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Nagashi Reibo

流鈴慕

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

Nagashi Reibo appears on the following albums

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

    Nagashi reibo / Wandering and Yearning for the Bell belongs to the family of Reibo pieces, from which this series of recordings takes its name. The legendary 'father' of the honkyoku tradition, Fuke (ca. C9th China), did not play shakuhachi, but rang a rei (hand-bell) instead. To his disciples, Fuke's bell has come to symbolize enlightenment. "Yearning for the bell" can therefore mean 'yearning for enlightenment'. The term nagashi also means 'flowing' or 'stream'.

Jin Nyodo No Shakuhachi 01 Jin Nyodo

    Nezasa-ha: NAGASHI-REIBO

    2-shaku 3-sun
    11 min. 29 sec.

    1. About the title:

    Reibo, along with San'ya, is a title found widely in each school of shakuhachi playing. Concerning this title please consult the section on Reibo in "Commonly Used Titles." The Nagashi in the title refers to the practice of priests wandering about (nagashi) and playing the flute while soliciting their daily rice.

    2. Structure of the piece

    The piece is in three sections [Honte -Takane -Musubi]. The honte begins from the KO-no-ro tone; after working through a rather long and melancholy melody, it enters the takane. The takane begins with a melody using all forms of the ha- tone which alter melismatically in subtle tonal degrees smaller than quarter tones. This is a classical takane melody typical of Nezasa-ha honkyoku, but even among these it is especially beautiful and full of pathos. From this highest section which lasts seven breaths, the melody descends abruptly and arrives at the musubi. The designation musubi does not occur in traditional notated scores, but "finale" seems appropriate since a clearly different mood exists.

    3. Special features of the piece:

    Considering the special qualities of each Nezasa-ha piece, we could call Matsukaze a piece with great "decorum" and San'ya-Seiran a piece full of loneliness. Tori-Kadozuke-Hachigaeshi could be called a "sonorous" piece whereas this Nagashi-Reibo we could truly call the most smoothly and beautifully flowing piece. Among the numerous pieces named Reibo, it is one of the decidedly superior versions along with Futai-ken Reibo and Shogan-ken Reibo.

Jin Nyodo No Shakuhachi 02 Jin Nyodo


Meditative Shakuhachi Solos Daniel Nyohaku Soergel

Mountain Valley Riley Kelly Lee

    'Yearning for the Bell' While Begging for Alms

    The word 'Reibo' is incorporated in the titles of many honkyoku. It refers to the handbell used by the mythical founder
    of the shakuhachi playing sect of Zen Buddhist priests, Fuke Zenji. To Fuke's students and the countless generations of shakuhachi players to follow, Fuke's bell symbolizes enlightenment to which they yearn or aspire. 'Nagashi' refers to alms begging or mendicancy, an integral part of one's spiritual practice. This piece was transmitted by the Nesasa lineage of the Kimpu style of shakuhachi playing and is noted for its use of komi-buki ('crowded breath'), a pulsating breath technique thought to be conducive to concentration of the mind. Performed on a 2.4 shaku flute.

Mukaiji - Komuso Shakuhachi Zenyoji Keisuke

    Ban Yuzoh (1798-1875), the progenitor of Kimpu-Ryu school taught this piece only to Ishioka Yoshitaro, and then Nyuui Getsuei (1822-95) and others learned from Yoshitaro to pass down to later generations. The notation currently played was established by people around Getsuei. Jin Nyodoh was second generation lineage from Getsuei.

    Reibo was called as Renbo and its another name is Mukaiji. These are the oldest name among Komuso shakuhacbi pieces. The introductory melody in this piece can be categorized as same one as in Renbo (Reibo) Nagashi or Mukaiji which are transmitted in many different parts of Japan. Nagashi means playing on the street. We see the same melody lines as in Toori or Kadozuke of the same Nezasa-Ha school pieces which reminds us of Takuhatsu (mendicancy) by Shakuhachi, and the piece indeed gives such impression of Nagashi-buki playing. There is no Komuso temple in Tsugaru, therefore it is imagined that the piece was brought in Tsugaru by a Komuso from some other Tohoku area and refined there.


Reibo Sakai Chikuho II


Shakuhachi Zen John Singer


Spirit of Wind, The Iwamoto Yoshikazu

    "Reibo" (Longing for the Bell), like "Kyorei”, also appears as part of a title in many pieces of classical shakuhachi music. It reminds us, in this case, of the bell rung by Fuke, who was regarded as the founder of the komuso tradition. Fuke, a Zen monk in ninth century China, was known for his extraordinary deeds and purity of heart which spiritually inspired the komuso of Japan. Puke's handbell also captured the imagination of the komuso because they perceived its sound at the moment of enlightenment. The present "Reibo" originated in northern Japan. "Nagashi" (Playing on the Street) refers to the mendicancy of the komuso players.

Sui Zen - Blowing Meditation on the Shakuhachi - 05 Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin

    Nagashi refers to walking around, or walking and stopping at a person's house. Therefore, the title of this piece refers to the practice of priests wandering about and playing the flute while begging. Nagashi Reibo, in keeping with the promise of its title, has a gentle, wandering quality. It evokes the komuso's intent to have no resting place, but just flow through ,this life. There is a legend that this piece was outlawed after it was discovered that many older residents of a certain ward in Edo were dying after hearing komuso playing it at dusk.

    This piece was almost lost in the 1800's because Ban Yuzoh, who was its keeper, taught it to only two persons, Ishioka Yoshitaro, and Nyui Getsuei. Jin Nyodo learned it from one of Getsuei's students. Musically, it appears to be closely related to Mukaiji, and may be a descendant of the original form of Mujaiji. It contains a melody similar to that seen in Tori-Kadotsuke which appears to be a member of the same musical family.

    Nagashi Reibo was Kono-Gyoksui's favorite honkyoku. The piece, as well as Gaikyoku-Zan Getsu, were requested by Kurahashi Yodo to be played at his death.


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

    Nagashi Reibo is another honkyoku associated with the Kinpu school, nagashi referring to an irregular style of performance employed by monks when seeking alms. This is a florid, large-scale piece.


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017