「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 -

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

1950, and on ... : 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.

「吹禅」 - SUIZEN ... "Blowing Zen", really?

"Blowing a Flute Self-cultivation" - "Flute-blown Mental Training" ... ?

Or: "Blowing a Flute Non-dualistic Contemplative Practice"?

"Ascetic Bamboo Flute Practice" - "Non-Dualistic Shakuhachi Asceticism" ...

This is a research and critical online information project in continuous progress.

Most recent web page update: March 15, 2024.




1823: The Edo, Kinko-line shakuhachi affiliated player Hisamatsu Fūyō explains his shakuhachi practice
as 'Kisoku shugyō', 気息修行, "Breathing Asceticism", or "Ascetic Breath Practice".

In fact, it still remains quite unclear whether Hisamatsu Fūyō was ever a 'Komusō', himself.

And, besides, Hisamatsu made it clear that he was indeed not "a Zen monk".

     Source: Hitori mondō, 1823, c/o Kishi Kiyokazu.


1852: The 32nd Kyōto Myōan-ji 'Kansu', 看首, "supervisor", "director", Rodō Genkyō,
coins and presents the novel term 'Sui-teki shugyō',
吹笛修行, "Blowing a Flute Ascetic Activity".

That was, in fact, especially with regard to begging activities in which
only a maximum of two participants were allowed to travel and beg for alms together, Rodō Genkyō stated in his decree.

     Source: Nakatsuka Chikuzen, 1979, p. 176.


1857, first month: The 'Komusō' temple Fudai-ji issues a partly pre-printed 'Suiteki shugyō-tome',
吹笛修行留, "Stop for Flute-playing Ascetic Practice" "Fuke Shūmon Supervision Certificat".

Fudai-ji Stop for Flute-playing Ascetic Practice

This document is awaiting further investigation and possible interpretation

     Source: Kunimi Masafumi's shakuhachi website -

1914, November 22: the 35th Myōan 'Kansu', Higuchi Taizan, founder of the 'Myōan Taizan-ha' ascetic shakuhachi tradition, dies.
Kobayashi Kyozan is appointed 36th 'Kansu'.


1928, first printed and published in 1936: Uramoto Setchō authors three essays on the topic of 'Fuke Shakuhachi', but he does not mention the term 'Suizen' anywhere, there.

     Source: The National Diet Library, Tokyo.
     - go to book pages 195 through 242/pdf page frames 107 through 131


1928, March 15: 'Kyozan-bō', 虚山坊, most probably "Young Kyozan", alias Tomimori Kyozan, authors an article on pages 23-25 in the Myōan Kyōkai bulletin Dai Myōan, 大明暗, titled 'Sui-shō-zen man-go',
吹簫禅 漫語, "This and That regarding (the Term) 'Blowing a Flute Meditation'".

Myouan Kyoukai magazine 1928 'DaiMyouan' list of contents: Tomimori 'Suishou-zen' article beginning on page 21

     Source: Kunimi Masafumi's website.


'Shakuhachi honryū Myōan suishō-hō kikai'

"The Fundamental Principles of Playing the Shakuhachi of the True Myōan Tradition"

1930: Kobayashi Shizan & Tomimori Kyozan co-write a 232+4 pages book in three parts on 'Myōan Shakuhachi', in which the very first 13-page chapter is an introduction to the origin of that very new "idea" and term,
'Sui-shō-zen', 吹簫禅,

"Blowing a Flute Zen Meditation" - "Blowing a Shakuhachi Ascetic Practice".

Title of chapter 1:

'Sui-shō-zen', 明暗吹簫禪の來由, 'Myōan suishō-zen no raitai', "The Cause and Origin of the Myōan Blowing a Flute Zen Self-cultivation".

Chapter 4, 29 pages, deals with "The Revival of the Myōan Way of Playing", 明暗吹簫道の復古,
'Myōan suishō-dō no fukko'.

Kobayashi and Tomimori 1930 'Myouan suishou-hou' book cover front

Kobayashi and Tomimori's 1930 'Myōan suishō-hō' book cover, front.
Picture source: Kunimi Masafumi's Kisokuseikan website, see link below.

     Sources: Kisokuseikan & The National Diet Library, Tokyo.

Study the complete list of contents on this local web page:

1938, November 27: The 36th Myōan 'Kansu', Kobayashi Kyozan, dies.
The position as 'Kansu' is left vacant for around 10 years, most probably because of the impacts of World War II.


1949: Tanikita Muchiku is appointed 37th 'Kansu'.

1950-1953: Yasuda Tenzan, 安田天山, serves as the first, and founding, chief monk, "abbot"?,
再興明暗寺 初代住職, 'Saikō Myōan-ji Shodai jū-shoku',
of the new, revived Kyōto Myōan-ji.
Yasuda-san produces at least a few quite impressive 'Suizen' calligraphies - see below.

1950s: By the early 1950s, it appears that at least these eight prominent Myōan-ji personalities would have been engaged - directly or indirectly - in the creation, promotion and consolidation of the new Taizan-ha Ascetic Shakuhachi term 'Suizen':

Kobayashi Shizan, Tomimori Kyozan, Tanikita Muchiku, Yasuda Tenzan,
Hirazumi Taizan, Koizumi Ryōan, Fukumoto Kyoan & Yoshimura Sōshin.

Besides, these personalities could also have contributed, one way or another:

Minamoto Unkai, Miyagawa Nyozan, Uramoto Setchō, Ikeda Jūzan, Okamoto Chikugai, and Matsumoto Kyozan.

1953: Tanikita Muchiku leaves the office of 'Kansu' and is succeeded by Koizumi Ryōan as 38th 'Kansu'.


1953: Hirazumi Taizan is appointed 2nd head monk of Myōan-ji; - years later, he produces one very impressive 'Mu-ku-teki Suizen' calligraphy - see image at page down.


1955, July 30: The former Myōan-ji 'Kansu' Tanikita Muchiku publishes an article in the Myōan-ji bulletin 'Suizen', Issue No. 2.

     Kunimi Masafumi's shakuhachi website.

1957, March 24: Tanikita Muchiku dies.


Most probably during the early 1950s, Tanikita Muchiku, birth name: Kensaburō, supervised the recording and production of 'Taizan-ryū Shakuhachi' pieces for the new 33 r.p.m. vinyl record sound format, the "LP": the "long-playing record".

12 record discs in all, Tanikita Sensei recorded the majority of the pieces, himself, but a number of other players are represented, as well.

Obviously, the term 'Suizen' was not chosen to be part of this collection's official title:

対山流尺八 Ⅰ~ⅩⅡ
吹奏 谷北兼三郎

"Taizan-ryū Shakuhachi I~XII
Performance: Tanikita Kensaburō" (and others)

The LP set was produced privately, for non-commercial purposes - see link to below.

1950s Taizan-ryuu Shakuhachi LP label no. OG-575   1950s Taizan-ryuu Shakuhachi LP label no. OG-618

'Taizan-ryū Shakuhachi' LP labels I & XII

Tanikita Muchiku 12 LP record set, 1-4 - description

Tanikita Muchiku 12 LP record set, 5-6 - description

Tanikita Muchiku 12 LP record set, 7-9 - description

Tanikita Muchiku 12 LP record set, 10-12 - description

Tanikita Muchiku 12 LP record set, tracklist LPs 1-12 - description

     Source: TOWADŌ -

Another preserved Tanikita Muchiku honkyoku collection not titled 'Suizen' was given the name

'Tanikita Muchiku no Shakuhachi - Tanikita hito-goe hen',

谷北無竹の尺八 - 谷北一声編,

"Tanikita Muchiku's Shakuhachi - The Tanikita Single Voice Collection" - see link to below.

1950s Tanikita Muchiku no Shakuhachi LP label no. TRS-5105   1950s Tanikita Muchiku no Shakuhachi LP label no. TRS-5110

'Tanikita Muchiku no Shakuhachi' LP labels I & VI

TRS 5105-5110 tracklist, 6 LP record set - description

Tanikita Kensaburō TRS 5105-5110 tracklist - description

     Source: TOWADŌ -

With the appearance in Japan of the music cassette tape in the early 1960s, selected Tanikita Muchiku recordings were also prepared for that new format and released in a triple-MC set titled 'Shakuhachi honkyoku no genryū o motomete, Tanikita Muchiku-shū I-III',


'Shakuhachi honkyoku no genryū o motomete
Myōan sanjūnana-sei Tanikita Muchiku-shū'

"In Search of the Fountainhead of Shakuhachi Honkyoku
The 37th ['Kansu'] Tanikita Muchiku Anthology I-III"

The first published set of music cassettes was designed like this - seen at

Tanikita Muchiku shuu MC fronts   Tanikita Muchiku shuu MC fronts

Tanikita Muchiku shuu MC track lists

     Here is a link to a complete track list at

A following version of the set had these three front cover portraits:

Tanikita Muchiku shuu MC HT-01   Tanikita Muchiku shuu MC HT-02   Tanikita Muchiku shuu MC HT-03

Two of the three inlay cards were designed like this:

Tanikita Muchiku shuu MC HT-01   Tanikita Muchiku shuu MC HT-02

Obviously, none of these Taizan-ryū/Tanikita Muchiku releases were marketed under the title, or headline, 'Suizen' - and none of them carry any precise release date, unfortunately so ...

However, acc. to Christian T. Mau, the recordings for the music cassette set were made by Tanikita's student
Inagaki Ihaku during the period 1953-1956.
Phonogram/MC numbers: HT01, HT02, & HT03.

     Source: Christian T. Mau thesis, 2014, pages 183 and 230.

The Sugiyama Jogakuen University Digital Library presents

Historical Recordings Featuring Legendary Seien-ryū
and Taizan-ryū/Taizan-ha Shakuhachi Players:

     Link to numerous historical shakuhachi recordings,
     including those on the above Tanikita Muchiku LP collections:


A dated photo of Iwata Seien with shakuhachi friends and noble wives - and a fine recording of 'Ajikan' of his:

'Ajikan' played by Iwata Seien, date unknown

Link to YouTube: 'Ajikan' played by Iwata Seien - no date.

Persons in the picture - In the back from the left:
Ishida Fuchiku, 石田普竹, and Iwata Seien, 岩田律園.

Below from the left:
Uramoto Setchō and Mrs. Uramoto, 浦本浙潮,
and Mrs. Okazaki and Mr. Okazaki Shūen, 岡崎洲園, himself.

1960: Parallelly, Uramoto Setchō introduces the explanatory term 'Gyō no ongaku', 行の音楽, "Ascetic Music" - however without referring specifically to 'Suizen' in that article of his.

Read more here:

1960: Uramoto Setchō's Statement about
     'Gyō no ongaku': "Ascetic Music"

1966: A now very popular 'Suizen' stone monument is erected to the left inside of the gate of Kyōto Myōan-ji.


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

Photo by Torsten Olafsson, early Spring, 1977.

1968, October 27: Tomimori Kyozan is interviewed by Rekisen Yokō [?], 礫川餘光,


On Saturday August 8, 2009, US citizen and longtime Myōan Taizan-ha shakuhachi player Dean Seicho Delbene posted this illustration on his "Myoan Shakuhachi Blogspot" Website:

Tomimori Kyozan's Statement regarding the origin of the terms suizen/suishouzen,nodate

Tomimori Kyozan's Statement regarding the origin of the terms suizen/suishōzen, no date

Do note, by the way, that it can not be true at all, what Kyozan is quoted for stating, namely that,

" - - - 吹簫禅 (SuiShouZen) is right, that word was in old China."

1969: A new temple main hall is designed and constructed at Kyōto Myōan-ji:

Kyōto Myōan-ji, 1977

Kyōto Myōan-ji, Main Hall completed in 1969
Photo by Torsten Olafsson, early Spring, 1977

1972: Koizumi Ryōan retires and is followed by Fukumoto Kyoan as 39th 'Kansu'.


1972: Okamoto Chikugai authors a short essay on 'Suizen' breathing - eventually published in 2012 by the Myōan Sōryū-kai.

     You can purchase that printed 2012 edition here:

1974: The record company Nippon Columbia releases a triple-LP record set titled 'Suizen', featuring Sakai Chikuhō II - who really was not a 'Taizan-ha Suizen' player, at all.

Nippon Columbia, Sakai Chikuhou II Suizen 3 LP record set

1974: Kamisangō Yūkō writes about 'Komusō' and 'Suizen' in the booklet for Nippon Columbia's triple-LP set 'Suizen':

Kamisangou Yuukou about Suizen, 1974, page 17

いわば昇格したのであるから ...

"As an outcome of the establishment of the Fuke Sect
the 'komosō' groups that included beggar monks and lunatics,
be they homeless persons,
(turned into) a religious group of 'rōnin' "wave men",
the membership privilege of whom was limited to persons with samurai rank
who performed 'suizen'
and samurai martial arts,
(thus) climbing in status, so to speak ..."

     Source: Kamisangō Yūkō, 'Suizen' LP booklet, 1974, p. 17.
     Trsl. by Torsten Olafsson, 2020.

     Comment: No, 'Suizen' is not mentioned even once in any of the numerous Edo Period texts about shakuhachi-playing 'Rōnin' and 'Komusō'!

1975: 'Suizen' is not mentioned in any of the articles in the Kikan Hōgaku 5 special shakuhachi edition of 1975!

     Name of authors: Kikkawa Eishi & Nishiyama Matsunosuke.

1976: After the sudden death of Fukumoto Kyoan, Yoshimura Sōshin is appointed 40th 'Kansu'.



1970s? - no later than Spring, 1978:

Myōan-ji's 2nd chief monk, Hirazumi Taizan, creates a unique 'Mu-ku-teki Suizen',
無穴笛 吹禅, "No-holes-flute sui-zen' calligraphy hanging scroll - read more below, at page bottom.

Mu-ku-teki Suizen

1977, August 9:




"The Shakuhachi of Self-cultivation and Self-discipline"

The Myōan Taizan-ha Way of Authentic Shakuhachi 'Suizen' Asceticism
represented by Yoshimura 'Fuan' Sōshin, 40th 'Kansu' of Kyōto Myōan-ji:

明暗寺四十世 芳村普庵宗心

Yoshimura 'Fuan' Sōshin

Yoshimura 'Fuan' Sōshin - 1904-1998

Yoshimura 'Fuan' Sōshin's letter to Torsten Olafsson, 1977, page 2

Yoshimura 'Fuan' Sōshin's letter to Torsten Olafsson, August 9, 1977, page 2

- - - なかなか言葉では表現出来ませんが、
心を素直に持って, 我の心による
技功に成らない様、修養の尺八です。 - - -

" - - - I can not easily express this in words, but to practice the shakuhachi of 'Zen Shakuhachi' is indeed a way of mental training and self-cultivation that is practiced with an open and humble mind and does not develop into technical skill with a selfish attitude. - - - "

Read the full translation on this webpage - opens in a new browser window:

The Legacy of the Late Myōan Taizan-ha Teachers
     Yoshimura 'Fuan' Sōshin & Ozawa Seizan

1978, Spring: Ozawa Seizan, a close student of Yoshimura 'Fuan' Sōshin's, describes the meaning and "purpose" of 'Suizen' in a letter of recommendation to his shakuhachi student, Torsten Olafsson, Denmark:

Ozawa Seizan, letter of recommendation, 1978   Ozawa Seizan, letter of recommendation, 1978

Detail of a letter of recommendation for Torsten Olafsson
written by Ozawa Seizan in Spring, 1978
Photo to the right by T.O.


"Myōan Shakuhachi is related to the Fuke Sect of Shakuhachi and it has as its purpose to employ the ancient Japanese shakuhachi flute as a Dharma instrument [hō-ki] in order that one understands the Ultimately Adual Nature of the 'Bright' and the 'Dark' [Myō-An] and experiences the Essence of Non-Substantiality [kyo] through Self-Cultivation.

This practice is called 'Suizen'."

     By Ozawa Zetsugai Seizan, 1939-2012, Myōan-ji, 1978, in a letter
     of recommendation to the author. Trsl. by Torsten Olafsson.


1978? - probably so: The 40th Myōan-ji 'Kansu', Yoshimura 'Fuan' Sōshin, and Myōan-ji, release a 4-LP record set titled 'Suizen ichi-nyo', 吹禅一如, "The Oneness of Meditating while Blowing a Flute" - or rather, "Blowing a Flute and Meditating are Not Separate".

Or, I'd rather recommend a translation like this, for instance: "The Non-Duality of Meditating while Blowing a Flute".

Yasuda Tenzan is the actual "artist" who wrote that very 'Suizen ichi-nyo' calligraphy for the LP front covers:

Yoshimura Soushin Suizen ichinyo 4 LP record set   Yoshimura Soushin Suizen ichinyo 4 LP record set, label

Phonogram numbers: HSK-003~006 -, 2nd hand product description, screen dumps:

Yoshimura Soushin Suizen ichinyo 4 LP record set - description   Yoshimura Soushin

Nihon no Furuhon-ya, 2nd hand product description, screen dump:

Yoshimura Soushin Suizen ichinyo 4 LP record set - Nihon no Furuhon-ya description


Complete Furuhon-ya description in Japanese:

吹禅一如 吹禅一如/明暗寺,



6764.JPG函入,/ 盤(4枚):良,/7"LP:良/

1983: Okamoto Chikugai publishes an article in Ichi-on jōbutsu
     on the Way of 'Ōshū Suizen'.

1983: Torsten Olafsson & Olafssongs, Denmark, produce the LP/MC
"Standing Waves. Zen Shakuhachi Meditations", featuring six Myōan Taizan-ha 'Suizen' honkyoku.

Standing Waves CD, 2001   Standing Waves LP, 1983

Left: Fønix Music CD reissue, 2001 - Right: Olafssongs LP/MC, 1983.

Btw.: quite misleadingly categorizes LP record as "New Age":


1985: Matsumoto Kyozan includes a 'Suizen godō', 吹禅 悟道, calligraphy on the front page of a 'honkyoku gakufu' collection of his.

The Tantric symbol 'A' & 'Suizen godō'

Read more at page bottom.

1985?: Nippon Columbia releases a

'Komusō Chiku-in Suizen' 'Fuke-shū Tani-ha Kyotaku' vinyl LP

虚無僧 竹韻 吹禅 普化宗 谷派 虚鐸

Go to 1998, June 20, to read more about a reissue on CD in that year.

1991: Yoshimura Sōshin retires and is succeeded by Kojima Hōan as 41st 'Kansu'.


1994: Tukitani Tuneko, Seyama Tōru & Simura Satosi write about 'Suizen' in an article presented in English, trsl. by Riley Kelly Lee:

"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 centered 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.

If one were to use the above-mentioned emic viewpoint, within the organisation of the komusō the shakuhachi was not included in 'music', or rather was not allowed to be included."

     Source: Tukitani Tuneko, Seyama Tōru, Simura Satosi and Riley Kelly Lee, translator (1994):
     'The Shakuhachi: The instrument and its music, change and diversification."
     In: Contemporary Music Review, 8:2, p. 111

     Download link:

Comment: No, 'Suizen' was definitely neither an "ideology" nor a "lifestyle" of the members of the so called "Fuke Sect" during the Edo Period.

The term does not appear anywhere before 1950, at the very earliest, in any Japanese literary source related to shakuhachi history, ideology or practice in any way, at all. Period.


1995: A Yoshimura 'Fuan' Sōshin's 'Suizen ichi-nyo' triple-CD set is issued by Myōan-ji - quite certainly the same recordings as those that were previously published on 4 vinyl LP records, sometime in the 1970s?

Yoshimura Soushin Suizen ichinyo CD disc set, front cover   Yoshimura Soushin

Phonogram numbers: KM-1995 01-03.

Yoshimura Sōshin Suizen ichi-nyo CDs track list

Yoshimura 'Fuan' Sōshin 'Suizen ichi-nyo' CDs track list

Despite the fact that Yoshimura 'Fuan' Sōshin's Taizan-ha 'Suizen' shakuhachi recordings of the 1970s are verily titled 'Suizen ichi-nyo' on the front cover and elsewhere, 吹禅一如,
"Blowing the Shakuhachi & Self-cultivation Are Not Two" [literally: "Are One"],
at the ISS/International Shakuhachi Society website, Yoshimura Sōshin's recordings are registered under the misleading headline
'Meianji Shoden Shakuhachi Honkyoku Shū' 1-3,

"Anthology of Myōan Temple Shakuhachi Tradition Honkyoku"

     Links to track lists at with short sound samples:

1997, November 30 (re-issued in 2016, see below):

Seian Genshin, editor, and the 'Myōan Shakuhachi Bō-chiku-kai', 明暗尺八忘竹会, the "Myōan Shakuhachi Memorial Society", publish the first edition of a monumental memorial tribute book about the legendary 40th Myōan-ji 'Kansu', Yoshimura 'Fuan' Sōshin, 1904-1998.

     Go to the year 2016 below to read more, see the front cover, and how to order from Japan.
     Link regarding Seian Genshin 'Kansu', WSF 2018:

1998, June 20: Nippon Columbia reissues a

'Komusō Chiku-in Suizen' 'Fuke-shū Tani-ha Kyotaku' LP on CD
     Columbia ‎– COCF-15174. First released on LP in 1985?

Nippon Columbia Tani-ha Kyotaku Suizen vinyl LP record

虚無僧 竹韻 吹禅 普化宗 谷派 虚鐸

     First found at this website:
     See also:

2000: Tsukitani Tsuneko writes but just a little about 'Suizen' in her monumental book 'Shakuhachi koten honkyoku no kenkyū'.

Tsukitani Tsuneko, 2000, p. 172, note 138

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.

In her monumental study of 'koten honkyoku', published in 2000, Prof. Tsukitani hardly at all touched upon the topic of 'Suizen'.
In note 138 on page 172, the first sentence states that,
"Playing the shakuhachi as an ascetic meditative discipline [Zen no shugyū] is called 'Suizen'."

The last sentence then reads,

しかし、「座禅」にかわる尺八修行の意味でいつから 「吹禅」というようになったか、 その典拠を未だ見つけることができない。

namely, "However, I can not yet find any written reference to when 'Suizen' became a term for 'Zazen' seated meditation that changed into 'ascetic shakuhachi discipline'."

     Source: Tsukitaki Tsuneko, 2000, page 172, note 138.

2001: Okada Fujio publishes a book titled 'Komusō no nazo - Suizen no kokoro.'
"The Komusō Mystery - The Essence of Suizen".

2001, November 24: Nippon Columbia releases a CD named 'Nihon no gakki: Shakuhachi'
"Japanese Music Instruments: Shakuhachi." Track 1 on the record has the title

'Suizen Kokū Shakuhachi Fukeshuu Tani-ha Kyotaku',
吹禅 虚空 Shakuhachi – 普化宗谷派 虚鐸


2004: The first Western shakuhachi record release titled 'Suizen'?

Ronnie Seldin and Barbara Lee Kroos publish the 5-CD & book set
"Sui Zen. Blowing Zen On the Shakuhachi":

xxx   Seldin & Lee Kroos Sui Zen 5 LP + book set

2005: Takahata Sōyū publishes a book about 'Suizen' titled
'Yasei no zen. Suizen'.

2005: Takahata Sōyū publishes a book about 'Suizen' titled
"Myōan Shakuhachi. Suizen: The Zen of Wildness.'

2005: Steve Weiss designs a map of "26 Suizen Temples", allegedly "approved" by Kurahashi Yoshio:

Map of 26 Suizen temples - late Tokugawa Period?

Map of 26 "'Suizen' temples" - during the late Tokugawa Period ... really?
Compiled by Steve Weiss, 2005, approved by Kurahashi Yoshio.

There were, of course, no such "'Suizen' temples" mentioned anywhere, nor ever,
in Edo Period documents! Source of map:

2008: Tsukitani Tsuneko states regarding 'Suizen' in her article in "The Ashgate Companion to Japanese Music":

"The Fuke sect was named after its putative Tang Chinese founder, Pu-hua (Jap. Fuke).
It has no doctrines or scriptures, parishioners or lay believers;

its equivalent to Zen meditation or sutra recitation is the playing of shakuhachi
- what practitioners call suizen (blowing Zen).

No such use is recorded in China."

     Source: Tsukitani Tsuneko in "The Ashgate Companion to Japanese Music," 2008, p. 150.

2009, August 8: US citizen and longtime Myōan Taizan-ha shakuhachi player Dean Seicho Delbene posts this illustration on his "Myoan Shakuhachi Blogspot" Website:

Tomimori Kyozan's Statement regarding the origin of the terms suizen/suishouzen,nodate

     Tomimori Kyozan's statement regarding the origin of the terms suizen/sui-shō-zen, no date.
Possibly a short transcript of the interview that took place on October 27, 1968,
see entry page up.

Do note, though, that neither 'Sui-shō-zen' nor 'Sui-zen' can be found any Chinese text, whatsoever.


2009, October: Kyōto Myōan-ji 'Kansu' Kojima Hōan informs Christian T. Mau that it was Yasuda Tenzan who "coined", invented, the new term 'Suizen' while he served as the first chief monk of that newly revived temple in the period 1950-1953.

     Source: Christian T. Mau Ph.D. thesis, 2014, p. 116.

2010: Tago Kōin publishes an article titled 'Suizen no yurai ni tsuite', "About the origin of Suizen," in the magazine Tozan-ryū Gakuhō



A group of Taiwanese shakuhachi players visit Kyōto and the Myōan Temple there and many pictures are taken.
The calligraphy over the altar in the temple main hall reads 'Suizen ichi-nyo', kanji reading from the right, 吹禅一如.

The calligrapher's signature is not possible to read in this particular digital picture file.

Myouan-ji main hall, 2012

Original, first link to the online source, has however now disappeared, as of late 2023:

Link to Taiwan Shakuhachi website, English language page:

2015, February 25: Nippon Columbia releases a double CD named 'Nihon no gakki - Koto / Shakuhachi
"Japanese Music Instruments: Koto / Shakuhachi." Track 1 on CD 2 has the title
'Suizen Kokū Shakuhachi Fukeshuu Tani-ha Kyotaku',
吹禅 虚空 Shakuhachi – 普化宗谷派 虚鐸



Seian Genshin, editor, and the 'Myōan Shakuhachi Bō-chiku-kai', 明暗尺八忘竹会, the "Myōan Shakuhachi Memorial Society", publish a set of 4 DVDs featuring - thus paying proper respect to - the legendary 40th Myōan-ji 'Kansu', Yoshimura 'Fuan' Sōshin, 1904-1998:


Yoshimura Soushin memorial DVD collection cover

'Suizen - fuke fuku na - narase narasu na - '
"Suizen - Blow, Don't blow - Ring, Don't ring - "

     You may order internationally from HoW/Hogaku on the World CD Shop:

     Link regarding Seian Genshin 'Kansu', WSF 2018:

2016, October 21 (first issued in 1997, see above):

Seian Genshin, editor, and the 'Myōan Shakuhachi Bō-chiku-kai', 明暗尺八忘竹会, the "Myōan Shakuhachi Memorial Society", publish a second edition of a monumental memorial tribute book, now including 3 music CDs, about the legendary 40th Myōan-ji 'Kansu', Yoshimura 'Fuan' Sōshin, 1904-1998:


Yoshimura Soushin memorial publication

Yoshimura Soushin memorial publication: Yoshimura 'Fuan' Sōshin portraits

"Legend of the World of Myōan Shakuhachi, the 40th 'Kansu', Mr. 'Fuan' Yoshimura Sōshin
Based on hitherto unpublished fine recordings
Myōan-ji Tradition - Complete Sōshin Tradition Complete Collection
Complete Classical Shakuhachi Honkyoku Anthology"

     You may order internationally from HoW/Hogaku on the World CD Shop:

     Link regarding Seian Genshin 'Kansu', WSF 2018:

2017: Kojima Hōan retires and Seian Genshin becomes the 42nd 'Kansu'.


日々の吹禅 - HIBI no SUIZEN

2019: Seian Genshin & Kyōto Myōan Kyōkai produce the CD
'Hibi no Suizen', "Daily Suizen"/"Everyday Shakuhachi Asceticism":

Seian Genshin Myouan Kyoukai 'Hibi no Suizen' CD

Seian Genshin Kansu portrait   Seian Genshin Myouan Kyoukai 'Hibi no Suizen' CD track list

Seian Genshin, 42nd 'Kansu' - 'Hibi no Suizen' CD track list

     You can purchase that really important CD here
     at HoW/Hogaku of the World CD Shop:

     Besides, former ESS Chair Person Kiku Day can also deliver to you - just inquire with her at kikuday[at]


In the digital, online available European Shakuhachi Society Newsletter 2019, Vol. 2, on pages 30-32, you can find and read a lengthy, very respectful, review written by former ESS Chair Person, Kiku Day - here quoted in however only short,

"The CD Hibi no Suizen is wonderful."

     Link to ESS Newsletter 2019 Vol. 2:

2019, May 9: A Fine 'Suizen ichi-nyo' calligraphy scroll is displayed
in Kurahashi Yōdō's 'tokonoma' alcove- screen dump from video

"ShakuCamp 2019 - video #4 - Kurahashi Yōdō
Kurahashi-sensei talks about the Shakuhachi Summer Camp of the Rockies"

Kurahashi Yōdō's 'tokonoma'

     Link to Youtube, Elliot Kallens's Channel:

2021: Still, as of April 25: The Myōan Dōshu-kai representatives themselves declare on the Myōan temple's website - among other contradictory statements -

that it was the renowned Shingon Buddhist, later to become a Zen monk, Shinchi Kakushin/Hottō Kokushi, 1207-1298, who
"instituted 'Sui-shō-zen' and 'Sui-zen', ['kakuritsu saremashita', 確立されました], as the alternative, though also somehow equivalent, practice of Buddha realization through 'Za-zen', 座禅"

- in the middle of the 13th century, that should have taken place ... well, I mean: really?

Quotation from the web page in question, in Japanese:






'Hottō Kokushi wa shakuhachi o motte
zazen ichijo no benpō, zenjō gotoku no myōhō
toshita shidō rinen de
「suishōzen」 sunawachi 「suizen」 o kakuritsu saremashita.'


2021, May 1:

One yet undocumented/undated 'Suizen' record release by Bobby Seigetsu Avstreih:

"Sui-zen Shakuhachi - Vol. 1-2"


"Devoted to the Meian sui-zen repertoire in the Jin Nyodo tradition.
Primary teachers Ronnie Nyogetsu Seldin and Kurahashi Yoshio.
Received name Seigetsu at Ki Sui An Dojo 1987."


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