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The International Shakuhachi Society

Zen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 01

Zen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 01

Yokoyama Katsuya
WERGO - SM 1033-59

Track Title Kanji Length Shakuhachi Shamisen Koto
1   Shika no Tône (Kinko Ryû) 鹿の遠音 08'31 Yokoyama Katsuya

(The distant call of the deer)

This is the most popular pieces of classical Honkyoku played on the Shakuhachi. It is unique in Honkyoku music for the following reasons:

1. Most of the classical Honkyoku music originated from religious traditions or rituals, but this piece is an exception - its origins are not religious.

2. Honkyoku is generally played by a solo Shakuhachi, but this piece was always intended to be played in two parts.

As the title suggests, it features the mating call of the deer as it is heard during autumn in the picturesque scenery of the mountains.
2   Tsuru no Sugomori (Dokyoku) 鶴の巣籠 09'13 Yokoyama Katsuya

(The Cranes nesting)

Here the family life of the cranes is depicted by various specialized techniques of Shakuhachi playing. As in the case of Shike no Tone, the origins of the piece are not religious.
3   Kumoi Jishi 雲井獅子 03'07 Yokoyama Katsuya

This piece belongs to the category of Hate - a lighter kind of Honkyoku music. It is associated with the Shishimai, a festive dance, and used to be played on festive occasions.
4   San'an 産安 06'07 Yokoyama Katsuya

The Komuso, a priest and Shakuhachi player, played this piece for a pregnant woman as a kind of prayer for her easy delivery.
5   Tamuke 手向 04'19 Yokoyama Katsuya


The meaning of Tamuke is an offering to the gods or to the Buddha. This piece is played during the Buddhist service for the dead.
6   Yamagoe (aka Reiho) 鈴法 03'31 Yokoyama Katsuya

(Going over the mountain)

Yamagoe literally means, going over a mountain, and is interpreted in Japanese as, overcoming the most difficult part of a task in some way or other, which is not a perfect accomplishment because of some possible lack of care.

This piece is meant to encourage the overcoming of difficulties.
7   Hon Shirabe 本調 04'11 Yokoyama Katsuya

The Shirabe is played before the beginning of a tune. There are two kinds of Shirabe, one is separate, and the other forms part of another piece. The Shirabe is also used to test a new bamboo instrument (Shakuhachi). The Honshirabe, with its tender beauty, is said to be the best piece of this kind.
8   Sagari Ha (Nezasa Ha) 下り葉 (根笹) 03'05 Yokoyama Katsuya

This piece was originally used for the festival of the Shinto Shrine. The authentic Honkyoku style was developed over the centuries by a gradual refinement of the playing.

The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018