F The "Zen Shakuhachi" <I>Historical Evidence</I> Research Web Pages - by Danish/Icelandic Musician, Music Editor & Japanologist Torsten Olafsson


「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



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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"?

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


     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

     "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


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


     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


Profile / Bio / CV

Contact Info

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?

虚無僧寺 風呂屋 だった!?
KOMUSŌ-JI wa FURO-YA datta!?

"The Komusō Temples were Public Bath Houses!?"

That is the "kind of rhetorical" question, be it "actual statement", and also the title of the very first chapter in widely respected shakuhachi history writer Kanda Kayū's 2019 publication named 虚無僧 尺八筆記, 'Komusō to shakuhachi hikki', "Notes about Komusō and Shakuhachi".

So, we'd better look a little more into that really fascinating, very realistic "scenario":


SHŪNYŪ - Revenues; Income


KEIZAI - Economics; Business; Finances

How did the masterless samurai komusō shakuhachi playing beggars actually survive?

How were their alleged numerous so called "Fuke temples" in reality financed and sustained
during their less than two centuries or so of existence until the prohibition of the komusō in 1871?

How did the poor, begging shakuhachi players ever acquire land for their refuge places
and fund the construction of their living quarters?

We know for certain that the komusō were not members of the general Buddhist establishsment
as such:
They were not fully ordained "Buddhist monks"; they did not - like the "old" Buddhist sects
- have any 'danka', 壇家/檀家, "patronage households", to be administratively
and routinely inspected once every year in search of hidden Christians, and they were
in no way trained nor authorized to arrange and perform funerary rites for the deceased.

Therefore: There were no such sources of any steady, predictable income and a constant. continuous money flow.

So, again: How actually did the komusō "accumulate revenue"?
Begging for and collecting alms alone could not have been sufficient, we ought to admit!

Begging komusō. Woodblock print by Takehara Shinkei, 1791

Begging komusō. Woodblock print by Takehara Shinkei, 1791

It would seem natural that the komusō would in fact have secured themselves through offering some variety of specific everyday life services that enjoyed public demand and respect in Japanese society, and among those was for instance that of establishing and managing public bath houses within the grounds of their ascetic refuge estates.

Now, except for one person, hardly any other modern times shakuhachi historian ever really cared to look the least more deeply into such fundamental aspects of komusō life and finances
... did not bother to discover and tell us the true nature of their more commercial circumstances.

However, as early as in the late 1930s, shakuhachi player and researcher Nakatsuka Chikuzen
contributed to the discussion, with these two short chapters that have now been preserved
in one very important book that came out in 1979: The 'Kinko-ryū shakuhachi shikan',
"Looking into the History of Kinko-ryū Shakuhachi":

風呂地 - FURO-CHI - "Bath Land"/"Bath Grounds"

風呂寺 - FURO-JI - "Bath Temple"

風呂番 - FURO-BAN - "Bath Keeper"

四居士及 風呂寺

"The Legendary Four Buddhist Laymen and the Bath House Temples"

Nakatsuka Chikuzen's chapter about the legendary Four Buddhist Laymen-a<BR>
and the bath house temples

Nakatsuka Chikuzen's chapter about the legendary Four Buddhist Laymen-b<BR>
and the bath house temples

Nakatsuka Chikuzen's chapter about the legendary Four Buddhist Laymen-c<BR>
and the bath house temples

Nakatsuka Chikuzen's chapter about the legendary Four Buddhist Laymen
and the bath house temples. Nakatsuka 1979, pp. 428-430.


"The Legendary Four Buddhist Laymen and their Legendary Disciples"

Nakatsuka Chikuzen's chapter about the legendary Four Buddhist Laymen-a<BR>
and their disciple

Nakatsuka Chikuzen's chapter about the legendary Four Buddhist Laymen-b<BR>
and their disciple

Nakatsuka Chikuzen's chapter about the legendary Four Buddhist Laymen-c<BR>
and their disciple

Nakatsuka Chikuzen's chapter about the legendary Four Buddhist Laymen
and their disciples. Nakatsuka 1979, pp. 91-93.

虚無僧寺 風呂屋 だった!?

KOMUSŌ-JI wa FURO-YA datta!?

"Were the Komusō Temples Public Bath Houses!?"

In Kanda Kayū's 2019 publication titled "Komusō and Shakuhachi Notes", the very first chapter, pages 2 through 5, focuses on the matter of Edo Period komusō actually having managed public bath houses in order to accumulate income:

Kanda Kayū on komusō bath house temples-a<

Kanda Kayū on komusō bath house temples-b

Kanda Kayū on komusō bath house temples

風呂寺 神宮寺
江戸初期 虚無僧寺


"Bath House Temples and Buddhist Temples within Shintō Shrines
Early Edo Period Komusō Temples"


In this chapter, Kanda Kayū discusses the matter of possible komusō bath house "temples"
operating within the precincts of Shintō shrines during early Edo Period times?

Mixing 'usu'cha', thin tea, with a chasen

Mixing 'usu-cha', thin green tea, with a chasen tea whisk.

Courtesy of Urasenke tea master Søren M. Chr. Bisgaard



Komusō and Bamboo Tea Whisk Manufacture

In a really interesting and significant 2016 weblog article by Makihara Shin-ichiro, 牧原一路, titled "Didn't the Komusō Become Lowly People," the author states that "komusō, while making shakuhachi flutes, also produced and sold bamboo tea whisks ['chasen' for the tea ceremony] and therefore were questioned by the authorities. That was "because tea whisk making was the business of low class people," Makihara explains.

Here is the present quotation in Japanese:


Link to the full article: Makihara Shin-ichiro's weblog dated November 16, 2016



"Bamboo Tea Whisk Selling"

Nakatsuka Chikuzen on Chasen making

Nakatsuka Chikuzen on <I>komusō</I> 'chasen' bamboo tea whisk making-a<

Nakatsuka Chikuzen on <I>komusō</I> 'chasen' bamboo tea whisk making-b

Nakatsuka Chikuzen on komusō 'chasen' bamboo tea whisk making

This web page is still being further expanded and elaborated ...

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