「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

1751?: The Problematic Keichō 19 (1614) Komusō Certificate:
     The Many Different All Fabricated Versions


1751: The "Keichō Period Edict"

Dating: Komusō Shakuhachi traditionalists devotedly believe that this strange document was actually originally issued and signed in 1614, Keichō 19; by Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu, himself.
That is simply impossible, only wishful thinking. Nothing but a myth - a sheer, yet also cunning fabrication.

Do observe, as a fact, that Ieyasu's name is not even mentioned anywhere in any of the many versions of that fully fabricated "document"!

According to the Japanese shakuhachi historian Yamato Hōmei, the oldest version of this definitely fabricated document was created and appeared only as late as in 1751, Hōreki Period Year 1.

Link to webpage in question: Yamato Hōmei's critical webpages

Moreover, acc. to japanologist Max Deeg, the oldest "attested" version of a Keichō no okitegaki document can be dated only as late as 1792! Deeg, 2007, p. 27.


It is essential to observe and acknowledge this fact: That the Japanese characters
普化宗, Fuke-shū, in English: the "Fuke Sect", do not at all appear in any of the many known, surviving and published versions of the Keichō no okitegaki.

In the English translation presented below of a 9 article version of the document, in par. 6, Takahashi Tōne mistakenly "translates" 宗門諸派, shūmon shoha, "all the congregation's factions", as "the Fuke-shū". Which is certainly not correct :-)

御入国 之節 被仰渡 候 御掟書
(ごにゅうこく のせつ おおせ わたされ そうろう おんおきてがき)


“Decree About Bestowing Entrance to the Different Provinces”

10 paragraph version of the Keichō no okitegaki

10 paragraph version of the 'Keichō no okitegaki'
Kokuritsu Kōbun Shokan/National Archives of Japan:
Naikaku Bunko Library/Cabinet Library, Japan
In Ueno, 2002, p. 209

Known Editions & Published Versions

8 PARAGRAPH printed version presented by NAKATSUKA CHIKUZEN
In: Nakatsuka 1979, pp. 430-431

Keichō no okitegaki, 8 paragraphs

8 PARAGRAPH digitalized and commented online version presented by YAMATO HŌMEI
Link: Yamato Hōmei website

一 虚無僧の儀は、勇士浪人一時の隠れ家となし、守護入れざるの宗門。よりて天下の家臣諸士の席、定め置くべきの条、その意を得べき事。

一 虚無僧、諸国行脚の節、疑わしき者見掛け候ときは、早速召し捕らえ、その所へ留め置き、国領はその役人へ相渡し、地領代官所はその村役人へ相渡し申すべき事。

一 虚無僧の儀は、勇士の兼帯なる為、自然敵など相尋ね候旅行、依て諸国の者、虚無僧に対し、麁相(そそう)慮外の品、または托鉢に障り、むつかしき儀出来候節は、その子細を相改め、本寺まで申し達すべく候。 本寺に於いて相済まざる儀は、早速、江戸奉行所へ告げ来るべき事。

一 虚無僧止宿は、諸寺院あるいは駅宿の役所へ旅宿いたすべき事。

一 虚無僧の法冠は猥(みだ)りに取るべからざるものと、万端心得べき事。

一 尋ね者申し付け候節は、宗門諸流、丹誠をぬき抽んずべき事。

一 虚無僧、敵討ち申したき者これあるは、吟味を遂げ、兼ねて本寺に断り、本寺より訴え出すべき事。

一 諸士血刀を提げて寺内に駆け込み、願を依る者は、その起本を問うて抱え置くべし。もし弁舌を以て申し掠める者これ有らば、早速訴え出づべき事。

9 PARAGRAPH printed version presented in TOKUGAWA KINREIKŌ
Originally compiled and eventually published in 1890 (-1895) by the Japanese Ministry of Justice (Shihōshō, 1871-1948)
In: Tokugawa kinreikō, Book 5, Maki 41, 1932, pp. 106-107.

Link - go to frame 61: National Diet Library, Tokyo: Tokugawa kinreikō, Book 5

Tokugawa kinreikō: Keichō no okitegaki, 9 paragraphs

9 PARAGRAPH digitalized online version presented by IIDA KYOREI
Source acc. to Iida Kyorei: Tokugawa kinreikō
Link: Iida Kyorei website












慶長19年 申寅 正月



9 PARAGRAPH digitalized and commented online version presented by YAMAGUCHI RAIMEI
Link: Yamaguchi Raimei website


一 虚無僧之儀者勇士浪人一時之爲隠家不入守護之宗門依而天下之家臣諸士之席可定置之條可得其意事

一 虚無僧諸國取立之儀者諸士之外一向坊主百姓町人下賤之者不可取立事

一 虚無僧諸國行脚之節疑敷者見掛候時者早速召捕其所江留置國領は其役人江相渡地領代官所者其村役人江相渡可申事

一 虚無僧之儀者勇士爲兼帶自然敵抔相尋候旅行依而諸國之者對虚無僧麁相慮外之品又者托鉢之障六ヶ敷儀出来候節ハ其子細相改本寺迄可申達於本寺不相濟儀者早速江戸奉行所江可告来事

一 虚無僧法冠猥ニ不可取者ト萬端可心得事

一 尋者申付候節ハ宗門諸派可抽丹誠事

一 虚無僧敵討申度者於有之者遂吟味兼而斷本寺從本寺可訴出事

一 諸士提血刀寺内驅込依願者其問起本可抱置若以辯舌申掠者於有之ハ早速可訴出事

一 本寺宗法出置其段無油斷爲相守宗法相背者於有之ハ急度宗法可行事





9 PARAGRAPH version translated into English by TAKAHASHI TONE
Presented in Takahashi, 1990, pp. 55-56.

"1. The komusō fraternity is a religious group specifically designed to serve the needs of rōnin and samurai who wish to withdraw temporarily from the world. The temples of the komusō do not pertain to the jurisdiction of the authorities in which they are located. Furthermore, they are reserved only for the samurai.

2. Besides samurai, ordinary priests and people belonging to the lower ranks, such as peasants, traders or humble people, are not allowed to become komusō.

3. If a komusō chances upon a suspicious individual, he has the right to arrest him and deliver him to the local authorities.

4. A komusō is a samurai. Therefore during his pilgrimages he pursues his enemies.
To this purpose, the local people should allow him to practice takuhatsu freely and offer him every assistance..
If someone causes his inconvenience, he should denounce him to the local komusō temple; if the grievance is not settled there, the komusō should report to the Bugyō-sho [the office of the Tokugawa-shōgunate that oversaw the affairs of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines] in Edo.

5. A komusō should never remove his tengai [straw hood] without a serious reason.

6. The temple authorities and all members of the Fuke-shū* should assist in every way a komusō who is pursuing an enemy of the bakufu.

7. A komusō, prior to killing an enemy, has to receive permission from the parent temple.

8. When a samurai enters the temple's grounds carrying a sword dripping with blood, he should first be interrogated by the temple's authorities, prior to be given refuge.
If his reasons are plausible, he should be given shelter; in the opposite case, he should be denounced to the authorities.

9. The parent temple issues the rules, and everyone should abide by them. Whoever disobeys should be punished.

Remember! This is a religious sect for the bushi. Respect and abide by its rules! Do not forget the correct way of the samurai! Hence you are granted unlimited freedom to travel throughout the country."

* Comment by T.O.: Do note that the term Fuke-shū, as here in Takahashi Tone's translaton, does not appear at all in any of the known versions of the Keichō no okitegaki!

11 PARAGRAPH version presented by
Link: WikiPedia, Japan
















1816, at the latest
17 PARAGRAPH version presented by Iida Kyorei
Link: Iida Kyorei: Kinko no techō



1. 日本国中虚無僧之儀、勇士浪人一時之隠家として不入守護之宗門によって天下家臣諸士之席に可定之条可得其意事

1. 本寺江宗法出置候、其段無油断相守可申候、若相背者於有之は末寺は本寺より、虚無僧は其寺より急度宗罰行べき事

1. 虚無憎之外、尺八を吹申者於有之は急度指留可申候尤懇望之輩は本寺より尺八之免し出し為吹可中候、勿論諸士の外下賎之勿論江一切尺八を為吹申間敷候尤虚無僧之姿為致間敷候事

1. 虚無僧多勢集り逆意を申合者於有之には急度遂吟味本寺並に番僧に至迄重罰たるべき事

1. 虚無僧托鉢修行之節、同行弍人之外許不申事

1. 虚無僧渡世之儀は、諸国所々巡行専と仕由、其段指許申候遍歴修行之内、於諸国に国法杯と申、虚無僧末、慮外之体、又は托鉢等に障六ケ敷儀出来候はば子細を改、本寺江申達、於本寺不相済儀は早速江戸奉行所江可告来候事

1. 虚無僧托鉢に能出或は道中宿往未所々何方にても天蓄を取、諸人江面を合せ中間敷事

1. 虚無僧托鉢之節、刀脇差並武具類一切為持申間敷、惣而いかっケ間敷なりかたち致間敷、尤壱尺下の刃物為懐剣差免可申候事

1. 虚無僧之儀は勇士之道、敵体尋、廻国杯之儀も有之によって芝居渡舟等に至迄、往来自由指免候事

1. 似虚無僧於有之は急度宗法可行、若又賄賂を以見逃など致さば番僧に致迄、可為重罪、忽而無之様可申付候事

1. 托鉢に罷出下賎之者之痛をかえりみず托鉢不可致、勿論弁舌を以道興賄賂預饗応堅停止、惣而正道、一巳之慎無者、本則取上可申事

1. 虚無僧自然互に敵に候はば逐吟味還俗申付、寺内において勝負可為致候勿論諸士之外一切不指免候、贔屓層を以、片落なる取扱堅停止之事

1. 諸士人を切、血刀を提寺内江逃人候共留置、子細を改、不寄何事、武士道に候はば宗法可士候、たとへ武士たりとも科ある人は一切隠置申間敷候、若隠置、其罪後日に顕は難逃儀に付早連縄懸させ差出可申事。

1. 虚無憎に罷成、敵討申度著於有之は其段子細相改指免可申、併ながら多勢集申間敷候、同行人壱人は免可申候、尤諸上之外一切不指免事

1. 往来之節馬駕篭一切無用、所々関所番所にては無沙汰無之様、本寺より之本則往未出し相改させて通可申事

1. 住所を離、他国所々城下並町托鉢修行連留、一日之外堅無用、若鳴物停止等告来行はば宗門伝学之虚霊之外吹申問敷事

1. 虚無僧之儀は天下之家臣請士之席に相定候上は常に武門之正道を不失、何時に而も還俗申付候間、表には僧之形を学、内心に而は武者修行之宗法と可心得者也、為其、曰本国之往来自由指免置候様に決定如件。


慶長19年  戊寅 正月

板倉伊賀守  在判


12 PARAGRAPH version presented by Yoshida & Kobayashi
of "The Arashiyama Society for the Reading of Old Texts", 嵐山町の古文書を読む会,
located and operating in Ranzan City, Saitama Prefecture, NW of present Tōkyō.


- - -


- - -


一 虚無僧之義者勇士浪人一時之為隠家不入守護

一 虚無僧取立之儀者諸士之外坊主百姓町人下賎之者

一 虚無僧諸国行脚之節疑敷者見懸之時ハ早速

一 虚無僧之儀者勇士為兼帯自然敵抔相尋旅行

一 虚無僧之義止宿者諸寺院或者駅宿村々役所江

一 虚無僧法冠猥リニハ不可取者ハ万端可心得事

一 尋者申付候節者宗門諸流可細丹誠事

一 虚無僧敵討申儀者於有之ハ懸吟味兼而本寺

一 諸士提血刀寺内江逃込依頼者其向為知本寺可抱

一 虚無僧常々木大刀懐剣心懸可致所持事

一 本寺宗法出置其段無油断為相守宗法相背者於有之

一 此度被仰出為上意之趣堅可相守





21 PARAGRAPH version reprinted in the book Shakuhachi dokushū annai,
"A Guide to Shakuhachi Self-study", edited by Inaba Issui, Fuke Kyōkai, Tokyo, 1915, pp. 11-15
Link: Sadame, in Shakuhachi dokushū annai

Komusō Sadame, 21 paragraphs, no. 1

Komusō Sadame, 21 paragraphs, no. 2

Komusō Sadame, 21 paragraphs, no. 3

21 PARAGRAPH version translated into English by TAKAHASHI TONE
Presented in Takahashi 1990, pp. 64-67.


1. The Japanese komusō fraternity is a religious group specially designed to serve the needs of ronin and samurai who wish to withdraw temporarily from the world. The temples of the komusō do not pertain to the jurisdiction of the authorities in which they are located. They are reserved only for the samurai.

2. When the parent temple issues the rules, everyone should abide by them. A komusō who belongs to a sub-temple will receive penalization from the parent temple.

3. When a komusō performs itinerancy, he is obeying the laws of his sect. Therefore, he must be allowed to do it freely.

4. When a komusō is practising takuhatsu in a foreign land, the town’s people cannot molest him according to the laws of that land. If the komusō is prevented from doing takuhatsu, he should report to the main temple. If the main temple is not able to handle the matter, it should be reported as soon as possible to the Edo Bugyō.

5. During a komusō’s pilgrimages, within the streets or in the lodging places, he is not to remove the tengai and show his face.

6. A komusō should not carry arms during his takuhatsu. He is allowed to have a dagger shorter than one shaku (30.3 cm.) and to hide it in his clothing.

7. A komusō is also a samurai who pursues his enemies during his pilgrimages. He, therefore, should be given free admission to shibai [plays], etc., and be exempted from toll fees and boat fares everywhere he goes.

8. The bansō [priest keeper] should be sent to all the country, to supervise komusō behavior.

9. If the bansō discovers a false komusō during his expeditions, he should deal with him according to the laws. If the bansō agrees to be bribed and sets the false komusō free, he, as well as the false komusō, will be rigorously punished. Therefore, be on guard and behave yourself!

10. No one is allowed to play the shakuhachi besides a komusō. If a samurai desires to play the shakuhachi, he should obtain permission from the main temple. Only samurai are allowed to play shakuhachi and become komusō.

11. If a komusō becomes aware of a komusō conspiracy, he should report it at once to the authorities. The participants, including the main temple and the bansō, will be punished severely.

12. When a komusō is practicing takuhatsu, he may have with him no more than one fellow komusō as his mate.

13. A komusō should not extort donations or lodging accommodation from the poor. In addition, feasts, banquets and ... [missing characters].

14. When a komusō chances upon one of his enemies, they should both agree to ask for permission from the main temple to be relieved from their komusō status. They should duel on the temple’s grounds. The duelers are not allowed to received any external reinforcements. Only samurai are allowed to behave thus.

15. If a samurai enters the temple’s grounds carrying a sword dripping with blood, the temple authorities should first interrogate him, and then offer him refuge. If a samurai has precedents, he should not hide his past deeds, because if his sins are made known in the future, he will no longer receive protection from the temple.

16. A komusō may kill his enemies but is not allowed to participate in group fighting. He is allowed to have only one fellow komusō with him during the fight. Only samurai are allowed to behave thus.

17. A komusō is not allowed to ride a horse or use a palanquin during his itinerancy, in order to avoid facing too many people.

18. When a komusō arrives at the borderland of a country, he should politely demonstrate his credentials which were given by the main temple and be allowed to pass freely. If a komusō avoids passing by the official checkpoint, he should be interrogated. Be prudent and respect the regulations!

19. When a komusō practices takuhatsu outside his territory in a castle town, he should not stay there for more than seven days. During his takuhatsu practice he should never play secular music or popular tunes. He is not allowed to participate in any artistic activities.

20. When a komusō is practicing takuhatsu, he should not use a shakuhachi that is shorter than one shaku (30.3 cm) and eight sun (1/10 of shaku) in length, nor play different pieces than those prescribed.

21. Komusō discipline has been established for all samurai under the sun. Do not forget the right path of chivalry, because at every moment a komusō can again become a samurai. Learn the priest trade, and in your heart enhance chivalry. Remember that this is a religious sect for the bushidō. Hence you are granted to travel freely throughout the country."

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