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Banshiki (Itchoken)

盤渉

This is a piece of genre Koten from the Kyushu Kei School.

History (Jin Nyodo):

Itcho-ken: BANSHIKI

1. About the title:

Please refer to Kinko-ryu: Banshiki-cho. In the past this piece was used on ceremonial occasions at Itcho-ken. Since the ri-tone on a 1.9 flute corresponds to banshiki (b) and the principal tone of this piece is ri, when this piece is played on a 1.9 flute it produces an exact banshiki tuning.

2. Structure of the piece

It is constructed in three parts [A (RO) - A (KO) - C (RO)).

3. Special features of the piece:

The piece is played with kyosui. It has an overall feeling of simplicity and spaciousness but also a certain mournfulness.

Banshiki (Itchoken) appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Hikyoku wo Saguru Nagaoka Kodo


Ichi on Buttsu - One sound Enlightenment Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin

    Banshiki comes from the Itcho-ken Temple in Hakata, on the island of Kyushu. A very Buddhist honkyoku, it is concerned with the subject of death. More importantly, with the soul's journey from this life, full of attachments and feelings, toward the peace of satori, enlightenment, which lies beyond. The word" shiki" in the title means to "pass or cross over."

Jin Nyodo No Shakuhachi 06 Jin Nyodo

    Itcho-ken: BANSHIKI

    1-shaku 9-sun
    6 min. 19 sec.

    1. About the title:

    Please refer to Kinko-ryu: Banshiki-cho. In the past this piece was used on ceremonial occasions at Itcho-ken. Since the ri-tone on a 1.9 flute corresponds to banshiki (b) and the principal tone of this piece is ri, when this piece is played on a 1.9 flute it produces an exact banshiki tuning.

    2. Structure of the piece

    It is constructed in three parts [A (RO) - A (KO) - C (RO)).

    3. Special features of the piece:

    The piece is played with kyosui. It has an overall feeling of simplicity and spaciousness but also a certain mournfulness.

Ki-Sui-An Honkyoku Vol 2 Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin

Prayer for the Missing, A Steven Nyoyu Belenko

Sui Zen - Blowing Meditation on the Shakuhachi - 03 Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin

    This simple, mournful piece comes from the Itcho-ken Temple in Hakata on the island of Kyushu, where it was often used on ceremonial occasions, especially funerals. Banshiki is often performed for the safe passage of a soul into its next incarnation. It can also be thought of as relevant to the journey from life's attachments and freedoms to transcendent enlightenment and freedom from worldly concerns. It is said to provide a reminder that satori comes when one does away with one's feelings.

    Various formats exist for its incorporation into Buddhist funerals. Played together with Daiotsu, this piece is traditionally called Kuyo no Kyoku, "Memorial for the Dead." In a formal, traditional funeral, an introductory Honte Choshi and then Banshiki are played in front of the coffin. The player then goes to an anteroom, plays the opening section of Banshiki, and then plays the next higher section in front of the monks, following the coffin down the path leading out of the temple. Today, in less traditional Buddhist funerals, Banshiki is often played while incense is thrown onto a fire or lit by mourners during pauses in the music, or it can be played as part of a memorial service, or at a gravesite.

    Banshiki is played here in a 1.8, but it is often played on a 1.9 flute; since the principal tone of this piece is ri; it will then correspond to the tuning of banshiki cho.

    The mood of the music goes from sad and stark through an emotional cry to a quiet accepting resolution. It is one of the few pieces played with kyosui, straight, unornamented breathing.


World of Zen Music, The - Shakuhachi Music from Kyushu Nakamura Akikazu

    Banshiki and Daiotsu: These two pieces when performed together are known as Kuyo no kyoku (Memorial for the Dead). They are presented in this form at funerals. The performer plays the introductory Honte choshi and then Banshiki in front of the coffin and then proceeds to the anteroom. As the coffin is taken to the entrance he plays the opening section (ro) of Banshiki, and then plays the next section (kan) in front of the monks as he follows the coffin down the path leading out of the temple. This is a simple piece with no trace of ornamentation.


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017