「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

1950s: Yasuda Tenzan, Hirazumi Taizan & the New Term '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.



1823: The Kinko-line shakuhachi player Hisamatsu Fūyō explains his shakuhachi playing as 'Kisoku shugyō', 気息修行, "Breathing Asceticism".

1852: The 32nd Kyōto Myōan-ji 'Kansu', Rodō Genkyō, presents the term 'Sui-teki shugyō',
吹笛修行, "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, 大明暗, titled 'Sui-shō-zen' man-go', 吹簫禅漫語, "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, 'Sui-shō-zen', 吹簫禅.

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', 吹禅行化証,
"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', 行の音楽, "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', 無穴笛吹禅, "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?

Columbia Japan, Sakai Chikuhou II Suizen ichinyo 3 LP record set

1978, probably: The 40th Myōan-ji 'kansu, Yoshimura Fuan Sōshin, and Myōan-ji releases a 4-LP record set titled 'Suizen ichinyo', 吹禅一如, "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:

Yoshimura Soushin Suizen ichinyo 4 LP record set

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:

Standing Waves LP, 1983   Standing Waves CD, 2001

1985, reissued 1998: Columbia Japan releases a 'Fuke-shū Tani-ha Kyotaku'
     'Komusō Chiku-in Suizen' Vinyl Record

Columbia Japan Tani-ha Kyotaku Suizen vinyl LP 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.

Yoshimura Soushin Suizen ichinyo CD disc set, front cover

2004: Ronnie Seldin and Barbara Lee Kroos publish the 5-LP & book set
"Sui Zen. Blowing Zen On the Shakuhachi":

Seldin & Lee Kroos Sui Zen 5 LP + book set   Seldin & Lee Kroos Sui Zen 5 LP + book set

2005: Steve Weiss designs a map of "26 Suizen Temples", allegedly approved by Kurahashi Yoshio:

Map of 26 Suizen temples - late Tokugawa Period?

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:

2019: Seian Genshin & Kyōto Myōan-ji produce the CD
'Nichi-nichi no Suizen', "Everyday Shakuhachi Asceticism":

Seian Genshin Myouan-ji Nichinichi no Suizen CD

To be continued, more to come - to be further detailed and elaborated ...


This quite new term, 'Suizen', was most probably invented and introduced into modern ascetic shakuhachi ideology by Yasuda Tenzan, 安田天山, 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,nodate

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, 吹禅行化証, or "Ascetic Shakuhachi Travel Authorization Certificates", were issued by the Myōan Temple, replacing the former Komusō gyōka shō, 虚無僧行化証, of the latter part of the Edo Period.

Suizen gyōka seiganbun

'Suizen gyōka seiganbun', 吹禅行化誓願文,
"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"


'Kyoreizan Myōanji
"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, 明暗導主会: Myōan dōshukai

Mu-ku-teki Suizen      Myōan Taizan signature & seal

"No Hole Flute - Blowing a Flute Non-dualistic Contemplation Practice"

Calligraphy signed 'Myōan Taizan', the 2nd present times
Myōan Temple chief monk Hirazumi Taizan, 平住台山, (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


The Tantric symbol 'A' & 'Suizen godo'

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

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