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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"?
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
ERA of the FUKE-SŌ / FUKE-KOMOSŌ
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
ERA of the KOMUSŌ
"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"
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
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
2 - POST-WW2 till TODAY: JAPAN
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 ... : 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
- Beginning, Middle & End
By Isshi Bunshu, 1608-1646
A list of references is included at page bottom.
A complete bibliography can be found on this separate webpage: "Literature".
c. 2600 BCE:
Square seal depicting a nude male deity with three faces,
seated in yogic position on a throne.
Harappan Bronze Age Culture, c. 2600-1900 BCE.
Dimensions: 2.65 x 2.7 cm, 0.83 to 0.86 thickness.
Excavated at Mohenjo-daro, present-day Punjab, Pakistan.
Now in the Islamabad Museum.
BRĀHMAN - "The highest Universal Principle", "The Ultimate Reality in the universe"
ĀTMAN - "The Essential Self"
c. 1500 - c. 900 BCE - The Veda Era:
"That One breathed breathlessly by Itself;
other than It there nothing since has been."
Quoted from the Rigveda, X, 129. Trsl. by R.H. Blyth, 1960, Vol. I.
c. 1200 - c. 1000 BCE:
SAMĀDHI - " ... a state of meditative consciousness.
It is a meditative absorption or trance, attained by the practice of dhyāna.
c. 1000 - c. 700 BCE - The Upanishad Era:
"The blind one found the jewel;
The one without fingers picked it up;
The one with no neck put it on;
And the one with no voice praised it."
In the Taittirya Aranyaka. Trsl. by R.H. Blyth, Vol. I.
ADVAITA - "Not Dual", "Non-Duality", "Non-Division"
Date: 8th to 6th CENTURY BCE
AUM / OM
DHYANA - "Meditation", "Thinking"
ध्यान (Sanskrit) -
"Part One - Chapter I — Meditation on Om"
1. The syllable Om, called the Udgitha, should be meditated upon;
for people sing the Udgitha, beginning with Om.
Now follows the detailed explanation of the syllable:
2. The essence of all these beings is the earth;
the essence of the earth is water;
the essence of water is plants;
the essence of plants is a person;
essence of a person is speech;
the essence of speech is the Rig—Veda;
essence of the Rig—Veda is the Sama—Veda;
the essence of the Sama—Veda is the Udgitha which is Om.
"PART 7 - Chapter VI — Meditation as Brahman"
1. "Meditation (Dhyana) is, verily, greater than consideration.
Earth meditates, as it were.
The mid—region meditates, as it were.
Heaven meditates, as it were.
The waters meditate, as it were.
The mountains meditate, as it were.
The gods meditate, as it were.
Men meditate, as it were.
Therefore he who, among men, attains greatness here on earth seems to have obtained a share of meditation.
Thus while small people are quarrelsome, abusive and slandering, great men appear to have obtained a share of meditation.
Meditate on meditation.
2. "He who meditates on meditation as Brahman, can, of his own free will, reach as far as meditation reaches
— he who meditates on meditation as Brahman. - - -"
Trsl. by Swami Nikhilinanda.
Link to Swami Nikhilinanda's English translation of the Chandogya Upanishad:
"The word zen, dhyana, appears first in the Chandogya Upanishad, and means "thinking," or rather,
"meditating," the difference being all-important, for Zen means thinking with the body. - - - "
R.H. Blyth, 1960.
Date of Chandogya Upanishad, part of the Sama Veda:
Variously dated between the 6th and 8th centuries BCE.
5th CENTURY BCE:
"His heart is with Brahman,
His eye in all things
Sees only Brahman
Knows his own Atman
In every creature,
And all creation
Within that Atman."
In the Bhagavadgita. Trsl. by R.H. Blyth, Vol. I.
"Aum is verily the beginning, middle and end of all Knowing.
Aum as such, one, without doubt, attains immediately to that (the Supreme Reality)."
"One who has known Aum which is soundless and of infinite sounds and which is ever-peaceful on account of negation of duality is the (real) sage and none other."
"That which has no parts (soundless), incomprehensible (with the aid of the senses), the cessation of all phenomena, all bliss and non-dual Aum,
is the fourth and verily the same as the Ātman.
He who knows this merges his self in the self."
Māndūkya Upanishad Kārikā (commentary) by
composed around the year 0. Trsl. by Swami Nikhilananda, 1936.
"This realization of non-duality is the end to be attained."
From Shankara's introduction to the Māndūkya Upanishad
Kārikā by Gaudapāda, 8th century CE
Trsl. by Swami Nikhilananda, 1936.
"Vedānta certainly does not help us to bring grist to our individual mill.
It certainly does not tell us how to increase our capacity to enjoy the pleasures derived from material objects.
But Vedānta really teaches us how to enjoy this world after realizing its true nature.
To embrace or comprehend the universe after realizing it as the non-dual Brahman, gives us peace that passeth all understanding."
Swami Nikhilananda in the preface for his translation of the
Māndūkya Upanishad, 1936.
BRĀHMAN - "The highest Universal Principle", "The Ultimate Reality in the universe"
ĀTMAN - "The Essential Self"
5h Century BCE:
ANĀTMAN - "The Not-Self"
ADVAYA - "The Essential Nature of Things when truly understood, according to Buddhist thought":
- "not two without a second", "only", "unique", "non-duality", "ultimate truth", "identity", "unity"
DHARMA - The "Law" in Buddhist thought
धर्म (Sanskrit) -
SIDDHĀRTHA GAUTĀMA BUDDHA - c. 563-483 BCE, alt. c. 480-400 BCE
NEN-GE-MI-SHŌ - llt. "Pick up Flower, Subtle Smile"
In a famous, though legendary, wordless sermon of his, Buddha is reported to have shown his diciples a flower - however, only Mahākāśyapa understood ...
Buddha commented, "I possess the true Dharma eye, the marvelous mind of Nirvana, the true form of the formless,
the subtle [D]harma [G]ate that does not rest on words or letters but is a special transmission outside of the scriptures. This I entrust to Mahākāśyapa."
This central Zen Buddhist anecdote was composed much later, possibly by Chinese Ch'an Buddhists. Earliest reference is dated 1036.
Sources: Dumoulin, 2005, p. 9, Harmless, 2008, p. 192
SHŪRANGAMA SAMĀDHI SŪTRA
"Buddha said, 'The sound of the bell continues during a space of time;
How do we become conscious of it?
Does the sound come from the ear, or the ear go to the origin of the sound?
If it does not go (one way or the other) there is no hearing.
For this reason, it must be understood, that hearing and sound are neither special.
We mistakenly put hearing and sound in two (different) places.
Originally it is not a matter of cause and effect or of natural law."
Shūramgama Samādhi Sūtra. Trsl. into Chinese by Kumārajiva,
344-413 CE Quoted by Wu-men Hui-k'ai (Jap.: Mumon Ekai),
1183-1260, in the Wu-men-kuan (Jap.: Mumonkan).
Trsl. by R.H. Blyth, Vol. IV.
" - - - Ananda, listen again to the drum being beaten in the Jeta Garden when the food is ready. The assembly gathers as the bell is struck.
The sounds of the bell and the drum follow one another in succession.
What do you think? Do these things come into existence because the sound comes to the region of the ear, or because the ear goes to the place of the sound?
Again, Ananda, suppose that the sound comes to the region of the ear. Similarly, when I go to beg for food in the city of Shravasti, I am no longer in the Jeta Grove.
If the sound definitely goes to the region of Ananda's ear, then neither
Maudgalyana nor Kashyapa would hear it, and even less the twelve hundred and fifty shramanas who, upon hearing the sound of the bell, come to the dining hall at the same time.
Again, suppose that the ear goes to the region of the sound. Similarly, when I return to the Jeta Grove, I am no longer in the city of Shravasti. When you hear the sound of the drum,
your ear will already have gone to the place where the drum is being beaten. Thus, when the bell peals, you will not hear the sound - -
even the less that of the elephants, horses, cows, sheep, and all the other various sounds around you.
If there is no coming or going, there will be no hearing, either.
Therefore, you should know that neither hearing nor sound have a location, and thus the two places of hearing and sound are empty and false.
Their origin is not in causes and conditions, nor do their natures arise spontaneously.
- - -
Moreover, Ananda, as you understand it, the ear and sound create the conditions that produce the ear-consciousness.
Is this consciousness produced because of the ear such that the ear is its realm, or is it produced because of sound, such that sound is its realm?
Ananda, suppose the ear-consciousness were produced because of the ear. The organ of hearing would have no awareness in the absence of both movement and stillness.
Thus, nothing would be known by it. Since the organ would lack awareness, what would characterize the consciousness?
You may hold that the ears hear, but when there is no movement and stillness, hearing cannot occur.
How, then, could the ears, which are but physical forms, unite with external objects to be called the realm of consciousness?
Once again, therefore, how would the realm of consciousness be established?
Suppose it was produced from sound. If the consciousness existed because of sound, then it would have no connection with hearing.
Withour hearing, then the characteristic of sound would have no location.
Suppose consciousness existed because of sound. Given that sound exists because of hearing, which causes the characteristic of sound to manifest,
then you should also hear the hearing-consciousness.
If the hearing-consciousness is not heard, there is no realm. If it is heard, then it is the same as sound. If the consciousness itself is heard,
who is it that perceives and hears the consciousness? If there is no perceiver, then in the end you would be like grass or wood.
Nor is it likely that the sound and hearing mix together to form a realm in between. Since a realm in between could not be established,
how could the internal and external characteristics be delineated?
Therefore, you should know that as to the ear and sound creating the conditions which produce the realm of the ear-consciousness,
none of the three places exists. Thus, the ear, sound, and sound-consciousness - - these three - - do not have their origin in causes and conditions, nor do their natures arise spontaneously. - - - "
Shūrangama Samādhi Sūtra. Trsl. into Chinese by Kumārajiva,
344-413 CE. Primary translation by Bhikshuni Heng Ch'i.
2nd - 3rd CENTURIES CE:
NĀGĀRJUNA - c. 150 to c. 250 CE:
ŚŪNYATĀ - "Non-Substantiality", "Non-Self", "Voidness", "Non-Duality"
sarvaṃ ca yujyate tasya śūnyatā yasya yujyate
sarvaṃ na yujyate tasya śūnyaṃ yasya na yujyate
"All is possible when Emptiness is possible.
Nothing is possible when Emptiness is impossible."
Quotation from Chapter 24, verse 14, in the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā.
शून्यता - ŚŪNYATĀ
空 - KŪ
"Kū: (Skt.: shūnya or shūnyatā)
A fundamental Buddhist concept, variously translated as non-substantiality, emptiness, void, latency, relativity, etc. The concept that entities have no fixed or independent nature.
The idea is closely linked to that of dependent origination (Skt.: pratîtya-samutpâda, Jap.: engi], which states that, because phenomena arise and continue to exist only by virtue of their relationship with other phenomena, they have no fixed substance and have as their true nature kū.
The concept of kū thus teaches that nothing exists independently. Its practical implications lie in the rejection of attachments to transient phenomena,
and to the egocentricity of one who envisions himself as being absolute and independent of all other existences.
It is an especially important concept in Mahayana Buddhism.
On the basis of sutras known as Hannya (Skt.: prajna) or Wisdom sutras, the concept of kū was systemized by Nâgârjuna, who explains it as the Middle Way, which here means neither existence nor non-existence.
- - - "
In: A Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts.
Matsuda Tomohiro, chief editor.
T.O. comment: The south-Indian Mahayana scholar Nāgārjuna is
thought to have lived between 150 and 250 CE. His systematization of
the doctrine of Non-substantiality, or 'Shūnyatā' [Jap.: 'kū'], was set
forth in his treatise 'Mahāprajnāpāramitā-shāstra', a commentary on
the Makahannya Haramitsu sutra. The treatise was translated into
Chinese by Kumārajiva around 405 CE Also referred to as the
'Middle' way, Nāgārjuna's doctrine is integral to Mahayana
Buddhism, and he is revered as the founder of the eight sects:
Kusha, Jōjitsu, Ritsu, Hossō, Sanron, Kegon, Tendai and Shingon.
Link to the next page:
China 1 • 6000 BCE - 500 CE
List of references:
R.H. Blyth: Zen and Zen Classics, Vol. 1: General Introduction.
From the Upanishads to Huineng. The Hokuseido Press, Tokyo, 1960.
R.H. Blyth: Zen and Zen Classics, Vol. 4: Mumonkan.
The Hokuseido Press, Tokyo, 1966, 1974.
Heinrich Dumoulin: Zen Buddhism. A History. Volume 1: India & China.
Trsl. by James W. Heisig & Paul F. Knitter.
World Wisdom, Inc., Bloomington, Indiana, 2005.
William Harmless: Mystics.
Oxford University Press, 2008.
Bhikshuni Heng Ch'i, trsl.: The Shurangama Sutra, Vol. III.
The Buddhist Text Translation Company,
San Francisco, California, 1980.
Matsuda Tomohiro, ed., et al.:
A Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts.
Nichiren Shoshu International Center, Tokyo, 1983.
Swami Nikhilananda, trsl.: The Māndūkyopanishad with Gaudapāda's
Kārikā and Shankara's Commentary.
Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama, Mysore, 1936, 1968.