Kyōto Myōan-ji
The Edo/Kantō/Tōkyō Sources
1677: The Enpō 5, 6th Month
Reihō-ji Komusō Set of Rules
1678: The Enpō 5, 12th Month Komusō-ha Oboe
Bakufu Memorandum of January 11th, 1678
1687: The Jōkyō 4, 6th Month
Reihō-ji Komusō Set of Rules
c. 1685-1690: The Yōshū fu-shi
& Jinrin kinmō zu-i - Evidence of 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
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
1871? (1843-44): The Komusō zakki
From 1879 ... 1896-1914:
The Koji ruien Historical Encyclopedia
1890: Higuchi Taizan - Teaching, the "Myōan Society",
and the Taizan-ha Tradition of Shakuhachi Asceticism
1902: Mikami Sanji's Critical Article
'Fuke-shū ni tsuite', "About the Fuke Sect"
Early 20th Century Historians & Musicians, Japan:
Kurihara Kōta, Uramoto Setchō,
Nakatsuka Chikuzen, Tanikita Mujiku,
Tomimori Kyozan, Ikeda Jūzan a.o.
1931-1932: Tokugawa kinreikō - A Source Collection
of Tokugawa Period Prohibition Laws
2 - POST-WW2 till TODAY: JAPAN
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 ... : Some Early Post-WW2 Shakuhachi Narratives
Written and Published in Western Languages
Translations of Shakuhachi Source Texts
published in the West / Outside of Japan
including the Internet / WWW
- The Translators
Literature / References
Profile / Bio / CV
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 Popular Term 'Suizen'?
魯堂元協 - RODŌ GENKYŌ, died in 1859
吹笛修行 - SUI-TEKI SHUGYŌ
"To Blow a Flute Ascetic Practice"
Links to closely related webpages:
"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."
1974 ...: Misleading 'Suizen' & "Shakuhachi Meditation"
Information & Assertions, East & West
- Presented in Western Languages
Inn 2000, Prof. Tsukitani Tsuneko at Ōsaka University declared in her impressive and authoritative scholarly publication about classical shakuhachi honkyoku that she could not decide when eventually the practice of "shakuhachi asceticism" came to be referred to as 'sui-zen',
吹禅, "to play a flute as meditation", so to speak.
The late professor Tsukitani Tsuneko's comments about 'sui-teki shugyō'
and the possible origin of the term 'suizen'. Tsukitani 2000, p. 172, note 138.
The irrefutable fact is that 'Sui-zen' was never featured in any Edo Period text as a description of ascetic shakuhachi practice, at all. Period!
Or, in other words: 'Sui-zen' was never known to be practiced in Japan before the end of the Meiji Period in 1868, and for much much longer, for that matter.
Kyōto Myōan-ji's 32nd 'Kansu', supervisor, Rodō Genkyō's commandments
regarding komusō begging practice and 'sui-teki shugyō'. Nakatsuka 1979, pp. 176-178.
Initially, there are two statements that stand out in Genkyō's 1852 document, namely:
'Shakuhachi no gi wa,
jukyō ni kae
godō wo eru
dai-ichi no hōki ni
sōrō e(ru) mono
tōzan sōden no
San-kyorei taiman naku
jūjuku itasu beshi.'
"As for the shakuhachi,
that is the foremost tool
with which to attain enlightenment,
instead of the recital of sutras,
and one must acquire proficiency
in this temple's inherited 'San-kyorei'
with no carelessness, at all."
the "Three 'Empty Spirit'" are the 3 legendary, classical honkyoku 'Kyorei', 'Kokū' and 'Mukaiji',
now usually being referred to as 'San-koten honkyoku',
'Sui-teki shugyō no setsu
dōgyō futari kagiru beshi.'
"In times of practicing 'blowing a flute asceticism',
the number of travelling fellow pilgrims shall be limited to (only) 2."
Do note, that nowhere in this document of Genkyō's do you find any reference to any practice of actual "shakuhachi meditation".
It was, indeed, as late as in 1950, that the new term 'Sui-zen' was invented, introduced and spread, more specifically by the first abbot of the then newly established Kyōto
Myōan Temple, namely the prominent Tōfuku-ji Zen monk Yasuda Tenzan.
Already before then, however - in 1930 - two outstanding representatives of the Myōan Taizan-ha shakuhachi tradition, Kobayashi Shizan and Tomimori Kyozan,
certainly took an intermediate ideological "step forward" from Genkyō's 'sui-teki shugyō" when they announced their new term 'sui-shō-zen',
吹簫禅, "to play a flute meditation", in a co-authored book of theirs about the 'Myōan' Way of the Shakuhachi.
Still, it was only as late as after 1950, when the new Myōan-ji was inaugurated in Kyōto, and the Zen master Yasuda Tenzan had taken the seat at that temple's first Buddhist monk and abbot in residence, that the term 'Suizen' was defined and initially spread within the narrow ascetic shakuhachi circles, those of the Myōan Taizan-ha, established by Higuchi Taizan around 60 years earlier.
Then, in 1974, Columbia Records in Japan released the triple-LP set 'Suizen', KX-7001-03, with comphensive sleeve notes written by the music historian Kamisangō Yūkō.
Here, on page 17 in the pamphlet, Kamisangō claimed, completely unsubstantiated by any source document, that there were 'komusō',
in existence and action as early as in 1614, and also that the real 'komusō' who eventually took over from the last 'komosō' during the 1630-1640s did practice 'suizen', which is absolutely false: No preserved evidence exists, whatsoever.
Later, both Tsukitani, Seyama & Simura, 1994*, and Simura, 2002**, have referred to 'komusō' practices during the Edo Period, as if they practiced 'suizen' - which is simply not true.
There is in fact not even any written proof at all that 'komusō' performed anything like "shakuhachi meditation" prior to the 19th century, simple as that!
"It was not so easy to become a member of the Fuke sect or a komusō.
This was due to the arrangement of the system of rules as determined by the
Tokugawa shogunate. Accordingly, it can be said that the shakuhachi has been
handed down to us within a limited, chartered organisation.
That organization maintained an ideology centred around Zen Buddhism. Moreover, Zen in the
Fuke sect was nothing but the playing of the shakuhachi.
This ideology and lifestyle was called suizen ('blowing Zen').
Thus, in terms of suizen, the shakuhachi was not a musical instrument, and naturally pieces performed on it were not
considered as being music. To them, the shakuhachi was a hōki ('religious
instrument'), that is to say, a sacred tool for the purpose of spiritual training."
Tsukitani Tsuneko, Seyama Tōru & Simura Satosi:
'The Shakuhachi: The Instrument and its Music,
Change and Diversification.'
In: 'Contemporary Music Review', 1994, Vol. 8, Issue 2, p. 111.
Translated by Riley Kelly Lee.
"The huke syakuhati developed in the Huke subsect of Rinzai-sect Zen during the Edo period (1600-1867). It was used in Buddhist services for suizen 'blowing Zen', a meditative activity comparable to zazen 'sitting Zen' (Sanford 1977)."
Now, sad to say, James H. Sanford certainly did not mention 'suizen' in his significant 1977 article, just as the so called "Fuke Sect" should never have been described in any way as a "subsect of Rinzai-sect Zen", at all.
Source: The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music.
Vol. 7, Routledge, 2002, p. 702.