Shakuhachi



「禅尺八」現実研究   ホームページ

The "Zen Shakuhachi" Reality Research Web Pages

An Introduction & Critical Guide to the Study of Early Ascetic Shakuhachi Historical Chronology,
Terminology, 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

 



Introduction

About this Research Project

Newly Added Extra Web Page Menus


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"?


Preliminary Realizations & Conclusions


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
     regarding Komusō, Fuke-shū, Suizen etc.



The Source Collections

The Japanese Written Sources - An Overview





Texts, Quotations & Illustrations
     A Chronological Panorama



 •  INDIA - 1 webpage

 •  CHINA - 2 webpages

 •  JAPAN - 8 webpages

 •  The WEST - 1 webpage




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


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. 1640



The Komosō & Fuke-sō / Fuke-komosō Sources


1550-1560: The 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-sō



1628: The Kaidō honsoku Fuke-komosō Credo


1637-1640: The Shimabara Uprising on Kyūshū,
     the National "Sects Inspection Bureau"
     and the Final Extinction of All Catholic Believers



c. 1640?: The Kaidō honsoku "Version 2" Copy






ERA of the KOMUSŌ
     "Monks of the Non-Dual & None-ness"

     c. 1640 to 1871



The Early Komusō-related Texts
     - from c. 1640 to c. 1752



c. 1640?: The Strange Butsu-gen Komusō Document

1646: Abbot Isshi Bunshu's Letter to the
     "Proto-Komusō" 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


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 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 Admin
     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.





Post-Edo & Post-WW2 Period History Sources & Matters
     The Re-Writing & Re-Falsification
     of Shakuhachi Narratives



1 - MEIJI PERIOD till the mid-19th CENTURY

     1868-1945



1871? (1843-44): The Komusō zakki
     Source Collection


From 1879 ... 1896-1914 & 1967-1971:
     The Koji ruien Source Collection







2 - POST-WW2 till TODAY: JAPAN

     1945 ...



1950: "The Myōan Temple of the True Fuke Sect"
     Inauguration at Tōfuku Temple in SE Kyōto



1960: Uramoto Setchō's Essay about
     Gyō no ongaku: "Music of Asceticism"






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

Links

Profile / Bio / CV

Contact Info


1614: The Keichō kenmon-shū Short Story Book:
     The Fuke-komosō in Hachiō-ji, West of Edo City

Two very early Edo Period anecdotes recorded
about two different shakuhachi-playing "Fuke komo-sō" lay monks.

Do note that you do not find any mention of a "Fuke Sect", Fuke-shū,
普化宗, in these two texts, at all.

慶長見聞集 - KEICHŌ KENMON-SHŪ

"Anthology of Observations/Seen & Heard During the Keichō Period" (1596-1615)

Authored by Miura Jōshin, 三浦浄心, 1565-1644

The most well known of these two anecdotes was first presented in Kurihara Kōta's 1918-publication Shakuhachi shikō, on pages 183-184 in the 1975 reissue version of the book.

Very interestingly indeed, Kurihara Kōta (or his editor) changed one especially significant Japanese character in a way so as to literally blur and thereby seriously forge shakuhachi and komo-sō/ko-mu-sō historical chronology for an entire century or so, by now ...

This is a noteworthy example of a however quite common falsification of original text sources in the field of Japanese shakuhachi history research.

The second anecdote actually opens Volume 3 (Maki 3) the Keichō kenmon-shū as Chapter 1.


Anecdote No. 1: Ōtori Ippei and a "Fuke komo-sō" in the town of Hachi-ōji.

大鳥一浜衛組の事 - ŌTORI IPPEI SO no KOTO

"The Matter of Ōtori Ippei"

This anecdote is contained in chapter 2 of Volume 6 (Maki 6).

It is essential to observe that the original text features the character compound 古無(僧), and not 虚無(僧), as given everywhere in Kurihara's 1918/1975 version.

Key name and terms regarding the present text:

古無僧 - KO-MO-SŌ? / KO-MU-SŌ?
古無殿 - KO-MO-DONO? / KO-MU-DONO?
普化薦僧 - FUKE KOMO-SŌ
大鳥一兵衛 - ŌTORI IPPEI
浪人侍 - RŌNIN SAMURAI
修行 - SHUGYŌ

Did the below reported incident ever take place, possibly so? Maybe not, actually, however ...

The narrator of the present anecdote being rendered in the Keichō kenmonshū, named Ōtori Ippei, was a figure affiliated with the early kabuki theatre.
Born in 1588, Ōtori was executed by the bakufu in 1612, only 24 years old.
More information about this background will be added the soonest possible.

古無僧

Do note:
The Fuke Shakuhachi player being quoted in the following text was not a 'KOMU-SŌ'!

The shakuhachi-playing lay monk in this anecdote, of samurai heritage, is described phonetically by Miura Jōshin as a ko-mu-sō, 古無僧, "old+noone-ness+monk", the reason simply being that the author did not know how to write the term komo-sō correctly.

The confusion of the phonems mo and mu is certainly not uncommon at all, as those two syllables are virtually homonymous.

At this very time in history a mendicant shakuhachi "lay monk" would rightly still be known as a Fuke komo-sō, not a komu-sō.

There were definitely no komu-sō, 虚無僧, in existence and action in Japan before sometime after the Shimabara Rebellion on Kyūshū in Southern Japan in 1637-38, at the earliest.


First, here follows a presentation of the central part of this very significant text, in which the Fuke komo-sō proclaims the shakuhachi "credo" of his.

- - -
われいにしへは四姓の上首たりといへ共、
今は世を捨人となる。
然共先業をかへり見、貧賎をなげかずして、
仏道の縁に取付、宗門に思ひをすまし、
内に所得なく、外に所求なく、
身を安くして、普化上人の跡をつぎ、
一代教門の肝心出離解脱の道に入、
修行をはげますといへ共、
悪逆無道の一言にわれしんいの
ほのほやみがたしすがたこそ。
- - -


" - - - Although many years ago I held a high position, now I have become one who has abandoned the world.
But when I recall my former occupation, I do not grieve over poverty and lowliness but hold on to the fate of the Way of the Buddha and reserve all my considerations for the Doctrine. I have no inward possessions, no outward desires, and I calmly follow in the footprints of Priest Fuke and have entered upon the way of True Detachment and Spiritual Deliverance.
But even though I strive hard in ascetic discipline, I find it difficult indeed to maintain a peaceful mind when I am confronted with an atrocious word. - - - "

     Miura Jōshin (1565-1644) quoting a travelling Fuke monk
     being characterized in his kanazōshi book 'Keichō Kenmon-shū',
     'Seen and Heard during the Keichō Period', 1614.
     Trsl. by Torsten Olafsson.

The full text of the anecdote reads and translates as follows:

Links to online versions of the Keichō kenmonshū will be added before long.

The below English translation (here with but a few slightly refining adjustments) first appeared in my 1987 Copenhagen University Japanology thesis on the Kaidō honsoku document, dated 1628 - published internationally in 2003 by Tai Hei Shakuhachi, California, USA.

Do note that the story is being reported by Ōtori Ippei, here retold by Miura Jōshin.

われ武州八王寺の町酒屋にありて酒をのみしに、古無僧壱人尺八を吹て門にたつたり。

In the town Hachiōji in the Musashi Province, while I was drinking sake in a wine shop, a kom*-sō, 古無僧, came up to the gate while blowing a shakuhachi.

我此者を呼入、あらありがたの修行や、
御身ゆへある人と見へたり。


Dear me, I called out to him! You are an auspicious practitioner of asceticism, I suppose.
You seem to be a devoted person, I said.

世におち人にやおはすらんと、酒をもてなし、
此一兵衛も若き頃は尺八を吹たり。


If it is your intention to be scattered in the world, sparing a home for ordinary humans, please let me entertain you with some wine.
I myself played the shakuhachi when I was young.

古無殿の尺八一手望み也といへば、この者曲を一手吹たり。

When I said, I would like the kom* master, 古無殿, to play a melody on his shakuhachi, he played a tune.

我聞て打わらひ、「しりをくりあげ、尻を打たゝきて、
古無殿の尺八ほどは、われ尻にても吹べし」 と云へは、
古無(僧)大に腹を立, 


While I was listening, slightly smiling I rolled up my kimono so as to uncover my buttocks, and when - tapping my rump - I said,
I can play better than you with my arse,
the kom*(-sō), 古無(僧), got very angry and exclaimed,

「無念至極の悪言かな。
われいにしへは四姓の上首たりといへども、
今は世捨人と或る。


What an inconsiderate and most uncomplimentary remark!

Although many years ago I held a high position,
now I have become one who has abandoned the world.

然れども先業をかへり見、貧賎をなげかすして、
仏道の縁にとり付、空門に思ひを済し、
内に所得なく、外に所求なく、
身を安くして普化上人の跡をつぎ、
壱代教門の肝要、
出離解脱の道に入
修行をはげますと云へども、
悪逆無道の一言に、
われしんいのほのをやみがたし。


But even so, when I recall my former occupation, I do not grieve over poverty and lowliness,
but hold on to the Fate of the Way of the Buddha and reserve all my considerations for the purpose of the Doctrine.
I have no inward possessions, no outward desires, and with a tranquil Body I follow in the footsteps of Priest Fuke
and have entered upon the Way of True Disattachment and Spiritual Deliverance.
But even though I am striving hard in ascetic discipline,
I find it difficult indeed when I am confronted with an atrocious word.

すがたこそ替れども、所存におゐて替るべきか、
是非尻に吹せて聞べし」 といふ。


Even if that might be changed, could I possibly alter my way of thinking?
At any cost, I shall have to hear you play with your rump," he said.

此一兵衛も,尤(もっとも)しりにて吹べし」といへば、互に懸物を好みしに、
古無僧云けるは、「親重代に伝る吉光の脇差一腰持たりとて」 座中へ出す。


Certainly, I said, I shall play with my arse, and then we discussed our bets
while the words that the kom*-sō, 古無僧, had spoken were written down for successive generations.
The kom*-sō, 古無僧, drew out in the open the sword he was carrying by his side, proclaiming that it was a genuine Yoshimitu.

この一兵衛も、腰の刀を出すべし。

I myself was obliged to draw my sword, too.

此刀と申はわれしたはら鍛冶を頼み、
三尺八寸のいか物作りにうたせ、
廿五迄いき過たりや、
一兵衛の名を切つけ、一命にもかへしとおもふ一腰を出す。


This so called "sword" was one I had ordered from the swordsmith Shitahara,
forged as an imitation 3 feet 8 inches long and probably no more than 25 years old.
I also shouted out the name of my sword and drew it as if ready to pay back with my life.

町の者共両為のかけ物を預り、一兵衛尻にて吹尺八きかん」といふ。

A townsman took charge of the stakes, and I exclaimed: Well, now, would you like to hear me play the shakuhachi with my arse?

其時われ古無が尺八をおつとりて、さかさまにとり直し、
尻にて吹ければ、皆人聞て、
「実々古無(僧)口にて吹たるより、一兵衛か尻にて吹たるか増りたる」 といへば、
われこのあらそひに勝たり。


At that moment I grasped the kom*'s, 古無, shakuhachi and when I succeeded in playing it, holding it underneath me, everybody could hear it, I said,
Believe me, it is better that I played with my arse than that the kom*(-sō), 古無(僧), played with his mouth!
And than I was the winner of the dispute.

「若々(もし)かやうの事にそ人あらば、八王寺町のものに尋給へ」 と云。

If there is anyone who does not believe any of this, just ask the people in Hachi-ōji, I said.

皆人聞て、「扨(さて)こそ一兵衛木石にてもあらず、物をいひそめけるぞや」 。 Everybody heard [or, Listen, everybody] -
Ippei was certainly not made of wood nor stone. He told the most colourful stories [Miura concludes].


Here follows the anecdote as originally printed in 1614, now preserved at the National Diet Library in Tokyo, Japan:

Keichou kenmonshuu Outori Ippei chapter

Keichou kenmonshuu Outori Ippei chapter

Keichou kenmonshuu Outori Ippei chapter

Keichou kenmonshuu Outori Ippei chapter


Here you can, yourselves, be truth witnesses to how specifically Kurihara Kōta, publishing in 1918
(his book reissued in 1975, becoming an important however problematic source of Western shakuhachi research, also),
changed but one or two Japanese characters in a source reprint so as to actually thereby
not only falsifying the wording of a certain document but also fundamentally forging the chronology and overall history
of the komo-sō versus ko-mu-sō and of the so called Fuke Shakuhachi tradition of Japan:

Keichou kenmonshuu Kurihara quotation

Keichou kenmonshuu Kurihara quotation




Here, for your even further information and revelation, you can study and appreciate an academically genuinely reliable printed 1969 presentation of the original text in question:

Keichou kenmonshuu quotation published in 1969

Keichou kenmonshuu quotation published in 1969



Anecdote No. 2: A kom*-sō" practices asceticism "for the benefit of mothers".

古無僧母の爲めに修行の事 - KOM*SŌ HAHA no TAME ni SHUGYŌ no KOTO

"The Matter of a Kom*sō Practicing Asceticism for the Benefit of Mothers"

This anecdote is contained in chapter 1 of Volume 3 (Maki 3).

A further introduction to the subject matter of this text will be presented soon.

Keichou kenmonshuu anecdote 2 printed in 1906

Keichou kenmonshuu anecdote 2 printed in 1906

Keichou kenmonshuu anecdote 2 printed in 1906

Keichou kenmonshuu anecdote 2 printed in 1906

Keichou kenmonshuu anecdote 2 printed in 1906

Keichou kenmonshuu anecdote 2 printed in 1906

Keichou kenmonshuu anecdote 2 printed in 1906

Keichou kenmonshuu anecdote 2 printed in 1906

Keichou kenmonshuu anecdote 2 printed in 1906





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ko-mu-sou-no-shaku.-hachi

Furui
Nashi

no
Shaku-
hachi

Old
None
Monk
's
Shaku
hachi