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The "Zen Shakuhachi" Reality Research Web Pages

An Introduction & Critical Guide to the Study 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

The Japanese Written Sources - An Overview

On this web page I intend, given the time, to present an annotated list of all the known and preserved written sources that - directly or indirectly - illuminate the gradual coming into being of ascetic shakuhachi practice - and the mysterious brotherhood of the masterless samurai Komusō, 虚無僧, the "Monks of Non-Duality & None-ness". of the Edo Period of Japan.

This process took place over a span of at least two centuries beginning approimately around 1550 till around 1750 or so.
More and more of these texts will also be presented in further details on the special "Chronology: Japan" web pages elsewhere on this very website.

However, the complete digitalization, translation and analysis of those rather many texts is taking considerable time, so please: Be patient

* Especially significant texts are marked with an asterix.

The Titles

Here is a simple, compressed "check list" of the actual relevant texts inspected and analyzed
- picture books, encyclopedia etc. without descriptive notes are not included.

More detailed descriptions can be found in the section "Chronology: Quotations & Illustrations".


* c. 1470?: Rakuami (the oldest kyōgen theatrical play of the Ōkura School)

* 1486: Ōuchi uji okite-gaki

* 1494: Sanjūniban shoku-nin uta-awase emaki


* 1550-60: Kuromoto-bon Setsuyō-shū

* 1590?: Ōtani daigaku-bon Setsuyō-shū

* 1590: Tenshō jūhachinen-bon Setsuyō-shū


  1614: Government document regarding and aiming at the expulsion of all Christian missionaries from Japan drawn by the Zen Priest Konchiin Sūden (1563–1633) and issued under the name of the shōgun Tokugawa Hidetada.

* 1614: Keichō kenmon-shū (by Miura Jōshin)

  1615: Buke shohatto

  1615: Gozan jissatsu shozan shohatto

* 1621: Tsurezuregusa nozuchi (by Hayashi Razan)

  1623: Shakuhachi (no) ki (by Hayashi Razan)

* 1623: Seisuishō (by Anrakuan Sakuden)

  Early Edo/17th century: Haikai emaki - a picture & text scroll describing a komosō

1624-44, Kan'ei Period: Razan shishū by Hayashi Razan (includes 1 poem about Fuke Zenji)

1624-44, Kan'ei Period: Myōan sōsō-shū by Takuan Sōhō (contains hundreds of Chinese style poems, among others: several about Fuke Zenji, various renowned Chinese Zen personalities and Takuan's close friend and disciple Isshi Bunshu, too)

  1625: Yoin shakuhachi (no) ki (by Hayashi Razan)

* 1628: Kaidō honsoku

  1635: Sakoku-rei

  1636; Ha Kirishitan - "Crush Christianity" (by Suzuki Shōsan)

* 1640s?: Butsu-gen (alt. Hotoke-goto(ba)) - "Buddha Words"

* 1642: Ōkura Tora-akira-bon Kyōgenshū
Includes the oldest known version of the kyōgen piece Rakuami (possibly before 1500?) about the ghost of a deceased shakuhachi player.

* 1646: Letter from Isshi Bunshu/Monju to the komusō Sandō Mugetsu

  c. 1648 - Roankyō (by Suzuki Shōsan) - includes an appraisal of Fuke Zenji

* 1664: Shichiku shoshinshū (by Nakamura Sōsan)

  1666: Kinmō zū-i (by the Neo-Confucian scholar Nakamura Tekisai, 1629-1702)

* c, 1665-1675?: Kyotaku denki, "Tale of the Imitated Bell" (allegedly written by Ton'o). Includes the oldest known constructed/fabricated genealogy of the komusō, created for the benefit of the Kyōto Myōan-ji through the introduction of Kichiku, the alleged most favoured native Japanese student of Shinchi Kakushin's and likewise alleged founder of the Kyōto Myōan-ji, the name of his later changed to Kyochiku Ryōen Zenji - at the earliest documented in a Myōan-ji document dated 1735.

* 1677, July: Ōko no jō jū-nana-ke jō: 17 paragraphs (issued from Reihō-ji in Edo)

* 1678, January 11: Oboe - the 3 paragraphs (document of the alleged "Fuke Sect Authorization" issued by the Temples and Shrines Magistrate or, more likely, simply a falsification?)

* 1682-1686: Yōshūfu-shi - Records of the Kyōto Area (by Kurokawa Dōyū)

* 1687: Reihō-ji Okite/Sadame: 11 paragraphs

* c. 1690: Jinrin kinmō zu-i (by Makieshi Genzaburō & Atsuo Masamune)

* 1694: Honsoku deshi e mōshi-watashi sadame: 17 paragraphs (issued from the Kyōto Myōan-ji)

* 1695: Kashiragaki zōho kinmō zu-i


  c. 1700?: Taishiroku (by Arai Hakuseki. 1657-1725)

  1702: Nenzan kibun by Andō Tameakira, 1659-1716 (describing the contemporary shakuhachi & komosō)

* 1703: Letter of petition from the Kyōto Myōan-ji to Kōkoku-ji

* 1705: Honji shōmon (Letter of approval from Kōkoku-ji to the Kyōto Myōan-ji

* 1722: Reihō-ji Oboe: 6 paragraphs

* 1722: Reihō-ji Shūrei: 3 paragraphs

* 1731: Ichigetsu-ji & Reihō-ji Oboe: 10 paragraphs

* 1732: Shakuhachi denrai-ki - document with titles of numerous (now forgotten) honkyoku. This register includes Kyorei, Mukaiji, Kokū) and Suzuru

* 1735: Kyorei-zan engi narabi ni sankyorei-fu ben (important document sent from the Kyōto Myōan-ji to Myōshin-ji, composed by Myōan-ji's "abbot" Kandō Ichiyū)

* 1740: Ichigetsu-ji komusō honsoku (Matsudo City Museum copy)

  1748: Kana-dehon Chūshingura (the honkyoku Tsuru no sugomori is referred to in this famous stage-play about "The 47 rōnin")

* 1751?: Go-nyūkoku no setsu o-watasesōrō on-okitegaki / Keichō no okitegaki (probably the earliest known version with only 8 or 9 paragraphs. See Takahashi Tōne 1990, pp. 54-56: "Version A") - dated by Yamato Hōmei, link to: Yamato Hōmei web page

* 1752 (not 1659!): Chūkō Engetsu Ryōgen teichi kakun nijūsange-jo: 23 paragraphs
(supposedly produced by Engetsu Ryōgen, the actual founder/restorer of the Kyōto Myōan-ji; the date 1659 is most probably a falsification)

  1792: Shokoku Fukeshūmon jisho

* 1789 - Kashiragaki zōho kinmō zu-i taisei

* 1792: Keichō no okitegaki (version with 11 paragraphs. See Takahashi 1990, p. 60: "Version C")

* 1792: Keichō no okitegaki (version with 10 paragraphs. See Takahashi 1990, pp. 60-61: "Version D")
(Acc. to Max Deeg, 2007, p. 27, a 1792 copy is the oldest attested copy of the Keichō no okitegaki)

  1792: Shokoku Fukeshūmon jigo (in: Fukeshūmon (no) okitegaki)

  1795: Fukushō-ji dendō-in (travel permit)

* 1795: Kyotaku denki kokujikai & Kyotaku denki (edited by Yamamoto Morihide)

  1798: Fudai-ji komusō honsoku


  1802: Kyōto Myōan-ji komusō honsoku

  1811: Ichigetsu-ji komusō honsoku

  1816, at the latest: Kinko techō by Kurosawa Kinko III (1772-1816)

* 1816: Miyaji Ikkan no Shakuhachi hikki (by Miyaji Ikkan)

  1818: Hitori-goto (by Hisamatsu Fūyō)

* 1819: Fukeshūmon jōsho-ja (includes a Keichō no okitegaki version with 12 paragraphs, the Enpō 5 Oboe, and a special Sadame with a comprehensive honkyoku list attached signed by Kobayashi I-he(i))

  1823: Hitori mondō (by Hisamatsu Fūyō)

* 1825: Komusō osadame / Keichō no okitegaki (version with 17 paragraphs. See Takahashi 1990, p. 61-64: "Version E")

* 1831: Keichō no okitegaki (version with 20 paragraphs. See Takahashi 1990, pp. 57-60: "Version B")

  1838: Kaisei hōgo (by Hisamatsu Fūyō)

* 1848, January 31 (not 1847!): Fuke-sō no gi ni tsuke go-shoku
(The komusō fraternity is eventually put under the direct administration and supposed control of the Rinzai Sect of Japanese Zen Buddhism.)

  Mid-19th century: Ikkyū-banashi

* 1871, November 30: Meiji yonnen jūhachinen Daijikan fukoku dai-558-go
(The komusō fraternity is prohibited and the socalled "Fuke Sect" abolished.)

To be continued, expanded and elaborated ...

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