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Matsukaze (Nezasa Ha)

松風 (根笹)

This is a piece of genre Koten from the Chikuho Ryû and Nezasa Ha / Kimpu Ryû Schools .

Matsukaze (Nezasa Ha) appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Bamboo Grass - Yearning for the Bell Volume 2 Riley Kelly Lee

    Matsukaze / Wind in the Pines The literal translation of the Japanese is "Pine Wind". This well-known title is found throughout Japanese performing art traditions.

His Practical Philosophy - 2 Watazumi Doso Roshi


Japanese Masterpieces for the Shakuhachi Yes

    The Wind on the Pine Tree

    The pine tree represents man, cherry and the plum trees, woman. This piece is famous for its panting technique (komibuki), the symbol of the wold breath of the samurai. It was composed by a member of the Tsugaru family in northern Japan about 300 years ago.

Japanese Masterpieces for the Shakuhachi (LP) Yes

    The Wind on the Pine Tree

    The pine tree represents man, cherry and the plum trees, woman. This piece is famous for its panting technique (komibuki), the symbol of the wold breath of the samurai. It was composed by a member of the Tsugaru family in northern Japan about 300 years ago.

Jin Nyodo No Shakuhachi 01 Jin Nyodo

    Nezasa-ha: MATSUKAZE

    2-shaku 3-sun
    6 min. 59 sec.

    1. About the title:

    There is an interesting story told about the famous Nezasa-ha composition Matsukaze:

    It was a late moonlit night in mid-autumn, the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month in the first year of Genji (1864), at the end of the Edo period. At the rear of the Murasaki--Shinden ("Purple Hall") of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto, the resonant tone of a shakuhachi drifted from the official residence of chief Advisor and Imperial Minister Konoe Tadahiro within the Imadegawa Gate. It could be heard as far away as the Higashiyama area, and the story has it that this music soothed the troubled hearts of the people caught up in the Meiji Restoration. The shakuhachi player was Nyui Kencho, a master of Nezasa-ha who had been dispatched by the Tsugaru clan to serve in Konoe's Imperial Guard. The piece was Matsukaze. When the Chief Advisor was done listening, he was deeply moved and after closing his eyes and meditating a while he composed a poem:

    "Nyui Kencho's shakuhachi shirabe was most interesting, while
    the moon shone clearly
    'The take-no-shirabe resonates...
    Lucid moonbeams
    Fill the deepest night...'"

    On considering this incident, Tadahiro then proposed the new artistic name Getsuei ("moonbeams") for Nyui. The Minister also received the famous flute used in this performance, and had it returned afterwards enclosed in a bag of Yamato brocade.

    Later, in the year 22 Meiji (1890) Nyui spent three years compiling ten Nezasa-ha honkyoku based on the oral teachings of Ban Yasuyuki and the composition method passed down by Sagawa Tokugyo of Edo. Combining the character kaze/FU of Matsukaze and the character nishiki/KIN from nishiki-nofukuro ("brocade bag") he created the name Kinpu-ryu. This is why the Nezasa-ha is known as Kinpu-ryu in the Tsugaru area.

    2. Structure of the piece

    It is structured [Shirabe -Honte -Musubi].

    3. Special features of the piece:

    The unique shirabe of Matsukaze is about two-thirds as long as the separate piece Shirabe, and although there are differences in octaves, they both begin from the same note KO-no-ro and have many melodies in common, as well as having a similar overall flow. However, distinct from the piece Shirabe, which has a feeling of having been assembled as a whole piece, this shirabe has the inescapable feeling of an introduction both, in its overall pitch range and its moderation.

    Among Nezasa-ha pieces, this composition is almost as short as Shirabe and Sagariha, but with its decorous structural sense it is an extremely refined and justly famous work.

Jin Nyodo No Shakuhachi 02 Jin Nyodo

Koten Shakuhachi Gaku Zen Shu - 5 Takeuchi Chiko

Koten Shakuhachi Gaku Zen Shu - 5 Takeuchi Chiko

Musical Instruments of Japan - 3


Shakuhachi Koten Honkyoku Shusei - 1 Aoki Reibo II


Shakuhachi Zen John Singer


Solstice Spirit James Nyoraku 如楽 Schlefer

    This piece is from the Nezasa-ha (Bamboo Grass Sect) of Aomori, a northern district of Japan where winters are harsh. The repertoire of the Bamboo Grass Sect is known for a blowing technique called Komibuki (crowded breath). This pulsating breath technique is considered an effective method of focusing energy and increasing concentration. The title, Matsukaze, means Wind Through the Pines.

Spirit of Silence, The Iwamoto Yoshikazu

    This piece depicts the atmosphere of the far north of Japan's mainland, from which it originated.

Sui Zen - Blowing Meditation on the Shakuhachi - 04 Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin

    In some ways, this piece, played here on the 2.4, may be considered the most important piece is the Neza-Sa-Ha repertoire. It is known for its sense of courtly formality and decorum, and is the one exception to the rule that Shirabe always prefaces a Neza-Sa-Ha piece. Matsukaze contains its own internal shirabe section, so it doesn't need the added introduction.

    "Matsukaze" means "Wind Through the Pines" or "Wind Through Pine Trees." It is also called "Matsukaze No Kyoku," "The Music of the Pines." Kurahashi Yodo called it "The Sound of the Great Peace Within the Heart and Spirit." It is about 400 years old. It evokes an old stately pine tree, with the sound of a soft breeze blowing through his branches. In Japanese culture, the pine is traditionally a male. Plum trees represent women.

    There's a story related to Matsukaze that explains how Neza-Sa-Ha shakuhachi playing came to get the name Kinpu Ryu, a gold brocade bag.

    During the troubled times of the Meiji Restoration at the end of the Edo Period, in the autumn of 1864, to be exact, the Chief Advisor and Imperial Minister Konoe Tadayoshi was up late, beset with worries. He heard, drifting through the moonlight, the soothing sound of a shakuhachi played by Nyui Kencho, a Neza-Sa-Ha master who was in the Imperial Guard.

    He then proposed a new artistic name "Getsui" (moonbeams) for Nyui Kencho. Nyui gave him his shakuhachi in thanks, and the minister returned it to him in a fancy brocade bag.

    Combining the character kaze / FU of Matsukaze and the character nishiki / KIN from nishiki-no-fukuro ("brocade bag") he created the name Kinpu-ryu. This is why the Neza-Sa-Ha is known as Kinpu-ryu in the Tsugaru area.

    Kin also means "gold," so it must have been a golden bag. Kyoto was very famous for its nishikin silk, and the gold silk was the most prized. So according to that story, the "kin" could also be translated as "The School of the Golden Shakuhachi Case," Kinpu-Ryu.

    There's another legend that is fairly close to this, that may be related. It is said that two warring factions were in the Kyoto Gosho, the old imperial palace area. During the battle, Nyui supposedly played a piece on his shakuhachi. When the factions heard the music, they no longer wanted to fight, and put down their arms. And, according to the story, the Emperor awarded Nyui with a golden silk brocade case for his shakuhachi, thus the name "Kinpu-Ryu."

    This piece can be played with both Ura and Ornote versions. Both instruments take breaths at different places, and sometimes they're one octave apart, with the 1.8 against the 2.4. It's a strange, but interesting sound.


Tsugaru no Take no Oto Nezasa Ha Kimpu Ryu Shakuhachi Goto Seizo

World of Zen Music, The - Shakuhachi Music from Tsugaru, Nezasa-ha Kinpu-ryu Nakamura Akikazu

    Matsukaze is considered to depict wind blowing through pine trees. It is invariably preceded by a prelude known as Matsukaze no shirabe. The piece has interesting historical associations. According to legend, Nyui Getsuei (1822-95) , who is generally considered to have established the Nezasa or Kinpu school in its modern form, played this piece in 1864 before Konoe Tadahiro, adviser to the emperor. Inspired by the performance he had just heard, Tadahiro composed the two following poems:

    Melodies of bamboo
    Ring forth
    Evoking of their own accord
    A mood of pure clarity
    In the moon shade of night

    A melody emerges
    To reverberate
    On an unplayed koto
    Echoing through the eaves
    The sound of wind among the pines

    It is supposedly from these two verses that the names of Getsuei and Kinpu were taken, getsuei being an alternative reading of tsukikage, meaning "shade of the moon", and kinpu being a term related to the meaning of the second verse.

    This is a highly refined piece with a clearly delineated formal structure.


Zen Music with Ancient Shakuhachi - Disc 2 John Singer

    (Wind Blowing Thru The Pines) There is an interesting story regarding Matsukaze: On a clear moonlit night during the mid-autumn of 1864, at the rear of the Purple Hall of the Kyoto Imperial palace, the resonant sound of a shakuhachi drifted afar and soothed the troubled hearts of the people caught up in the Meiji Restoration and many were deeply moved. The player was Nui Getsuei, a Master of the Nezasa Ha Kinpu Ryu and the piece was “Matsu Kaze”.


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017