Shakuhachi



「禅尺八」歴史的証拠 研究   ホームページ

The "Zen Shakuhachi" Historical Evidence Research Web Pages

Introduction & Critical Guide to the Study and Substantiation of Early Ascetic Shakuhachi Historical Chronology,
Terminology & Etymology of Concepts, Ideology, Iconology & Practices in Particular


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


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"?


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"

     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" Copy

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

     1868-1945



1871? (1843-44): The Komusō zakki
     Source Collection



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

     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

Profile / Bio / CV

Contact Info


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.


Tsukitani Tsuneko, 2000, p. 172

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.

Rodō Genkyō's Commandments-a

Rodō Genkyō's Commandments-b

Rodō Genkyō's Commandments-c

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:

Par. 5:

尺八之儀者
誦経に換え
悟道を得る
第一の法器に
候得者
当山相伝之
三虚霊怠慢なく
習熟致べし。


'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."

'San-kyorei', 三虚霊, the "Three 'Empty Spirit'" are the 3 legendary, classical honkyoku 'Kyorei', 'Kokū' and 'Mukaiji', now usually being referred to as 'San-koten honkyoku', 三古典本曲.


Par. 8:

吹笛修行之節
同行二人限るべし。


'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', 虚無僧, 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."

Source:

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.



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