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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

1474: Tōyō Eichō and Ikkyū Sōjun at the Inauguration
     of the Partly Rebuilt Daitoku Temple, Kyōto

1474 - IKKYŪ SŌJUN is appointed ABBOT of DAITOKU-JI

明頭来 明頭打 - MYŌTŌ RAI - MYŌTŌ DA
暗頭来 暗頭打 - ANTŌ RAI - ANTŌ DA

Ikkyuu Soujun. Abbot of Daitoku-ji, 1474.<BR>
Artist so far unidentified. 15th century.

Ikkyū Sōjun. Appointed abbot of Daitoku-ji in 1474.
Artist so far unidentified. 15th century.

'If a bright-head comes, strike the bright-head;
If a dark-head comes, strike the dark-head.
Whatever direction it comes from
Strike it like a whirlwind.
And if it comes from emptiness, cut it down with a scythe.'

'Hey, Mr. Abbot, dirtiest monk in the world,
Give me a Katsu!'
'No one came to ask after Hsiang-ju's thirst [katsu],
So he broke a plum branch and drank frozen dew,'
I struck back."

     Inauguration poem recited by Ikkyū Sōjun when he took the seat
     as abbot of the Daitoku-ji in Kyōto in 1474,
     on the 16th day of the second lunar month (trad. calendar).
     Preserved in the 'Kyōun-shū'.
     Trsl. by James H. Sanford, 1981.


Late 15th century: TŌYŌ EICHŌ & 'SHŌRIN MUKUTEKI'

Portrait of Tōyō Eichō, late 15th century

Portrait of Tōyō Eichō, 1428-1504
Anonymous. Owned by Daisen-ji, Gifu Prefecture


Mukuteki mottomo fukigatashi.
"A Flute with No Holes is the most difficult to blow."

     Trsl. by Torsten Olafsson.
     Source: Hori, 2003, p. 72 & p. 252.

The renowned Zen monk of the Myōshin-ji line of Rinzai Zen Tōyō Eichō, 東陽英朝, 1428-1504, was among the first to collect socalled "capping phrases" for kōan study.
The above cited phrase is but one among numerous such capping phrases presented in the Zenrin kushū collection by Ijūshi (n.d.), published in 1688.
It remains so far undetermined whether that particular capping phrase may actually have been contained in Tōyō Eichō's capping phrase collection Kuzōshi dating from the late 15th century.

In any case, Tōyō Eichō was the author of a most impressive literary work entitled Shōrin mukuteki, "The Shōrin Flute Without Holes", which was, eventually, published in 1709 (Hōei 6) in 6 volumes, edited by Ueda Shōshin.
A copy of that work is preserved at the Komazawa University Library.

The term mukuteki does in fact appear in quite a number of old Chinese & Japanese Buddhist texts - link to the SAT Daizōkyō Text Database

By the way, in Volume 1 of the Shōrin mukuteki, one finds a very interesting passage that mentions both Ikkyū Sōjun playing the shakuhachi - and: the grandeur of Priest Fuke whose Myō-An poem Ikkyū is known to have recited at the inauguration ceremony at Daitoku-ji in 1474.

Acc. to Tōyō Eichō, he actually witnessed Ikkyū Sōjun playing the (hitoyogiri?) shakuhachi in the Zen temple Daitoku-ji in Kyōto on that very day, in late 1474, when Ikkyū entered the Abbot's Quarters of the temple to become its rebuilder and restorer.
Tōyō Eichō recorded as follows,

- - -

"In the not cold Winter,
after the offering ceremony held on the third Day of the Dog after the Winter solstice [12th month, 1474],
I saw Abbot Ikkyū as he entered beneath the sign board of the Founder's Hall [of Daitoku Temple in Kyōto]
after its destruction [in the Ōnin War, 1467-1477].
- - -
Kyōun [Ikkyū's literary name] blew forth [the tune] Hōsanten, "Summit of the Treasure Mountain"."

Link to the full text in question: Shōrin mukuteki, Chapter 1.
That particular passage is so far awaiting a complete, final and fulfilling translation and commentary.

Daitsū-in, Shōkoku-ji, Kyōto

The Zen temple Ryūkyōzan Shōrin-ji in Kakamigahara, Gifu Prefecture
Tōyō Eichō who founded the temple in 1493 (Meiō 2)
lies buried here. Meiji Period drawing

By the way, the term mukuteki also appears in a literary work entitled Shakuhachi mei narabi ni jo, date 1505, "Shakuhachi Makers' Seals and Introduction", by the Rinzai Zen monk Kōrin (died 1536, Tenmon 5, 6th month, 14th day).
The text is reproduced in Nakatsuka, 1979, pp. 204-206.


Tōyō Eichō, 1428-1504, is appointed jū-ji, 住持, or "chief administrator" of the Zen temple Daitoku-ji i Kyōto.

      Source: Louis Frédéric, 2005, p. 170.

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