International Shakuhachi Society Logo

The International Shakuhachi Society

Chidori no Kyoku

千鳥の曲

This is a piece of genre Sokyoku in the style of Meiji Shinkyoku from the Ikuta Ryû - 生田 School. This piece was composed for Koto by the person Yoshizawa Kengyo II.

History (Tsuge Gen'ichi):

Chidori no kyoku ('Song of Plovers') is one of a set of compositions for voice and the koto entitled Kokin no kumi, in which a new tuning (and mode) for the koto, called kokin-joshi, was introduced.

Two waka poems are sung in this piece: the first waka is from the Kokin waka shu, a tenth century anthology of court poetry compiled by imperial command. The second one, sung after the tegoto (or instrumental interlude), is from the Kin'yo shu, a twelfth century anthology.

Poem (translated by Tsuge Gen'ichi)

At Shionoyama
Frequenting the sand spit
Plovers call out:
'You, my lord,
May you live eight thousand years!'
'You, my lord,
May you live eight thousand years!'

At Awaji Island
The call of the plovers,
Flying to and fro.
How often they have awakened
The guard at Suma Pass!
How often they have awakened
The guard at Suma Pass!
(maebiki)

Shionoyama
sashide no iso ni
sumu chidori
kimi ga miyo woba
yachiyo tozo naku
kimi ga miyo woba
yachiyo tozo naku

(tegoto)

Awajishima
kayoo chidori no
naku koe ni
ikuyo nezamenu
suma no sekimori
ikuyo nezamenu
suma no sekimori

Chidori no Kyoku appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
All the Best from Japan


Araki Kodo III and Fukuda Eika - Collection of Famous Performances - 01 Araki Kodo III


Art of the Koto - Volume I
Yoshimura Nanae
Challenging Eternity Disk 20


Evening Snow Tani Senzan Tanaka Yoko
Flute and Koto of Japan Yamaguchi Goro
Yonekawa Toshiko
Fujii Kunie Sokyoku Jiuta No Sekai 5 None


Fukami Satomi - Sokyoku Jiuta Shu - 2
Fukami Satomi

Ginyu Gunnar Jinmei Linder


Haru no Umi - Koto Meikyoku Sen - 2 Yamamoto Hozan Sawai Tadao
Hibiki - Tokyo Inter-arts In Berlin


    This was originally a piece for Kokyu (a 3-stringed instrument found throughout Asia), and was arranged for koto by YOSHIZAWA Kengyo in 1855. It is amongst the most beautiful and most frequently played works of classical koto music. The piece can also be performed by a solo koto (the vocal part is taken by the koto player). The shakuhachi part has no independent function. Both text strophes, which have the form of the classical Japanese poem (waka) with 3 I syllables (5-7-5 + 7-7), are taken from different collections of poetry from the Heian-period (794-1185).

Ikuta Ryu Sokyoku Senshu Volume 01


Isaac Stern - The Classic Melodies of Japan Yamamoto Hozan


Japan - Courtly Songs Chida Etsuko

Japan - Ensemble of Traditional Instruments of Japan Ifuji Reizan

Japanese Koto Music of Kimio Eto - Koto and Flute - Featuring the flute of Bud Shank, The None Eto Kimio
Japanese Koto Music with Shamisen and Shakuhachi


    (Music of Plovers)
    Composed by Yoshizawa Kengyo in the early 19th Century. Consists of four parts, the first part gives an impression of Gagaku followed by a classical poem which reads:

    The plovers which live
    Out on the shore
    Will chirp
    "Forever, the Court"

    The music in the third part is gay and refreshing. Then the second folk song type poem is sung:

    The Watchman at Suma
    Keeps dreaming all night
    Because he hears
    The crying of chidori.

    The voice of plovers is played by sliding the nail piece on the string, twice and twice again, before the music ends. The music is played by two kotos and four shakuhachis.

Kinko Ryu Shakuhachi Sankyoku Meikyoku Sen - Dai Ichi Shu - Vol 1 Yamaguchi Goro


Kinko Shakuhachi Gaikyoku Anthology Volume 1 - First Level - tape 3 Kawase Junsuke III

Kodo Araki Araki Kodo V Yes
    This melody was the very first melody I performed on stage, an event that took place in January, 1950, when I performed together with a group of lovely girls who were studying under Shojuku Kojima. It also was my debut piece on television. Later on, I joined another teacher, Shinki Sato, but I still cherish this song in my heart, and although well over twenty years have gone by since, I still wish that I could return to that state of innocence I was in back in those days. The piece was composed by Kengyo Yoshizawa of Nagoya, in Central Japan, in 1855. It is put together in three sections, a prelude, an interlude, and a finale, and the prelude is adopted from the KOKIN WAKA SHU, a collection of the 31-syllable Japanese poems both old and new, while the finale comes from the KINYO SHU collection.

Koto Music of Japan


Koto no Kyoshu Nihon no Merodi-shu


Koto no Miryoku - Disk 2


Masterpieces of the Koto Yamamoto Hozan Sawai Tadao
Melody of Japan - Brightness of Summer


Musique Traditionnelle du Japon Kikusui Kofu Yes
    CHIDORI NO KOKYU. Pièce célèbre pour koto, cette composition peut être exécutée, comme c'est le cas ici, par l'ensemble chant, koto, shakuhachi.
    Chidori est le nom d'un oiseau familier des côtes japonaises. Le chant décrit la beauté de la nature au bord de la mer.

Ningen Kokuho Shirizu 5 Yamaguchi Goro

Rokudan


Rokudan Koto no Meikyoku
Yes
Rokudan no Shirabe - Koto Favorites
Nakashima Yasuko
Seiha Hogakkai Play Favorites 09 - Meiji Shinkyoku


Shakuhachi - Chidori No Kyoku Yamaguchi Goro

Shakuhachi - Yamaguchi Goro Yamaguchi Goro


So - Japanese Traditional Music
Yonekawa Toshiko
Sokyoku Jiuta


Sokyoku Jiuta Taikei 18

Tomizaki Shunshô
Sokyoku Jiuta Taikei 40
Mishina Masayasu
Song of Daybreak Bruce Huebner

    Chidori no Kyoku "Plovers" was originally composed for koto and voice by Kengyo Yoshizawa II (1800-1872). "Plovers" is one of the kokin gumi, a series of five pieces ("Spring", "Summer", "Fall", "Winter", and "Plovers") named after the Kokin Wakashu poetry collection from which their song texts are taken. Rather than use the usual format of koto and voice with added shakuhachi, we perform "Plovers" as a shakuhachi duet. Mr Linder plays the original koto line, composed sometime between 1831 and 37, while I play this unusual kaede obligato part written specifically for shakuhachi by Nomura Keikyu in 1925. Nomura was a figure in the prewar shakuhachi world, who lost his temper in an argument and stabbed a man to death. Because of this incident the "Plover" kaede and several other shakuhachi kaede for other koto pieces that he wrote, have been all but forgotten.

Souvenir of Japan - Shakuhachi Fuhin Yamaguchi Goro


The Flower - Yoko Hiraoka and David Wheeler David Kansuke Wheeler Hiraoka Yoko

Tomiyama Seikin - So
Tomiyama Seikin V
Tradition and Avantgarde in Japan


    This composition by Yoshizawa kengyo belongs to a group of works titled kokingumi. The title refers to song suites on waka texts, that is, brief poems of thirty-one syllables from the classical poetry anthology Kokin wakashu (tenth century). In Chidori no kyoku there are two waka. The first is by an anonymous poet; the second, by Minamoto no Kanemasa, and it is the only exception, having been taken from a later waka anthology, the Kin'yoshu (twelfth century). Both poems are about the chidori, the Japanese plover, a bird that lives at the sea with a piercing cry that sounds like chi-yo, chi-yo. They evoke associations with the Japanese word chiyo ("For thousands of generations!"), which is used to wish someone well.

    The first waka, which appears in Kokin wakashu in the section containing the "poems of well-wishing," alludes to this. The second waka, by contrast, is a "winter song." Minamoto no Kanemasa, one of the most famous waka poets of the early twelfth century, evokes the disconsolate loneliness that the watchman at the border post in the Bay of Suma (now in Kobe). Not far away Awaji Island rises from the sea. No one can be seen here during the winter. All that can be heard is the cries of the little chidori birds, and they emphatically announce the end of the night to the watchman.

    The musical allusions to gakuso court music are achieved primarily through the choice of the kokinjoshi tuning, whose structure (pentatonic without half-tone steps) is based on the banshiki-cho scale of gagaku court music. In formal terms the composition is like a tegotomono: the two song sections frame a longer tegoto (instrumental interlude).

    Chidori no kyoku
    Transliteration

    [Maebiki]
    (1)
    Shionoyama
    Sashide no iso ni

    sumu chidori

    [Ai]

    Kimi ga miyo woba
    ya-chiyo tozo naku

    [Ai]

    Kimi ga miyo woba
    ya-chiyo tozo naku

    [Tegoto]

    (2)
    Awajishima
    kayo chidori no
    naku koe ni

    [Ai]

    Ikuyo nezamenu
    Suma no sekimori

    [Ai]

    Ikuyo nezamenu
    Suma no sekimori

    [Atobiki]


    Song of the Plovers
    Translation
    [Prelude] -1-

    (1)
    On Shio Mountain,
    on the cliffs of Sashide,
    which jut into the sea,
    the plovers nest:

    [Brief instrumental interlude]

    May the emperor's illustrious life
    last eight thousand generations,
    they cry!

    [Brief instrumental interlude]

    May the emperor's illustrious life
    last eight thousand generations,
    they cry!

    [Long instrumental interlude] -2-

    (2)
    On Awaji Island
    the plovers fly back and forth
    their piercing cries:

    [Brief instrumental interlude]

    How many nights have they awakened
    the watchman at border post of Suma!

    [Brief instrumental interlude]

    How many nights have they awakened
    the watchman at border post of Suma!

    [Postlude]

    -1- Imitation of the gestures of the gakuso zither used in court music creates a festive atmosphere for the song of good wishes that follows.

    -2- In the first half of this tegoto section, performed at a more rapid tempo, the gestures are intended to symbolize the sound of the waves; in the second half, the call of the plovers.

Traditional Music of Japan


Uehara Masaki
Uehara Masaki II
Yamaguchi Goro no Sekai Yamaguchi Goro


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2014