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Reibo (Shôganken)

霊慕 (松巌軒)

This is a piece of genre Koten from the Chikuho Ryû and Oshu Kei Schools . Also Known As : Miyagi Reibo, Sendai Reibo, Oshu Reibo, Furin.

History (Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin):

This version of "Reibo" comes from a temple in Shogan Prefecture, an area of Japan now known as Sendai. It has variously been called "Sendai Reibo," "Miagi Reibo" or "Oushu Reibo".

Reibo (Shôganken) appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Bosatsu Taniguchi Yoshinobu

    Furin - Breeze Blowing Through the Bamboo Grove

    Try to become a breeze flowing through a bamboo grove. Feel yourself brush up and around the towers of giant grass bending gracefully. Feel the eerie light created as sun filters down through a canopy of bamboo leaves and experience your freedom in this new existence. At the beginning of the song, you approach the grove and at the end, you exit the grove. Enjoy the timeless space of this progression.


Deep Night - Yearning for the Bell Volume 5 Riley Kelly Lee

    Yearning for the Bell of the Pine Boulder Temple

    The word Reibo (Yearning for the Bell), may be found in more titles of pieces in the shakuhachi honkyoku repertoire than any other word. This is why it has been possible to record a series of seven CDs of honkyoku, all including one or more Reibo pieces, and call the series "Yearning for the Bell". It is as if the idea behind the word is so important that it is used in titles of honkyoku as often as possible. The legendary "father" of the honkyoku tradition, Fuke (ca. 9th C. China), did not play shakuhachi, but rang a rei (handbell) instead. To his disciples, Fuke's bell has come to symbolize enlightenment. "Yearning for the Bell" can therefore mean "yearning for enlightenment".

    Shoganken reibo is a version, transmitted within the Chikuho lineage, of a group of closely related Reibo pieces originating in the northern district of Aomori. This piece was transmitted by komuso ("priests of nothingness") based at the small temple (ken) called "Pine Boulder" (Shogan), as distinct from other pieces within this group whose transmission were centered around other nearby temples or ken.


Five Pieces for Shakuhachi Chikurai Mitsuhashi Kifu

    Reibo is a typical classical shakuhachi solo however there are many variations of reibo, all with this title and interrelated in various ways. Some of them for example have the word reibo at the end or the title, such as "Koku reibo" (reibo of voidness).

    One of these old classic solos, whose rendition by Kifu Mitsuhashi is notable, was preserved by the Shoganken Temple in the suburbs or Hanamaki City in Iwate Prefecture, and has spread throughout Japan's Tohoku (Northeast) region. This piece has a dynamic vibrato called Sokoyuri (literally "soul-shaking"). According to legend, in the Yoshiwara red light district of old Edo (Tokyo) some couples, deeply moved by this shakuhachi piece, have attempted double love suicide.


IN THE MOMENT


Jin Nyodo No Shakuhachi 03 Jin Nyodo

    Shogan-ken: REIBO

    2-shaku 1-sun
    11 min. 58 sec.

    1. About the title:
    First please consult the section on Reibo in "Commonly Used Titles." Then please refer to the article "Different Pieces with the Same Title. Identical Pieces with Different titles."

    The temple name Shogan-ken can be written with various Chinese characters (most commonly "pine - rock"), and it is not certain which spelling is the original form. It was a komuso temple in Hanamaki, Iwate Prefecture. No other pieces in the tradition of this temple are known. Jin Nyodo inherited the tradition of this piece form Orito Nyogetsu.

    2. Structure of the piece:

    The structure of the piece is [Takeshirabe - Honte - Takane - Takane-gaeshi - Hachigaeshi - Musubi].

    Takeshirabe - The melody begins quietly with soko-yuri rising from the lower tone, the o-meri of Ro-no-ro. After this low-pitched introduction, the two melodic patterns characteristic of this piece are introduced, and are then repeated intertwined with one another. Both of them are melodies filled with a pathos of spiritual longing. The mood of this takeshirabe suggests the mood of the entire piece.

    Honte - After an introductory four-breath melody, the most characteristic Ko-range melody of the piece appears. This could be considered the most beautiful and sharply poignant melody, not just among Reibo pieces, but among all honkyoku. This rather long melodic pattern is repeated afterwards and gives a strong emotional impression to this work.

    Takane - After a beautiful takane melody centering around the hi and ha tones, the characteristic melody introduced in the Honte reappears.

    Takane-gaeshi - After a repeat of the serene Takane, the Honte melody is repeated with some alteration.

    Hachigaeshi - Following a modulating melody, which beings with tama-ne, the melody from the end of the Takane-gaeshi is repeated.

    Musubi - A short modulating melody played in one breath continues into the Ko-range (second octave) and the piece ends on a final ro-tone.

    3. Special features of the piece:

    In terms of technique, it is similar to the Futai-ken piece especially in the use of soko-yuri.

    At one time the playing of this piece was forbidden in the Yoshiwara "pleasure district" because it was found that when a famous player wandered through the geisha district performing Reibo, the number of double lovers' suicides (shinju) increased. There are, however, differing opinions as to whether this legend refers to this piece or to Nagashi-Reibo of Nezasa-ha. In any case both pieces are representative of the Tohoku tradition and are rich in beauty and depth of feeling. If we distinguish among each of these pieces according to special characteristics, we can say that the Nezasa-ha piece has the most restrained sadness, the Futai-ken version has a more intense, passionate sorrow and this Shogan-ken Reibo conveys a feeling of piercing sadness, of soulful yearning. All three pieces have a deep religious awareness and give serene repose to the human soul.

Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 1 Yokoyama Katsuya

    This is a Reibo melody transmitted by Fuke-priests of Shoganken temple which once existed in Hananomaki-city, Iwate Prefecture.

    Originally, Reibo was a piece to commemorate a prominent Chinese master priest, Fuke-zenzi, who is believed to have tinkled a bell during his religious mendicancy. Reibo, which literally means 'yearn for the bell,' was composed in Japan by the priest(s) who wished to follow the spirit of Fuke-zenzi, and it is considered to be the oldest melody in the Fuke-repertoire (composed 700 years ago). Later, many variants of Reibo melody came to be played in various districts and they are known with the name of the place, like "Ohshu-Reibo (San-an)", "Izu-Reibo", "Yoshino-Reibo", and "Kyushu-Reibo." Among such variants, "Shoganken-Reibo" is famous for its lonesome tune.

Kaze no Kai; Shakuhachi Koten Honkyoku Shu


Koten Shakuhachi Kakizakai Kaoru

    This piece was transmitted in a Fuke temple named Shoganken in Hanamaki which was in Iwate. After starting to play this piece, I recalled one of my university colleagues from Hanamaki telling me that the house he lived in had once been an old temple. Upon enquiry, as imagined, it was indeed the same Shoganken Temple and therefore I feel some special affinity with this piece.

Master Sound - Watazumido Watazumi Doso Roshi

Prayer for the Missing, A Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin

Reibo - In memory of the bell Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin

    This version of "Reibo" comes from a temple in Shogan Prefecture, an area of Japan now known as Sendai. It has variously been called "Sendai Reibo," "Miagi Reibo" or "Oushu Reibo".


Searching - Yearning for the Bell Volume 7 Riley Kelly Lee

    This is another of the Reibo (Yearning for the Bell) pieces. This version of Shoganken reibo, transmitted by Yokoyama and his lineage, belongs to a group of closely related Reibo pieces originating in the northern district of Aomori. This piece was transmitted by komuso ('priests of nothingness') based at the small temple (ken) called 'Pine Boulder' (Shogan), as distinct from other pieces within this group whose transmission were centered around other nearby temples or ken. A very close version of this piece was transmitted by Yokoyama's teacher, Watazumi, but with the title Furin (Wind in the Woods).

Sokoinrancho Watazumi Doso Roshi

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

    Shoganken Reibo has a takeshirabe - honte - takane takekaeshi - hachikaeshi- musubi structure. It is similar technically to that of Futaiken Reibo, especially in the use of soko-yuri. Some say it has a distinct flavor of the folk music of the Tohoku district.

    There is a well-known legend that Shoganken Reibo was banned in the Yoshiwara "pleasure district" of Tokyo because whenever a certain famous player came through the area playing Reibo, the number of shinju (double suicides by lovers) increased dramatically. However, there is some controversy over whether it was this piece, or Nagashi Reibo, a Neza-Sa-Ha piece, that was to blame.

    Kurahashi Yodo transmitted another related story associated with Shoganken Reibo; that deaths of old people in one area were noted to increase around twilight time, just as the komuso would pass through. The interpretation given to this was that the profoundly religious, quiet and serene feeling engendered by the reibo pieces helped them to loosen their hold on this life, and drift off happily to their next incarnation.

    This piece is played on a 1.8, a true shakuhachi in length. The sound is much louder and brasher than that of the longer flutes; in general, the longer the flute, the more meditative the character. So, as a shorter flute is used here, the listener shouldn't be in too much danger of drifting away.

Suizen - Chikuho ryu ni miru fuke shakuhachi no keifu - 02 Sakai Chikuho II

Take Ippon II Yokoyama Katsuya

    This is a Reibo melody transmitted by Fuke priests of Shoganken temple which once existed in Hananomaki-city, Iwate Prefecture. Originally. Reibo was a piece to commemorate a prominent Chinese master priest. Fuke-zenzi. who is believed to have tinkled a bell during his religious mendicancy. Reibo. which literally means 'yearn for the bell,' was composed in Japan by the priest(s) who wished to follow the spirit of Fuke-zenzi, and it is considered to be the oldest melody in the Fuke-repertoire (composed 700 years ago). Later, many variants of Reibo melody came to be played in various districts and they are known with the name of the place, like "Oshu Reibo (San'an)", "Izu Reibo", "Yoshino Reibo", and "Kyushu Reibo." Among such variants, "Shoganhen Reibo" is famous for its lonesome tune. This piece has something in common with the folk melody of Tohoku district: however, in this kind of music especially, we must be aware all the more, how honkyoku is different from the folk music, and we must consciously express its originality in our performances. ...now I hope that this piece will be challenged constantly by more shakuhachi players and given ever higher interpretations.

Trance 3 Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin

    Choshi and Shoganken Reibo

    "CHOSHI"
    Although it is played simply, this honkyoku is quite profound. The word "Choshi" ("tone," "condition," "state of mind") refers to the essential unity and harmony of the universe or to the state of mind when heaven, earth, and humanity are perceived as one.

    "SHOGANKEN REIBO"
    This version of "Reibo" comes from a temple in Shogan Prefecture, an area ofJapan now known as Sendai. It's said that Fuke Zenji, the founder of the Fuke Sect of Zen Buddhism, used to ring a bell in his hand as he walked. Reibo was composed in his memory, and the music represents the sound of the ringing bell.

Tsuru no Sugomori - Komuso Shakuhachi Zenyoji Keisuke

    The piece was handed down around Meiji 20 to Orito Nyogetsu (1865 - 1947) from Onodera Genkichi (1859-1928) when he was a traveling komuso (wandering monk). Nyogetsu called it "Miyagi Reiho" but Jin Nyodo, his student called it "Reibo" of Shoan-ken temple (Hanamaki. Iwate Prefecture) tradition. (There are many shakuhachi pieces with the title Reibo.) The piece consists of "Take-shirabe", low tone (from beginning), a motif, "Honte" (from 2' 59"). "Takane", high notes' (from 5' 45"), "Takanegaeshi", a variation of "Takane" (from 7' 53") and "Hachigaeshi" (from 10' 7" to 12' 26") which begins with a melody of changed key and ha a typical Oshu style structure. The sorrowful melody which first emerges in "Honte" is repeated with the amplified sadness in the following two sections. Jin Nyodo defines the last two breaths as final phrases. It is the same phrase as in the beginning of "Hachigaeshi" with Kan-Ro (an octave higher from the lower Ro with all finger holes closed). It may sound too simple as a finale but the lingering sound caused by the abrupt ending presents total sadness even more impressively.


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017