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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
1950s: Yasuda Tenzan, Hirazumi Taizan & the New Term 'Suizen'
吹禅 - SUIZEN
"Blowing a Flute Meditation" - "Flute-blown Meditation" ... ?
"Blowing a Flute Non-dualistic Contemplation Practice" - "Ascetic Bamboo Flute Practice"
This is a research project in continuous progress
- webpage updated on April 22, 2021.
OBS: A new, expanded webpage about this topic has been compiled and uploaded:
1950s ... : The Origin of 'Suizen' at Kyōto Myōan-ji:
Kobayashi Shizan, Tomimori Kyozan,
Tanikita Muchiku, Yasuda Tenzan,
Hirazumi Taizan, Koizumi Ryōan,
Fukumoto Kyoan, Yoshimura Sōshin a.o.
From "ASCETIC BREATHING" to 'SUIZEN' - a PRELIMINARY TIMELINE
1823: The Kinko-line shakuhachi player Hisamatsu Fūyō explains his shakuhachi playing as 'Kisoku shugyō',
1852: The 32nd Kyōto Myōan-ji 'Kansu', Rodō Genkyō, presents the term
"Blowing a Flute Ascetic Practice".
That was, in fact, especially with regard to begging activities in which only two players were allowed to travel together, states Rodō Genkyō.
1914, November 22: the 35th Myōan 'Kansu', Higuchi Taizan, founder of Myōan Taizan-ha, dies.
Kobayashi Kyozan is appointed the 36th 'Kansu'.
1928: Uramoto Setchō writes three essays on the topic 'Fuke Shakuhachi' but does not mention 'Suizen' there.
1928, March 15: 'Kyozan-bō',
虚山坊, most probably "Young Kyozan", alias Tomimori Kyozan,
authors an article on pages 23-25 in the Myōan Kyōkai bulletin Dai Myōan,
titled 'Sui-shō-zen' man-go',
"This and That about (the Term) 'Blowing a Flute Meditation'".
1930: Kobayashi Shizan & Tomimori Kyozan co-write a book on 'Myōan Shakuhachi',
in which the very first chapter is an introduction to that new term,
1938, November 27: The 36th Myōan 'Kansu', Kobayashi Kyozan, dies.
Tanikita Muchiku is appointed the 37th 'Kansu'.
1950: Yasuda Tenzan is appointed first head monk of the new Kyōto Myōan-ji.
Yasuda-san produces at least a few quite impressive 'Suizen' calligraphies.
1950s: Myōan-ji begins to issue so called 'Suizen gyōka-shō',
"Ascetic Shakuhachi Travel Authorization Certificates" - see image and translation below.
During the early 1950s, it appears that at least these five Myōan-ji personalities would have been engaged in the creation,
promotion and consolidation of the new Taizan-ha Shakuhachi term 'Suizen':
Yasuda Tenzan, Tanikita Muchiku, Tomimori Kyozan, Hirazumi Taizan & Yoshimura Sōshin.
1953: Hirazumi Taizan is appointed 2nd head monk of Myōan-ji; produces at least one impressive 'Suizen' calligraphy - see image below.
1955: Myōan-ji 'Kansu' Tanikita Muchiku publishes an article in the Myōan-ji bulletin named 'Suizen'.
1960: Parallelly, Uramoto Setchō introduces the explanatory term 'Gyō no ongaku',
"Ascetic Music" - however without referring to 'Suizen'.
1966, June: A now really famous 'Suizen' stone monument is erected to the left inside of the gate of Kyōto Myōan-ji.
1970s? - no later than Spring, 1978, I know:
Myōan-ji's 2nd head monk, Hirazumi Taizan, creates a unique 'Mu-ku-teki Suizen',
"No-holes-flute sui-zen' calligraphy - see below.
1974: The record company Columbia Japan releases a triple-LP record set titled 'Suizen', featuring Sakai Chikuhō II - who really was not a 'Taizan-ha' player, at all, was he?
1978, probably: The 40th Myōan-ji 'kansu, Yoshimura Fuan Sōshin, and Myōan-ji releases a 4-LP record set titled 'Suizen ichinyo',
"The Oneness of 'Blowing a Flute' and 'Meditating'".
Or, I'd rather prefer a translation like this, for instance: "The Non-duality of Meditating while Blowing a Flute".
Yasuda Tenzan is the actual artist who created that very 'Suizen ichinyo' calligraphy for the LP front covers:
1983: Torsten Olafsson produces the LP/MC "Standing Waves. Zen Shakuhachi Meditations"
featuring six Myōan Taizan-ha (Suizen) honkyoku.
Olafssongs LP/MC, 1983; Fønix Music CD, 2001:
1985, reissued 1998: Columbia Japan releases a 'Fuke-shū Tani-ha Kyotaku'
'Komusō Chiku-in Suizen' Vinyl Record
1995: Yoshimura Fuan Sōshin's 'Suizen ichinyo' triple-CD set is issued by Myōan-ji, probably the same recordings as those previously published on 4 vinyl LP records in 1978.
2004: Ronnie Seldin and Barbara Lee Kroos publish the 5-LP & book set
"Sui Zen. Blowing Zen On the Shakuhachi":
2005: Steve Weiss designs a map of "26 Suizen Temples", allegedly approved by Kurahashi Yoshio:
Map of 26 "'Suizen' temples" - during the late Tokugawa Period ... really?
Compiled by Steve Weiss, 2005, approved by Kurahashi Yoshio.
There were, of course, no such "'Suizen' temples" mentioned anywhere, nor ever,
in Edo Period documents! Source: www.shakuhachi.com
2019: Seian Genshin & Kyōto Myōan-ji produce the CD
'Nichi-nichi no Suizen', "Everyday Shakuhachi Asceticism":
To be continued, more to come - to be further detailed and elaborated ...
Was YASUDA TENZAN the ACTUAL "INVENTOR" of the TERM 'SUIZEN'?
This quite new term, 'Suizen', was most probably invented and introduced into modern ascetic shakuhachi ideology by Yasuda Tenzan,
1909-1994, while he was serving as the first head monk of the new, present-day Kyōto Myōan Temple during the years 1950 to 1952.
On Saturday August 8, 2009, US citizen and longtime Myōan Taizan-ha shakuhachi player Dean Seicho Delbene posted this illustration on his "Myoan Shakuhachi Blogspot" Website:
Tomimori Kyozan's Statement regarding the origin of the terms suizen/suishouzen, no date
Do note, by the way, that it can not be true at all, what Kyozan is quoted for stating, namely that,
" - - - 吹簫禅 (SuiShouZen) is right,
that word was in old China."
Looking up under 'sui' in the main index of the Dai Kanwa Jiten encyclopedia of classical Chinese and Japanese literature and history you will find neither 'Sui-shō-zen'
nor 'Suizen' there.
The very same goes for the great multi-volume collection of Buddhist scrptures, the Tripitaka,
c/o the online searchable SAT Daizōkyō Text Database:
Neither there do you find even one single appearance of the terms 'Sui-shō-zen',
吹簫禅, and 'Suizen',
吹禅 - simple as that.
Certainly only beginning in the early 1950s, various Suizen gyōka shō,
or "Ascetic Shakuhachi Travel Authorization Certificates", were issued by the Myōan Temple,
replacing the former Komusō gyōka shō,
of the latter part of the Edo Period.
'Suizen gyōka seiganbun',
"Ascetic Shakuhachi Written Travel Pledge" No prior to 1950.
The 'Suizen' Certificate Reads and Translates as follows:
'Suizen gyōka suigammon'
"'Suizen' Travel Authorization Pledge"
いだん いっさい あく
'Issui i-dan issai aku'
"First breath cuts away All Evil"
いしゅ いっさい ぜん
'Nisui isshū issai zen'
"Second breath leads towards All Goodness"
いど しょ しゅう じょう
'Sansui ido sho shū jō'
"Third breath benefits Mankind and All Livings Things"
かいぐ じょうぶつ どう
'Kaigu jōbutsu dō'
"The Way for Everyone to Attain Buddhahood"
"Non-dual Spirit Mountain Myōanji"
The source of the above given text, it should be noted, is the website of the Kyōto Myōan Temple named Myōan dōshukai,
"No Hole Flute - Blowing a Flute Non-dualistic Contemplation Practice"
Calligraphy signed 'Myōan Taizan', the 2nd present times
Myōan Temple chief monk Hirazumi Taizan,
(a.k.a. Myōan Taizan),
inaugurated in 1952, died in 1984 (Shōwa 59).
Signature and stamps deciphered by Kosuge Daisetsu (Komusō kenkyūkai/Hosshin-ji),
and Sato Nakazato, Japan. A present to Torsten Olafsson
given by his teacher Ozawa Seizan in Summer, 1978
Opening pages of a honkyoku folding book (ori-hon)
written by Matsumoto Kyozan, dated 1985.
To the right: 'Suizen godō':
"Suizen Way of Buddhist Enlightenment".
To the left the Sanskrit seed syllable 'A' (Jap.: 'A')
of the Buddha Mahāvairocana, or
Dainichi Nyorai, residing in the center of the
Taizō-kai (Womb Realm) mandala (Skt.: Garbhadātu)
of Japanese Tantric Buddhism (Shingon)
Trsl. by Torsten Olafsson