International Shakuhachi Society Logo

The International Shakuhachi Society

Ôshû Sashi

奥州薩字

This is a piece of genre Koten from the Kyushu Kei School.

History:

Each of the famous Komuso had his own individualistic way of playing this piece. It is an improvisational piece which is said to have been played when the Komuso were doing takuhatsu (religious mendicancy). Particularly when this piece was used by the Komuso on their pilgrimages it was called "sashi" in the common parlance. This work originated in Kyushu prefecture, where it was played by the famous Jinbo Masanosuke and was called Jinbo Sanka. It is said that this piece was transmitted orally under the name Ohshu Sashi.

The form of the work is in four parts: "shirabe" (investigation), "honte" (main part), "takane" (high pitch), "hachigaeshi" (playing a piece in return for food). This is a typical form for classical honkyoku, and in this short piece one can see clearly the distinctive qualities of the shakuhachi.

Ôshû Sashi appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Aoki Reibo no Shakuhachi Aoki Reibo II


Hi Fu Mi Renkei Hashimoto

    Sashi (Oshu version)
    Oshu is another name for the historical province Mutsu in the North of Japan. The term sashi (to lift up, sacrifice) indicates that this piece, like Hachi gaeshi, was played during the alms-gathering rounds as an expression of thankfulness. It is also possible that sashi references the Sanskrit term satya (absolute truth, essence).

Japan - Splendour of the Shakuhachi Yonemura Reisho

    Each of the famous Komuso had his own individualistic way of playing this piece. It is an improvisational piece which is said to have been played when the Komuso were doing takuhatsu (religious mendicancy). Particularly when this piece was used by the Komuso on their pilgrimages it was called "sashi" in the common parlance. This work originated in Kyushu prefecture, where it was played by the famous Jinbo Masanosuke and was called Jinbo Sanka. It is said that this piece was transmitted orally under the name Ohshu Sashi.

    The form of the work is in four parts: "shirabe" (investigation), "honte" (main part), "takane" (high pitch), "hachigaeshi" (playing a piece in return for food). This is a typical form for classical honkyoku, and in this short piece one can see clearly the distinctive qualities of the shakuhachi.

Koku Monden Tekiku

Kyorei Tokuyama Takashi

    Also known as Jimbo-sanya, this piece was composed by Jimbo Masanosuke, the last monk of the temple of Echigomeianji, Hottajisen. Originally from Niigata Prefecture, Oshu-sashi is typical of the northern style of Koten honkyoku. It is at once loud and brash, but a moment later soft and subtle. The melody is similar to Futaiken, or the nezasaha school of shakuhachi. The uniqueness of this piece is characterized by the appearance of new melodies throughout the composition, the juxtaposition of low and high notes, difficult fingering techniques, as well as a sustained tension which is felt until the end of the piece.

Musiques de l'Asie Traditionnelle Vol 20 Japon - The Shakuhachi of Reibo Aoki Aoki Reibo II

    Each of well-known "Komuso" (mendicant Zen priest of Fuke sect who plays a shakuhachi) had a characteristic and improvisational tune to play when he went about asking for alms. The tunes played in religious mendicancy was commonly called "Sashi".

    Ohsyu-sashi was a tune that was played by Master Masanosuke Jinbo (1841-1914) who lived in the rural district of Fukushima prefecture and was commonly called JINBO SANYA. It was then transmitted to the komuso-dera (temple) Itcho-ken in Hakata city in the island of Kyushu.

    To some people, this tune is better known as OSYU SANYA or OSYU REIBO. The tune has a typical form of traditional shakuhachi tunes with parts called "Shirabe", "Honte", "Takane" and "Hachigaeshi". The characteristic of shakuhachi music is lively displayed in this short tune.

    (played with a Itshaku-kyusun-kan).

Offerings Ralph Samuelson

    Oshu Sashi is a Fuke-shu piece played today in the Meian ryu and related schools. It originated in Oshu, a place in northern Japan near present-day Sendai. Sashi refers to the music which monks played as part of their spiritual discipline and implies dedication and offering.

Shakuhachi Koten Honkyoku Shusei - 1 Aoki Reibo II

Sound of Zen, The Okuda Atsuya

Take-Ikkan Aoki Reibo II


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017