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Tôri

通里

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

History (Riley Kelly Lee):

"Passing" of the Nesasa Sect

A piece transmitted by the Nesasa ('bamboo grass') sect of northern Japan, where the winters are long and harsh. This piece was traditionally played by the komuso (shakuhachi-playing mendicant priests) while passing down the road during pilgrimages of alms begging. Played on a 2.1 shaku flute.

Tôri appears on the following albums

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

    Tori / Passing was traditionally performed by the mendicant 'priests of nothingness' as they walked down the road while on their pilgrimages or while begging for alms.


Breath-Sight - Yearning for the Bell Volume 1 Riley Kelly Lee

    "Passing" of the Nesasa Sect

    A piece transmitted by the Nesasa ('bamboo grass') sect of northern Japan, where the winters are long and harsh. This piece was traditionally played by the komuso (shakuhachi-playing mendicant priests) while passing down the road during pilgrimages of alms begging. Played on a 2.1 shaku flute.

Jin Nyodo No Shakuhachi 01 Jin Nyodo

    Nezasa-ha: TORI - KADOZUKE - HACHIGAESHI

    2-shaku 3-sun
    11 min. 42 sec.

    1. About the title:

    These three pieces exist as independent compositions, but in actual practice they are played linked together. Moreover, because they are pieces that have an intimate relationship to one another, all being compositions for the religious soliciting of food and alms, we will treat them as one group.

    (a) About Tori:

    It is written with various Chinese characters with the sense of "passing along or through." It was performed by komuso priests as they wandered about, and was referred to as Fuke Jobutsu ("becoming a Buddha") no Kyoku. The significance of the piece is found in a Chinese text (not translated here) about the way to attain Buddhahood.

    (b) About Kadozuke:

    While engaged in religious begging, priests were sometimes asked by people in Buddhist households to perform a memorial piece. The priest would stand three shaku away from the entrance gate (kado) and perform this piece. It was known as Enmei ("longevity") Kannon no Kyoku, and its meaning was based on a Chinese religious text (not translated here) praising Kanzeon (or Kannon), the Buddhist goddess of mercy.

    (c) About Hachigaeshi:

    When a priest received alms such as rice, he would hand the bowl back and then play this piece as a parting thanks. It was referred to as Kudoku ("virtue") Jodo no Kyoku, and its sense is derived from a Chinese text (not translated here) describing Buddhist virtues. As a rule komuso priests did not bow when they received alms, but rather played this piece as a substitute salutation.

    2. Structure of the piece

    From the viewpoint of melody or technique as well as tonal range, the three pieces Tori, Kadozuke, and Hachigaeshi can be considered to form one structural unit together. Originally, they may have had stronger individuality in order to accomplish their separate purposes, but in the form in which they are passed down at present, they offer a structure in which three pieces have been refined together to form one piece. In other words, their overall feeling as individual pieces is rather lacking: Tori and particularly Kadozuke are so short that they only feel like sections of a longer piece. Moreover both Tori and Kadozuke end with exactly the same final three breaths, which lack the melodic form usually accompanying a final mood, but 'which obviously do prepare for the following development.

    Accepting the premise that these three pieces form one unit, and since the melody of Hachigaeshi is almost entirely repeated, we can envision a four-part structure of [A (Tori) - B (Kadozuke) - C (first half of Hachigaeshi) -C' (second half of Hachigaeshi) - Tsuyuharai]. In comparison with other pieces we could restate this structure as [Honte (A) - Takane (B) - Hachigaeshi (CC') - Tsuyuharai].

    3. Special features of the piece:

    Since these pieces were designed for outdoor performance while collecting alms, all three of them move within the upper range and are quite free in feeling. As regards the length of the piece, it is the largest piece in Nezasa-ha after Koku. To keep this piece flowing and from feeling tedious a great reserve of strength is required of the performer.

Kaze no Kai; Shakuhachi Koten Honkyoku Shu


Koten Shakuhachi Gaku Zen Shu - 5 Takeuchi Chiko

Meian Socho - 1 Sakaguchi Tesshin


Shakuhachi Honkyoku Riley Kelly Lee


Shakuhachi Zen John Singer

Shinmukaiji - An Introduction to Zen Shakuhachi Sakai Chikuho II


Smithsonian Folkways - Shakuhachi Honkyoku Riley Kelly Lee

Souvenir of Japan - Shakuhachi Komusoh and Suizen Sakai Chikuho II

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

    Jin Nyodo's notes accompanying the notation of these pieces refers to several old Chinese texts dealing with the way to attain Buddhahood and praising the Buddhist goddess of Mercy. These three pieces depict the wandering and begging activities of the mendicant Buddhist komuso.

    Although they are supposedly independent compositions, Tori, Kadotsuke, and Hachikaesi are played together as one piece. They seem to go together, as the endings of Tori and Kadotsuke are the same. You could treat them as one group. Hi Fu Mi Hachikaeshi also has three sections, and pieces of this type were said to have been played outdoors by komuso for the purpose of soliciting food and alms.

    When played together, they become the second-longest Neza-Sa-Ha piece. Koku is longer. Because of its length and the unique demands of komibuki playing, this triple performance requires special attention to balancing the flow of energy for both the performer and the listener.

    "Tori" means "street" or "way," and refers to playing while the komuso is walking, to purify his heart, his kokoro. It literally means passing along or through. It's also called "Fuke Jubutsu No Kyoku," or "The Piece of Becoming a Buddha." Remember that the Chinese texts associated with this piece deal with the way to attain Buddhahood.

    The "Kadotsuke" section is related to a specific practice. Many times, people in Buddhist households would ask a komuso to participate in memorial services for the passing of a spirit into its next incarnation. The komuso would not only take part in the memorial, but would also take the illnesses or problems of the Buddhist family for which he was playing upon himself. This was part of the practice of suppression of the ego, and related to the reason the basket was worn.

    A Kadotsuke was played with the priest standing at the entrance gate, which is called a Kado, and it was also known as Enmei or "longevity." Kanon No Kyoku is related to the Buddha of Longevity. The associated Chinese text praises Kanzeon, also known as "Kannon," or "Kwan Yin," the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. Perhaps the implication is that showing mercy would cause one to be granted a long life. A monk might also play a Kadotsuke outside a shop or residence if he believed potential donors were within. It has been suggested that playing in the high register helped to ensure that the monk's presence was noted, as high sounds carry further, both indoors and outdoors.

    The final section, the Hachikaeshi, would be played after the priest received his payment, perhaps a bowl of rice. He would then hand the bowl back, and then play this piece as a parting gift. This literally means "Returning the Bowl," just like the Hachikaeshi section of "Hi Fu Mi Hachikaeshi." The associated Chinese text is referred to as Kotoku or Kudoku, which means "virtue." Jodo No Kyoku describes Buddhist virtues.

    As a general rule, the komuso priests did not bow, or say "thank you" when they received something for their begging; they only played this piece, "Tori Kadotsuke Hachikaeshi," as a substitute salutation. Some people feel that it may be a descendant of the original Mukaiji, as it has some musical similarities.

    When played as a solo, it is usually played on a longer flute, usually between 1.9 and 2.4.

Suizen - Chikuho ryu ni miru fuke shakuhachi no keifu - 03 Sakai Chikuho II

Tajima Tadashi Shakuhachi no Sekai III Tajima Tadashi


Traditional Japanese Music Iwamoto Yoshikazu

    Tori - Kadozuke – Hachigaeshi
    street - playing from door to door - returning the bowl

    These three pieces are traditionally linked together and played in this order without a break. Each piece is a good example of the type of shakuhachi music that was directly related to the mendicancy of the Fuke priests (or komuso) during the Edo period.

    The first, Tori (street) is music for passing through a town; it is followed by Kadozuke (playing from door to door), music played while begging for alms; and finally, Hachigaeshi (returning the bowl. As the offerings to these priests would have been in the form of rice or other food as well as money; returning the bowl had connotations of nourishment received and the bowl would have been quietly returned with formal courtesy.


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

When the Brightness Comes Iwamoto Yoshikazu

    Tori - Kadozuke - Hachigaeshi
    street - playing from door to door - returning the bowl

    These three pieces are traditionally linked together and played in this order without a break. Each piece is a good example of the type of shakuhachi music that was directly related to the mendicancy of the Fuke priests (or komuso) during the Edo period.

    The first, Tori (street) is music for passing through a town; it is followed by Kadozuke (playing from door to door), music played while begging for alms; and finally, Hachigaeshi (returning the bow/). As the offerings to these priests would have been in the form of rice or other food as well as money, returning the bowl had connotations of nourishment received and the bowl would have been quietly returned with formal courtesy.

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

    This piece would have been played by monks of the Fuke sect as they wandered through villages collecting alms. It was considered to give monks of this sect access to Buddhahood.


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017