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Japanese Masterpieces for the Shakuhachi

Japanese Masterpieces for the Shakuhachi

"Honkyoku played by masters of Meian, Kimpu, Tozan and Kikusui Ryus at zen temples in Kyoto. Soulful and deeply moving music."

Kikusui Kofu
Lyrichord Discs Inc. - LYRCD 7176

Track Title Kanji Length Shakuhachi Shamisen Koto
1 Kokû (Fudaiji) 虚空 09'08 Yes

This long piece is played by two shakuhachis and a gong at Meianji, Kyoto, originally the headquarters of the Fuke sect. It was composed by a priest named Kyochiku in the 12th Century while meditating at a temple in Nara. In a dream he found himself floating in a boat. Suddenly thick mist rolled down the sky and blocked his view of the moon. On hearing the moving melody of a flute, he reached out for his favorite bamboo flute to accompany the ethereal melody. The music is long and simple, and the listener is expected to forget everything and "sleep in nothingness".
2 Sekiheki no Fu 赤壁の賦 13'48 Yes

The name of a Chinese poem (The Feeling of The Red Wall) which is sung at the beginning of music. Composed by Seizan Shibata for 3 sizes of shakuhachi, - the longest being 2 ft. 4 in., the bell is played by the same performer with a 3-hole shakuhachi.
3 Matsukaze (Nezasa Ha) 松風 (根笹) 06'43 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.
4 Ajikan (Itchoken) 阿字観 06'31 Yes

The realization of Buddhism or the state of enlightenment. The first letter is an "A", the beginning of both Eastern and Western alphabets, derived from the Sanskrit "nothing". In Buddhism there is a code of "nothingness", and this music conveys that "all is nothing and nothing is all". Composed by Nyozan Miyagawa, one of the most beautiful Buddhist pieces.
5 San'ya (Oshu) 奥州三谷 07'11 Kikusui Kofu

Stylistically quite different from the others, it describes valleys in the Oshu (northern Japan), and is indicative of the folk music of that area. Played in the Kikusui style with a 3 ft. 3 in. shakuhachi.
6 Sagari Ha (Nezasa Ha) 下り葉 (根笹) 06'00 Yes

Drooping leaves

This is perhaps the oldest and most fundamental work of the 10 pieces making up the Kimpu ryu music. The rhythm also suggests waves.
7 Kyushu Reibo (Taizan Ha) 九州鈴慕 04'36 Yes

Kyushu Reibo for solo shakuhachi is one of the religious pieces of music composed in memory of Buddha's death. Kyushu is the southernmost island of Japan. Being closest to China, the most ancient cultures prospered there and many shakuhachi masters went on pilgrimages there. Conceived by one of the pilgrims who visited there and impressed by the reibo (spirit) of Buddha. The shakuhachi used here is 2 ft. 1 in. long.

The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017