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Daiwagaku

大和楽

This is a piece of genre Modern Honkyoku. Also Known As : Jin Nyodo Shokyoku Daiwagaku, Yamato Gaku (by Koga). This piece was composed for Shakuhachi by the person Jin Nyodo.

History (Jin Nyodo):

Jin Nyodo Shokyoku: DAIWAGAKU

1. About the title:

Jin Nyodo composed this piece in 1941 (16 Showa). The term shokyoku was coined especially by Jin Nyodo and is based on the concept that "good music can not be created through the intentions of a single individual". Rather the creative process of the universe manifests itself momentarily in one human being so that the piece is not composed (sakkyoku) but is born (shokyoku).

The title derives from the ancient teaching "good manners are the beginning of heaven; music (gaku) is the harmony (wa) of heaven." For further discussion of the piece see the separate article "The Musical Lineage of Jin Nyodo".

2. Structure of the piece

The piece shifts gradually from the lower register to the upper, then returns to the lower and concludes. This structure is like a gently rounded mountain, and is similar in format to that of Shirabe.

3. Special features of the piece:

The composer has said that it was written as a basic instructional piece for shakuhachi, and that as in the iroha (syllabary) Poem of Kobo Daishi all the basic sounds are utilized and their arrangement is endowed with symbolic meaning. For more specifics please consult "The Musical Lineage of Jin Nyodo," but as a rough guide the piece compares and contrasts the transitions found in human life, time and the seasons.

Throughout this piece, the technique called kyosui is used. Kyosui is a playing method without yuri or komi where the breath is blown in calmly and evenly and allowed to fade away naturally. The playing techniques of each school of honkyoku can be summarized under the five types: kyosui, kusabibuki, yuribuki, sasabuki, and komibuki. Because of its natural quality, kyosui is the first step to proper playing, but in fact it is a quite difficult technique to master. In this sense kyosui can be seen as both a basis of shakuhachi as well as its highest attainment. The fact that this basic instructional piece is permeated with kyosui, demonstrates the great importance that Jin Nyodo's thought placed on this particular technique.

Daiwagaku appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Jin Nyodo No Shakuhachi 02 Jin Nyodo

    Jin Nyodo Shokyoku: DAIWAGAKU

    1-shaku 8-sun
    3 min. 3 sec.

    1. About the title:

    Jin Nyodo composed this piece in 1941 (16 Showa). The term shokyoku was coined especially by Jin Nyodo and is based on the concept that "good music can not be created through the intentions of a single individual". Rather the creative process of the universe manifests itself momentarily in one human being so that the piece is not composed (sakkyoku) but is born (shokyoku).

    The title derives from the ancient teaching "good manners are the beginning of heaven; music (gaku) is the harmony (wa) of heaven." For further discussion of the piece see the separate article "The Musical Lineage of Jin Nyodo".

    2. Structure of the piece

    The piece shifts gradually from the lower register to the upper, then returns to the lower and concludes. This structure is like a gently rounded mountain, and is similar in format to that of Shirabe.

    3. Special features of the piece:

    The composer has said that it was written as a basic instructional piece for shakuhachi, and that as in the iroha (syllabary) Poem of Kobo Daishi all the basic sounds are utilized and their arrangement is endowed with symbolic meaning. For more specifics please consult "The Musical Lineage of Jin Nyodo," but as a rough guide the piece compares and contrasts the transitions found in human life, time and the seasons.

    Throughout this piece, the technique called kyosui is used. Kyosui is a playing method without yuri or komi where the breath is blown in calmly and evenly and allowed to fade away naturally. The playing techniques of each school of honkyoku can be summarized under the five types: kyosui, kusabibuki, yuribuki, sasabuki, and komibuki. Because of its natural quality, kyosui is the first step to proper playing, but in fact it is a quite difficult technique to master. In this sense kyosui can be seen as both a basis of shakuhachi as well as its highest attainment. The fact that this basic instructional piece is permeated with kyosui, demonstrates the great importance that Jin Nyodo's thought placed on this particular technique.

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


Makoto Shinjitsu - with a heart of true sincerity Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin

    Daiwa-Gaku is a piece composed by the great Shakuhachi Master of the 20th Century, Jin Nyodo. The piece is of the few that have been composed in the modern era, and have been accepted into the ranks of the great traditional Honkyoku. While Daiwa Gaku literally means "the great piece"; it also speaks to the four seasons of the year, the four times of the day, and the four stages of a man's life. The title derives from the ancient teaching" good manners are the beginning of heaven; music (gaku) is the harmony (wa) of heaven." Jin Nyodo has said this piece was written as a basic instructional piece for the Shakuhachi, and that all of the basic sounds of the instrument are utilized and their arrangement is endowed with symbolic meaning-comparing and contrasting the transitions found in human life, time and the seasons. Throughout this piece, the technique called Kyosui is used. Kyosui is a method without yuri or komi (head movements) where the breath is blown evenly and calmly and allowed to fade away naturally. Because of its natural quality, Kyosui is the first step to natural playing, but in fact is quite a difficult technique to master. In this sense Kyosui can be viewed as both a basis of shakuhachi, as well as its highest attainment.

Sui Zen - Blowing Meditation on the Shakuhachi - 01 Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin

    This piece is very short, about four minutes in length. It's the greatest piece of Jin Nyodo, the teacher of Kurahashi Yodo, who, in turn, taught Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin. Composed in 1941, or Showa 16, this piece is one of the few pieces from this century to have been accepted into the honkyoku repertoire.

    It is the first honkyoku taught to students in the Jin Nyodo stream, and provides an excellent foundation, as all the basic sounds are utilized. As most "first" pieces, it is also quite difficult; to properly master the kyosui (empty breathing) technique is not easy.

    It doesn't use yuri, side-to-side movement, or panting (komibuki) movement. The breath is just blown calmly, evenly, and allowed to fade away naturally. Kyosui or straight blowing is the first breathing technique to learn. It is taught before kusabibuki (wedge, or funnel-shaped), yuribuki (bent by head movement), sasabuki (bamboo leaf-shaped) and komibuki (panting).

    Jin Nyodo placed great importance on the simple kyosui; he called this both the basis of shakuhachi as well as its highest attainment.

    Kyosui is also called kesui: "Blowing Emptiness," the concept from which Ronnie's dojo, Ki-Sui-An, the "House of Blowing Emptiness," takes its name.

    Jin Nyodo didn't call Daiwagaku a composition. He believed that good music cannot be created through the intentions of a single individual. Rather the creative process of the universe manifests itself momentarily in one human being so that the piece is not composed (sakkyoku), but is born (shokyoku).

    The title, Daiwagaku, comes from the old teaching, "Good manners are the beginning of Heaven. Music is the harmony of Heaven." Gaku means "music," and harmony is wa. Daiwagaku is also a pun on the word, Yamatogaku; it can be given two different readings; Yamato is the old name for Japan. Daiwagaku also means "the great peace."

    "Great peace" means the great peace of kokoro. Kokoro is a three-part word which means heart, spirit and mind. There is no concept quite like that in English. It's the unity of heaven, earth and man.
    Daiwagaku shifts gradually from the lower register to the upper, then returns to the lower, and concludes. This structure is like a gently rounded mountain, and is similar in format to that of Shirabe.

    The piece can be played as a shirabe, an introductory piece, or alone. It has four parts, the johakyu curve. As in the artistic tradition of the iroha (syllabary) poem of Kobo Dashi, all the basic sounds are utilized, and their arrangement is endowed with symbolic meaning, representing the contrasts and transitions found in human life, time, and the seasons. They are representative and evocative of the four stages of life: youth, middle age, old age, and death. They also can represent the four stages of the year: mid-winter, early spring, summer, and autumn; or the four stages of the day: about 10 a.m., 3 p.m., 8 p.m. and the middle of the night.

    These terms are written right on the notation so each note is really pregnant with meaning. In fact, the first pitch, the re, which is G in Western notation, is considered the male. The more tonic, and more important tone on the shakuhachi is the ro, the strong female tone. So it encompasses both male and female, Heaven and Earth. In Japanese, the descriptive term is inyo, instead of yin-yang. There are both strong and restrained beats, on the right and left respectively. The right is male, just as in Tai Chi. Aggressive, Passive; Positive, Negative; Light and Dark; this is inyo. Meian, itself, is an inyo term, meaning light and dark.


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017