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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
1628?: A 'Komusō'-related Murder Case
in the Province of Tosa on the Island of Shikoku?
May this really be the earliest credible evidence of 'komusō',
虚無僧, in Japan?
In his book published in 2016, on page 145 explains the author, ethnomusicologist Gerald Groemer, as follows regarding an alleged komusō murder case in 1628,
"Komusō were incorporated into the Edo-period religious and mibun*) hierarchy in a political tug-of-war that found the bakufu and domanial administrations pulling on one side and the komusō organization yanking on the other.
Sometimes random events led to momentous determinations. In 1628, for example, the assassination of a warrior functionary in Tosa province (Kōchi prefecture) by a disgruntled
komusō resulted in an edict requiring all suspicious travelers entering the domain to be checked. Wanderers in the province were ordered to cease wearing low-brimmed hats or facecloths and were barred from entering a village to beg or to receive lodging. [note] 136"
*) 'mibun', 身分: social position, social status.
Gerald Groemer: Street Performers and Society in Urban Japan, 1600-1900:
The Beggar's Gift.
Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia, 2016, p. 145.
Google Books: Selected pages from Gerald Groemer's 2016 book
Note 136 refers to pages 199-201 in this article dated 1994:
Hosaka Hiro'oki: 'Jūshichi seiki ni okeru komusō no seisei: boroboro,
komosō to no idō to 'kou' kōi no arikata.'
Printed in: Mibunteki shūen, Buraku mondai kenkyō shuppan-bu, 1994.
The 1628 Tosa "Murder" Evidence Explained by Hosaka Hiro'oki in 1994
Hosaka Hiro'oki's 1994 introduction to the 1628 Tosa anti-basket hat 'sadame' prohibition law.
In Hosaka, 1994, Chapter 5, pp. 199.
The 1628-8-28 'sadame', 定, regulation
banning the wearing
of low-brimmed basket hats - and begging - in all of the Tosa Province
In the year 1600, after Tokugawa Ieyasu's victory at Sekigahara, as a token of gratitude for faithful support during the military campaigns, the new shōgun granted the Yamauchi (alt. Yama no Uchi) Clan the rule over the large province of Tosa, present day Kōchi Prefecture, that faces the Pacific Ocean along the entire Southern coast of the island Shikoku.
Throughout the entire Tokugawa Period, the clan's administrative bodies preserved what should grow into a very impressive amount of historical documents that are now partly being stored at The Tosa Yamauchi Family Treasury and Archive in Kōchi City, partly being kept in the protective care of the library of Tōkyō University.
You may read about the Tosa Yamauchi Family Treasury and Archives here
The provinces of Western Japan during the early 17th century, from Tokugawa Ieyasu, 1600 ...
Source: Wikipedia: Provinces of Japan
You see the Province of Tosa on the Southern coast of Shikoku,
ruled by the Yamauchi Clan since 1600, in the center of the map.
Map showing the coastal town Akishi Ichi no Miya in Kōchi Prefecture, Shikoku. Source: Google
Among the numerous preserved historical sources, reprinted in a four volume source collection published in 1980-1981**), while researching his 1994 article, in Volume 2 pp. 183-184, Prof. Hosaka discovered an extremely significant, yet still somewhat mysterious legal document, a so called 'sadame',
定, a "regulation", or "minor "law",
dated the 28th day in the 8th month of the 5th year of the Kan'ei Period, Western equivalent: Monday September 25th, 1628.
Worldcat.org: The 'Yamauchi-ke shiryō Dainidai Tadayoshi kō ki' Yamauchi Clan historical document collection, 4 volumes
Hosaka Hiro'oki's introduction to the 1628 'sadame' edict
Explained Prof. Hosaka in his 1994 article: In the year Kan'ei 5 (1628), on the 17th day of the 8th month (Thursday September 14, 1628, acc. to Zöllner/Tsuchihashi) the Tosa Province Daimyō [Yamauchi] Tadayoshi's,
Chief of Police (?) named Shigeomi Fukao,
suffered a "nightly surprise attack" by a komusō in the small coastal village of Anki Ichi no Miya no Mura,
present day Akishi,
in the modern prefecture of Kōchi on Southern Shikoku - cf. the map above.
Acc. to Hosaka, apparently the komusō, the actual, original samurai name of whom is not informed, had been fired from a position with the police forces.
Even though he had been granted a financial compensation of "150 koku"***) on his dismissal, he was seeking revenge because he had recently become a 'rōnin',
a "wave man", that is a masterless, unemployed samurai, and had apparently joined the brotherhood of shakuhachi playing beggars known as komosō,
虚無僧, to sustain himself, thus experiencing a terribly embarrassing loss of social status.
***) 150 'koku':
You may read about the Japanese unit of volume 'koku' here:
Wikipedia: Koku, and here:
Japanese units of measurement.
Prof. Hosaka concludes his introduction with the information that as a consequence of that komusō surprise attack in the Anki village, the Tosa Domain 'karō',
i.e. "House Elder", the top-ranking samurai official and advisor in service to the daimyō named Nonaka Genba,
issued the Kan'ei 5 month 8 day 28 sadame proclamation that is being discussed here.
In this comprehensive 5 paragraph edict, first of all, in par. 5 all travellers including visitors from other provinces are to be thoroughly on their entry into the domain checked are ordered to cease wearing "deep braided basket hats", referred to as 'fukaki ami-gasa', 深キ編笠.
Well, what particular type of basket hat was the decree possibly referring to, in Tosa Province back then in September 1628?
The September 14, 1628, 'sadame' edict itself:
Some questions and critical remarks.
The 1628 Tosa Domain basket hat prohibition 'sadame' decree, reprint.
In Hosaka, 1994, Chapter 5, pp. 199-200.
Very definitely so, four centuries old legal Japanese documents, composed in kanbun, i.e. a kind of "pseudo Chinese", can generally be extremely difficult to decode and interpret meaningfully.
After a preliminary inspection of this sadame, however, one fact is standing out:
Very little of the information given in Prof. Hosaka's introduction to the text can actually
be seen in the original itself.
It is not yet clear to me how and where Prof. Hosaka found the various details illuminating the case,
and a further and more thorough examination of the sadame wording will hopefully reveal more useful information.
Here are some of the appropriate questions, I think:
1 - What was the actual identity of the so called 'komusō' who committed the alleged crime?
2 - How and where more precisely did he attack his former employer?
3 - Did he actually kill the Tosa Domain police chief Shigetomi Fukao as claimed by Gerald Groemer in the 2016 book of his, or just harm and frighten him?
4 - Was the former samurai attacker carrying at least one of his two swords and made use of it during the surprise assault?
5 - Was the case ever brought to court?
6 - Was the 'komusō' ever convicted?
7 - Was the so called 'komusō' punished for his crime - and how?
And the list continues:
8 - Was the attacker/killer? really a 'komusō', or rather more likely a 'komosō'?
9 - What type and depth of a "deep braided basket hat" was he wearing when commiting the misdeed?
Well, as for the very last question, we do actually know how the head gear of the very early Edo Period flute-playing former samurai wandering beggars would have looked like:
Left: Picture of a very early Edo Period Fuke-komosō, the actual artist
and whereabouts of which is so far unknown.
Right: Two early Edo Period 'Fuke-komosō' painted by Iwasa Matabei, 1578-1650,
not later than 1630.
A treasure of the Nezu Art Gallery, Tōkyō.
In Hosaka Hiro'oki's 1994 reprint of the 1628 sadame decree we see the names of six persons who had signed the document, namely
Nonaka Genba, 野中玄蕃, a "House Elder", a highranking official in the Tosa Fief.
Nonaka Genba, 1587-1636 (Tenshō 15) to December 15, 1636 (Kan'ei 5-11-18) was out of a prestigious family of House Elders in the Tosa Domain during the early Edo Period.
Genba's adoptive son Nonaka Genzan,
appears to have been especially prominent in the Elder office.
Sources: Wikipedia: About Nonaka Genzan and Nonaka Genba
"A Stroll through Tosa History" website: Nonaka Clan genealogy
Yasuda Shirōzaemon, 安田四郎左術門.
Yasuda Clan, Google search results
Fukuoka Tanba, 福岡丹波, 1557-1632.
Fukuoka Clan genealogy
Yamauchi Sanuki, 山内壴岐. Not found.
Yamauchi Kōbi, 山内後備. Not found
Strangely so, neither Yamauchi Sanuki nor Yamauchi Kōbi, members of the ruling clan in Tosa Province, can be seen in the official genealogy of the Yamauchi clan:
The Yamauchi Foundation: Yamauchi Clan genealogy 1
The Yamauchi Foundation: Yamauchi Clan genealogy 2
Fukao Izumi, 深尾和泉.
Fukao Izumi Shigeyoshi?, 深尾和泉重良, 1557-1632.
Fukao Clan genealogy
To be further commented ...
Additional comments by Prof. Hosaka
Hosaka Hiro'oki's concluding comments to the case.
In Hosaka, 1994, Chapter 5, pp. 200-201.