Shakuhachi



「禅尺八」歴史的証拠の研究   ホームページ
      "Zen Shakuhachi" rekishi-teki shōko no kenkyū hōmupēji

The "Zen Shakuhachi" Historical Evidence Research Web Pages

Introduction & Guide to the Critical Study and Substantiation of Early Ascetic Shakuhachi in Particular:
Historical Chronology, Terminology & Etymology of Concepts, Ideology, Iconology & Practices


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

Sitemap - All Menu Items List

Newly Added Extra Web Page Menus


T.O. Profile / Bio / CV

     Torsten Olafsson


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






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
     "Pseudo-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 at the latest: 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


1830: 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

     1868-1945



1872-1878 (1843-44): The Komusō zakki
     Source Collection



From 1879 ... 1896-1914:
     The Koji ruien Historical Encyclopedia


1880-1899: Tokugawa kinreikō - A Source Collection
     of Tokugawa Period Laws & Regulations



1890: Higuchi Taizan - Teaching, the "Myōan Society",
     and the Taizan-ha Tradition of Shakuhachi Asceticism



Early to mid-20th Century Research Pioneers,
     Author Musicians, Editors & Publishers, Japan:
     Mikami Sanji, Kurihara Kōta, Uramoto Setchō,
     Nakatsuka Chikuzen, Mori Hikotarō, Tanikita Muchiku,
     Nishimura Kokū, Takahashi Kūzan, Tomimori Kyozan,
     Ikeda Juzan a.o.


1902: Mikami Sanji's Critical Article
     'Fuke-shū ni tsuite', "About the Fuke Sect"



1931-1932: Tokugawa kinreikō - A Source Collection
     of Tokugawa Period Laws & Regulations







2 - POST-WW2 till TODAY: JAPAN

     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

Links

Contact Info

Disclaimer


1630 at the latest: Iwasa Matabei's Famous Painting of
     Two 'Fuke-Komosō' With Swords & An Umbrella Maker

The basic information on this webpage was first published on the Internet, in an earlier version
of this website, 10 years ago, in early 2011; it has now been expanded with significant new details as of April 27, 2021, some supplied in a new Youtube video by the Freer Gallery of Art | Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA, on April 9, 2021. Read more below.



INTRODUCTION

I discovered this really unique piece of early 17th Japanese art while Googling in the Japanese language already in January-February, 2011; the searchword back then was - among many others: 'Komusō', 虚無僧.

The painting had been exhibited at The Nezu Museum in Tōkyō during the period
November 23, 2010, through December 23, 2010.

Dated by Japanese art specialists to have been created no later than 1630, that painting ranks among the absolutely most important and significant evidence-bearing illustrations in Japanese shakuhachi history!
     Cheers Torsten O.


Painting of an Umbrella Maker & 2 Komosō

Painting of an Umbrella Maker & Two Fuke-Komosō
by Iwasa Matabei, 1578-1650

An "important work of art" dating from the early Edo Period,
17th century, before 1630.

Exhibited in late 2010 at the Nezu Museum, Tōkyō.
Official however highly questionable museological title of the work, back then:


傘張 虚無僧図
'Kasa-hari • komusō-zu'
"Picture of an Umbrella Maker & Komusō"

- exactly because those two flute players with their long swords
were in fact
not 'Komusō', at all, but 'Komosō', 薦僧!


According to recognized Japanese sources quoted on the internet,
this picture was originally 1 out of 8 illustrations on an exquisite folding screen
by Iwasa Matabei known as the 'Ikeda byōbu', among other names:
"The Ikeda Folding Screen", 池田屏風.
(Link to the web page in question: Cultural Heritage Online)

Japanese art specialists do date that folding screen
to the Kan'ei Period, 1624-1644 - but no later than 1630.

That means that the 'Fuke-Komosō'/Umbrella Maker picture is indeed very closely contemporary with the important Kaidō honsoku,
海道本則, document of 1628!

Read more about the Kaidō honsoku, the various versions, here:

1628: The Kaidō honsoku 'Fuke-Komosō' Credo



SIGNIFICANT UPDATE as of April 27, 2021

On April 9, 2021, this video, titled "Look & Listen: Nature in Japanese Art and Music" was published on YouTube by The National Museum of ASIAN ART/Smithsonian/Freer Gallery of Art/Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, on their "Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art" YouTube Channel:

Look & Listen: Nature in Japanese Art and Music

"Look & Listen: Nature in Japanese Art and Music"


featuring Kurahashi Yōdō II, shakuhachi, and assistant curator of Japanese art at the Freer and Sackler, Frank Feltens.

Possibly, that unique painting by Iwasa Matabei may have been purchased by the Freer Gallery of Art at some time after late 2010?

Anyhow, the reproduction of Iwasa Matabei's painting here in the video, is indeed much more detailed than those previous ones presented online by the Nezu Museum around 2011, and before then:

Iwasa Matabei komosou umbrella maker painting

Iwasa Matabei komosou close-up

Iwasa Matabei komosou close-up 2





PREVIOUSLY UPLOADED BACKGROUND INFORMATION between 2011 and 2020:

From November 23, 2010, through December 23, 2010, the Nezu Museum in Tōkyō exhibited a most extraordinary hanging scroll [kakejiku] painted by the highly renowned early Edo Period painter Iwasa Matabei who lived from 1578 to 1650.

In the painting we see two figures wearing slightly pointed umbrella-shaped basket hats, both carrying rather long swords [Jap.: katana ] by their left sides.

Moreover, the two are seen to be playing some kind of (although more or less invisible) quite short and thin flute-like instrument:
Perhaps, a hitoyogiri? - or, maybe: a miyogiri!


Close view of two komosō in Picture of Parasol-maker & Komusō

Close view of two 'komosō' in "Picture of Parasol-maker & Komusō


Close view of two komusō in Picture of Parasol-maker & Komosō

Even closer view of two 'komosō' in Picture of Parasol-maker & Komusō"


Two 'Fuke Komosō' in a painting of a Parasol-maker & Two Komosō by Iwasa Matabei, before 1630


'Kasa-hari • komosō-zu' on display at Nezu Museum

'Kasa-hari • komusō-zu' on display (right) at Nezu Museum,
Tōkyō - November 23, 2010, through December 23, 2010


On this web page the picture can be studied in more detail - click underneath the illustration to enlarge:
Bunka Isan Online (Cultural Heritage Online)

Links to more information, online:
Nezu Museum exhibition highlights
Nezu Museum exhibition press material
www.wikipedia.org: Iwasa Matabei (in English)
www.wikipedia.org: Iwasa Matabei (in Japanese)
Kasa-hari • komusō-zu - online internet gallery with links (in Japanese)
Japanese web pages describing and discussing the Kasa-hari komusō-zu (in Japanese)


ANALYSIS
     of the Kasa-hari • komusō-zu painting:

The painting appears to be quite contemporary with the documents Kaidō honsoku, 1628.

We know from the Keichō kenmonshū, 1614, that the Fuke monk/komosō being described there was indeed carrying a sword - more specifically: a wakizashi 脇さし, the shorter sword of the samurai.

In the Kaidō honsoku, the sword being carried by the komosō in 1628 is described as a katana - the long sword of the samurai.

After the middle years of the 17th century swords are no more to be seen in surviving pictorial representations of the "real-life" flute-playing mendicants - with but one exception, the komusō picture in Kyotaku denki kokujikai, dated 1795.

In this context one specific, quite early komosō/komusō picture should be investigated:


Yet unidentified and undated early 17th century komosō picture

Yet unidentified and undated early 17th century komosō picture
Posted on the internet by Mr. Dean Delbene, Chicago,
on September 6, 2009 (see link below)


Inquiring with Dean Delbene in January, 2011, I learned that we do - so far - know of no further, more specific documentation regarding this picture, its possible creator and approximate date of making.

In this picture we see a person who is apparently performing religious mendicancy in a street while wearing a rather large and deep, softly pointed basket hat, a rolled up bed roll mat on the back, a long sword by the left side.

The instrument being played is a quite thin and significantly long vertical flute, compared with the shorter hitoyogiri and miyogiri vertical flutes, especially - a dōshō 洞簫, perhaps?

Link to Dean Del Bene's Myōan Shakuhachi blogspot web page in question:
Myōan Shakuhachi c/o Dean Del Bene






To the front page To the top