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Ginryu Koku

吟龍虚空

This is a piece of genre Koten in the style of Takuhatsu from the Kinko Ryû - 琴古流 School.

History (John Singer):

This piece is named after the high ranking Shakuhachi Master (Shinanban) of Ichigetsu-Ji Temple "Ginryu" who transmitted this piece to Kinko Kurosawa I. It is said that "Ginryu Koku", although basically a subdued piece, has a special quality of elegance.

Ginryu Koku appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Complete Collection of Honkyoku from the Kinko School - Vol 2 - Disc 3 Aoki Reibo II

Kinko Ryu Honkyoku - 7 Aoki Reibo II

Kinko Ryu Shakuhachi Koten Honkyoku Notomi Judo I

Music of the Shakuhachi Ralph Samuelson

    Koku (Empty Sky) is one of the profoundly spiritual pieces of the shakuhachi tradition and one of a core group of three sacred pieces. It is said to have been given by the Buddha to the monk Kochiku (13th century) in a dream. Ginryu Koku is the special version of Koku which Kinko Kurosawa colleted from a priest named Ginryu.

Shakuhachi no Shinzui-Shakuhachi Honkyoku - 09 Yamaguchi Goro

Zen Music - VI Yamaguchi Goro

    This is an arrangement of 'Koku', one of the oldest three pieces in Fuke sect shakuhachi. It was used as a ceremonial music. The original composition was being transmitted a Ichigetsu-ji Temple in Musashi. A man called Ginryu is said to have arranged it into the form as heard in this recording and taught it to Kinko Kurosawa (1710-1771).

    Some people say that this piece depicts the flight of crying ryu, a fictitious, felicitous animal venerated in China and Japan.

    There is a piece, of which title resembles to this: 'Ryugin Koku'. But it is a different piece, in which 'ryugin' simply denotes a tonal scale, shimomu-cho.

    'Ginryu Koku' belongs to the Seventeen Ura Pieces in the repertoire of Kinko-ryu Honkyoku.

    Kaede (counterpart) and solo as performed by Judo Notomi is to be heard from the left and Honte (principal part) by Goro Yamaguchi from the right.


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017