Takahashi Kûzan, called (God of Shakuhachi) during his lifetime, left his imprint on the history of Japanese music. Born in Hokkaido in 1900, he had studied since his youth, Jû-jutsu (bare fisted fight), Ken (fencing), Naginata and Yari (lances), Shuriken (projectiles), Yumi (archery), etc to become among other things Grand Master of Budô of the school of Yagyû Shin-Kage-ryû as well as other prestigious schools. |
He travelled through Japan in order to meet the last Grand Masters of the Fuke-shû. It is during this spiritual quest that he met, Miyakawa Nyozan, Okazaki Meidô, Katsuura Shôzan, Kobayashi Shizan as well as others who shared with him the secrets of Fuke Shakuhachi. It is mentioned in the document "The temple Myoan of the Mountain Kyorei" written by Tsukamoto Kido that "Kûzan was transmitted with the essence of Shakuhachi from Kobayashi Shizan, Okazaki Meidô, Katsuura Shôzan, and mastered the art of the different schools Kinpû-ryû, Kaidô-ryû, and Nin-ryû. It is also said that he mastered more than 250 pieces of the traditional repertory.
In 1972, he was invited to represent the Eastern music for the festival of the culture and arts organized during the Olympic Games of Munich. Where interpreted two traditional pieces, Kokû and Kyorei.
Besides his activities as the successor of the Great Fuke School, he is known for his science of the music and his mastery of different instruments of music such as Hitoyogiri, Satsuma Biwa and Hichiriki.
His book “History of Fuke-shû Shakuhachi”, fruit of his research and experiments is one of the rare manuscripts treating the history, of the principles of thought and music of the great orthodox school.
Information compiled by Jeffrey Jones from http://www.fuke-shakuhachi.com website, courtesy of Ono Ranzan