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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


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1650s?: The Kaidō honsoku - "Version 3" Document Copy

I am grateful to Mr. Yamakawa Sōkyū, 山川宗休, Kōkoku-ji near Yura in Wakayama Prefecture, Mr. Ōno Osamu, 大野治, the Central Public Citizen's Hall in Yura, and Mr. Simura Satosi, 志村哲, and Mrs. Tsukitani Tsuneko, 月溪恒子, both Ōsaka University, for their generous helping me with - and acknowledging - this research project of mine, back in the 1980s and later on, respectively.

Please also refer to these directly related web pages:

1628: The Kaidō honsoku Fuke-komosō Credo

c. 1640?: The Kaidō honsoku "Version 2" Copy

The version of the Kaidō honsoku that was investigated and truthfully copied and described by Nakatsuka Chikuzen during the late 1930s and also published in reprint in 1938 by the Kōkoku Temple itself, edited by Mori Hikotarō, could in no possible way be the very original version of that credo:

Both of the two opening paragraphs being presented in the known reprints can only have been added sometime after 1628.

Second - most probably first sometime during the 1650s - came this addition at the top, the uppermost of the two "headers", so to speak:



"When Hottō Kokushi returned to his native country, he was accompanied by four Buddhist laymen: Kuo Tsuo. Li Cheng, Tseng Shu & Pao P'u [in Japanese: Kokusa(ku), Risei, Sōjo and Hōfu]."

Do also read about the "Version 2" Document Copy on this web page:

c. 1640?: The Kaidō honsoku "Version 2"

The complete, preserved copy of the printed versions of the Kaidō honsoku kan be explored here:

1628: The Kaidō honsoku Fuke-komosō Credo


When you study the main body of the Kaidō honsoku (renumbered paragraphs 1-19) - beginning with "Where from does the Komo come?" - and compare that whole text with the two opening paragraphs (renumbered 00 & 0), or headlines, you will realize that there is nothing there semantically that confirms the contents and "messaging" being expressed in those two headlines, at all.

Re paragraph 0:

"Kaidō honsoku. Issued from Yura in the Kii Province."

None of the 16 branches of the komosō movement listed at the end can in any way be convincingly connected with the small coastal town Yura in modern Wakayama Prefecture (the former Kii Province) - and Shinchi Kakushin's Kōkoku Temple there!

Further, it also clearly appears as if the title Kaidō honsoku, lit.: "Coastal Route(s) Basic Rules", can only have been a later addition - a description more than any actual "document title".
Just as, be it such a very formal honsoku document one would certainly expect information about the place and agent of origin to be given at the very end - not at the top of the script.

So, in other words, the main body of the Kaidō honsoku could in fact have originated many places in Japan.

Re paragraph 00:

"When Hottō Kokushi returned to his native country [i.e. Japan], he was accompanied by four Buddhist laymen:
Kuo Tsuo, Li Cheng, Tseng Shu & Pao P'u -
[in Japanese: Kokusa(ku), Risei, Sōjo and Hōfu]."

It really needs, once more, to be stressed and strongly underscored that there is to be found no proof at all of the idea that Shinchi Kakushin, a.k.a. Hottō Kokushi, was ever accompanied by "four Chinese Buddhist laymen", when he returned from his "Zen Buddhist" training and research stay in China in 1254!

That is part of the Kyotaku denki myth that was fabricated, most probably, in the period 1665-1675 by some quite early komusō who desperately needed a solid cover story to legitimize their claim of being members of a very old, highly esteemed and privileged class of ascetic followers of the early 9th century Chinese Ch'an (Zen) monk Fuke (Ch.: P'u-k'o).

Those four, though completely imaginary, made-up "persons" apparently had to be invented in order to play some cunning role as "Chinese ancestors" of four of the most prominent branches of later to emerge komusō who were already listed among a total of 16 in all in the Kaidō honsoku in 1628.
Those four were the following:

Par. 17-7: The 'Kaka-ha', or 'Kagari-ha'?, of the later established Reihō-ji temple in Musashi, modern Kantō region, the earliest mention of which is in a document dated in the 6th month of 1677.
That branch later came to be known as the 'Kassō-ha', as Kassō was at sometime invented to have been acting as a direct (though of course legendary) disciple of Kokusa(ku)'s.

Par. 17-11: The 'Kinzen-ha' of the later established Ichigetsu-ji temple in Shimotsuke, modern NW Chiba Prefecture.
The earliest known document I have so far found and studied that mentions the Ichigetsu-ji is dated as late as the 7th month of 1730.
The legendary founder of that temple and of the 'Kinsen-ha' was invented to be named 'Kinsen', an alleged disciple of the legendary Chinese "Buddhist layman" Hōfu.

Par. 17-12: The 'Kogiku-ha' of the much later established Shingetsu-ji temple i Shimotsuke, modern Ibaraki Prefecture, date unknown.
The legendary founder of that "temple" and of the temple's transmission line was invented to having been the seventh in succession after the Chinese Buddhist layman named Risei.

Par. 17-14: The 'Umeji-ha' of either the Shōgan-ji temple in Hitachi, modern Tochigi Prefecture, or the Jijō-ji in present Gunma Prefecture.
I have, however, so far not found any evidence of any direct relation between the fourth Chinese layman Sōjo and any "Umeji layman founder of any of those two so called "Fuke temples".

Summing up, the "Kakushin/Four Chinese Buddhist Laymen" fabricated narrative was actually, at the very earliest, invented and put into writing by the Japanese Zen abbot Isshi Bunshu in a personal letter to a certain very early komusō named Sandō Mugetsu, a letter that would have been written no earlier than during the early 1640s, no later than 1645, or 1646, the year of Isshi's death.

Read much more about Isshi Bunshu and his letter here:
1646 at the latest: Abbot Isshi Bunshu's Letter to a "Proto-komusō" named Sandō Mugetsu
and here about the The Hottō Kokushi / Shinchi Kakushin Legend:
1646 ... The Hottō Kokushi / Shinchi Kakushin Legend: The "Four Buddhist Laymen" & the "Disciple" Kichiku

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