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The International Shakuhachi Society

Traditional Japanese Music

Traditional Japanese Music

Iwamoto Yoshikazu
Continuum - CCD 1013

Track Title Kanji Length Shakuhachi Shamisen Koto
1 Tôri 通里 09'32 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.
2 Tsuru no Sugomori (Dokyoku) 鶴の巣籠 08'35 Iwamoto Yoshikazu

Tsuru no Sugomori - a crane on the nest

The crane (tsuru) has always been admired in Japan for its elegant movements and for its deep parental affection; it has therefore become an important artistic motif. Tsuru no Sugomori (A crane on the nest) is one of the most celebrated shakuhachi pieces, although some ten pieces are known today with this or with a similar title. They all make frequent use of complex traditional tremolo and flutter-tongue techniques to depict the various movements of the crane-its walking, flying, calling, nesting and so forth. The present piece is in the form of an introduction and seven sections.
3 Tamuke 手向 05'03 Iwamoto Yoshikazu

Tamuke - offering

Originally coming from Ise province in central Japan, the piece engenders the warm and serene atmosphere of that area by its simple and much loved melody.
4 Reibo (Dokyoku) 霊慕 09'46 Iwamoto Yoshikazu

Reibo - longing for the bell

The komuso might have heard Fuke's bell as that which led them to the awakening from illusion. This title was therefore much favored by them, so much so that these anonymous composers created many pieces with the same title. The present piece originated in northern Japan.
5 San'ya (Dokyoku) 三谷 11'32 Iwamoto Yoshikazu

San'ya - mountain valley

Also known in several variants all with the same title, each originating in a different area of Japan, each quite distinct in character and mood. Nevertheless, they do have one feature in common-the overall melodic curve. This takes the shape of a mountain with the main peak in the middle, i.e. they all start calmly in the lower register and gradually rise up to reach a peak both in pitch and intensity, then descend to a final calm ending.

The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018