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Jin Nyodo No Shakuhachi 03

Jin Nyodo No Shakuhachi 03

Jin Nyodo
Teichiku - XL-70136

Track Title Kanji Length Shakuhachi Shamisen Koto
1   Tsuru no Sugomori (Renpoken) 鶴の巣籠 16'41 Jin Nyodo

Renbo-ken / Kisen-ken: HIKYOKU (Sacred Piece) - TSURU-NO-SUGOMORI (The Nesting Crane)

2-shaku 1-sun
16 min. 40 sec.

1. About the title:

For general information about Tsuru-no-Sugomori consult first the section on it in "Commonly Used Titles."

In the case of this piece we may wonder whether it has been passed down with the special designation hikyoku mostly because of its extreme difficulty and great length and scale. Because it was played and taught by the renowned Jinbo Masanosuke in the period from the end of the Shogunate into the Meiji era, it is also called Jinbo Sugomori.

Jin Nyodo studied this piece with Jinbo Masanosuke's disciple Hikichi Kozan and several others, and passed it on in the tradition of Renbo-ken and Kisen-ken (ken = religious house). It is an unusual example of one piece bearing the names of two temples as its lineage, but as regards this point no reliable material has appeared as of now apart from Jin Nyodo's oral teaching. We know that Jinbo did play and teach this piece and that for a period of time he was active at Renbo-ken in Fukushima. But for more research concerning Hikyoku -- Tsuru-no-Sugomori or its original form, as well as its connection with two Fuke temples, we will still have to wait a while. So for the moment we should accept Jin Nyodo's explanation as is.

In addition please consult the article "Different Pieces with the Same Name. Identical Pieces with Different Names."

2. Structure of the piece:

This piece has a large-scale, rather complicated structure. First please consult the diagram which shows two structural patterns A and B.

TSURU-NO-SUGOMORI: Structural Patterns

Pattern A:

Shirabe Prelude/the cranes arrive flying
San'ya Searching for a place to build a nest
Takane (1) Rejoicing on finding a place to build a nest/Building the nest
Takane (2) Hatching the egg
Honte Love of parent and child. Departure of the child
Hachigaeshi Gratitude to heaven on fulfillment of their duty
O-musubi The parents' life draws to a close in peace and satisfaction.

Pattern B:

Shirabe Opening dan: possibly the original San'ya
Honte Closing dan: possibly the original Tsuru-no-Sugomori

Pattern A shows the traditional structural analysis and the corresponding story of the life of the crane. This is according to the teaching of Jin Nyodo.

In contrast, pattern B is based on the theory of Tsukitani Tsuneko and analyzes the structure of the piece from a fresh viewpoint. According to Tsukitani's theory Jinbo Masanosuke probably blended: together two originally separate pieces, Tsuru-no-Sugomori and San'ya, to form this piece. For details regarding this please consult the article mentioned above.

The explanation below is based on the structural analysis of A:

Shirabe - A low-pitched prelude filled with vague emotion as if it flowed from a mist-enveloped valley. It is extremely individualistic without any comparable example in other honkyoku. The initial melody begins with the weakest of sounds and then gradually increases in volume in a gentle and finely articulated manner, until an especially intense mood is produced. This finely articulated technique is used repeatedly in various forms to give rise to the unique mood of this piece. The koro-koro and related techniques used in each section of Tsuru-no-Sugomori have an imitative effect which reminds one of the cry of the crane.

Then follows a mid-range melody taken to be the arrival of the flying crane. It is a passage which makes the listener think of a crane gently circling in the open sky.

San'ya - This is taken to be the section where the crane searches for a place to build its nest. In the middle of the opening melody, the music rises from the RO to the KO range; and then appears a melody which resembles the characteristic melody of Echigo San'ya. (Analysis B is a particularly interesting hypothesis when we consider the three facts that: 1. traditionally this section is called San'ya, 2. a distinctive melody resembling San'ya is used and 3. it is thought that Jinbo had some connection to the temple of Echigo Myoan-ji).

After this san'ya-like melody is repeated once, a rather emotional melodic passage follows and as a musubi (conclusion) the same melody as in the crane's arrival section is played an octave higher in the KO range.

Takane (l) - This section is described as the crane rejoicing on having decided where to build its nest." It begins in the Ro-no-ro tone and soars in one breath to the ha (245) tone two octaves and a half-tone above with delicate finger-work. This kind of individualistic melody which yields such brilliant effects is not to be found in other works. This high-pitched melody focusing on the enunciation of the ha (245) tone is played twice then the melody flows swiftly downward in a rapid rhythm to link with another melody that is filled with the emotion of the San'ya. After this latter melody is repeated, the tonal range descends and the feeling becomes more tranquil.

This ends the "building the nest" section. The piece proceeds with a gentle, mid-range melody.

Takane (2) - "The hatching of the egg" is the idea associated with this section. Again we find a powerful, high-pitched melody: a hachigaeshi-type melody with u (3) as its strongest and highest tone. Following the opening half which has a feeling of powerful speed and which makes great use of dexterous fingering, the second half presents a melody which is filled with gentle emotion in the mid-range expressing the rejoicing of the crane at the safe birth of its young.

Honte - The first part represents the "love of parent and child." It depicts the voices of the cranes, parent and chick blending together: voices filled with tender affection. For this blending of parent's and child's voices, a famous technique unique to this piece called taba-ne is used. It resembles tama-ne except that it revolves around a distinctly more gentle sound.

The melody for the parent cranes and the melody for their young are repeated alternately several times in the manner of gently blending voices. Gradually the intervals become closer and finally the music depicts the unison voices of parent and child. The melody in the Ro-range which sounds as horo - horo - horo, gradually shifts to koro - koro - koro in the Ko-range. Then it rises to a high pitch and abruptly shifting the music moves to the "child's departure" section.

The last half of the Honte depicts the "child's departure," i.e., leaving the nest. This section also begins with a melody for the blended voices of the adult and young cranes. However, whereas in the section for "love of parent and child" the melody possessed a gentle feeling in the mid-range as if depicting a quiet and intimate conversation, the melody in this part is extremely powerful and in the upper range.

The parents' melody comes first: the fingering moves in a rapid glissando up from ro to hi. -- ro-tsu-re-chi-hi. (The way of playing hi with the first finger is called, imitating the sound, kara-kara.) Next, the young cranes' melody imitates the previous melody but stops one note lower: ro-tsu-re-chi.

As was the case with the two melodies in the "love of parent and child" section, the two melodies here are repeated alternately, then merge into one to produce the feeling of a dan conclusion. With the lingering feeling of the blended voices of the cranes, the melody form the earlier section, "rejoicing on finding a place to build a nest," is repeated in a shortened form and the mood gradually becomes more tranquil.

This "departure of the child" depicts the young crane leaving the nest and setting out on its own, bidding farewell to its parents.

Hachigaeshi This section is said to depict a mood of gratitude to heaven: the gratitude of the parent cranes for having safely fulfilled their duty in raising their young.

The overall mood of the piece is sustained by the use at many points of delicate fingering and gently meandering melodic patterns, classical hachigaeshi melodic patterns common to honkyoku of the Tohoku tradition.

O-musubi - This closing section uses low weak tones to give a darker tone to the mood and sentiment of the piece, emphasized by a gently meandering melody in the mid-range and careful fingering. At the end, the music rises an octave from the o-meri of Ro-no-ro (lowest tone) to Ko-no-ro, then descends one note to ri where the piece concludes with a distant, remote feeling. The effect of this closing melody closely resembles that of Kyorei.

3. Special features of the piece:

This piece not only makes free use of almost all the techniques used in shakuhachi honkyoku, but also utilizes unique techniques found only in this work. Its numerous, beautiful and individualistic melodies, and its structure which displays praiseworthy development on a large scale, both make this famous piece deserving of being called the pinnacle of the musical world of classical shakuhachi honkyoku.
2   San'ya (Futaiken) 鈴慕 (布袋軒) 09'58 Jin Nyodo

Futai-ken: SAN'YA

2-shaku 1-sun
9 min. 57 sec.

1. About the title:

Please consult the section on San'ya in "Commonly Used Titles" and then the separate article "Different Pieces with the Same Title; Identical Pieces with Different Titles."

Futai-ken was a komuso temple in the town of Masuda on the outskirts of Sendai. According to the principle of "one temple: one melody," only Reibo was passed on as its seikyoku ("true piece"). But in addition this San'ya and Tsuru-no-Sugomori were also handed down as junkyoku ("associated pieces"?). Jin Nyodo received this piece from Konashi Kinsui.

2. Structure of the piece

Broadly speaking it is constructed in three sections: [Takeshirabe - Takane -Musubi], but it can be further analyzed as follows.

Takeshirabe - The long takeshirabe can be divided into two parts, a ki ("opening") in the RO-range (first octave) and a sho ("succession"?) in the KO-range (second octave). It could be considered to have elements of both a shirabe and a honte. The ki opens with a short, low prelude of three kyosui breaths, then proceeds to low and gentle soko-yuri playing (see Special features of the piece) which seems to flow from the depths of the earth, all the while conveying a deep feeling of loneliness as it climbs somberly toward the middle range. The sho serves as a developmental section for the ki which has risen to the KO-range: in it the sense of sorrow grows more intense.

Takane - This section can be broken down into three parts: [Takane - Takanegaeshi - Ten]. It begins with the takane melodic pattern common to all Tohoku style pieces which basically centers on the Ko-no-hi and ha tones. In each melody the breaths are extremely long and there is a composed dignity. In the kaeshi ("return") the takane melody is repeated almost exactly but slightly shortened, only the last three breaths serve as a linking melody to the ten. The ten is a short modulating (tencho) section with a koro-koro melody repeated three times.

Musubi - A short musubi of five I breaths eases the weight of the piece and ends it tranquilly.

3. Special features of the piece:

The unique playing technique called soko-yuri is used throughout the piece. This relies on spreading and narrowing the aperture of the lips and is one type of yuri, although it is different from the kind of yuri where the head shakes. When the lips are narrowed the sound lowers somewhat, and because of this wave of rising and falling pitch it yields a special tonal feeling which swells up from the bottom (soko) of the earth. This soko-yuri technique is employed only in the pieces of Futai-ken and Shogan-ken.

This one piece can perhaps be called the highest summit among San'ya compositions, and we can feel a deep religiosity in the sorrow and desolation expressed in it.
3   Reibo (Futaiken) 霊慕 (布袋軒) 12'17 Jin Nyodo

Futai-ken: REIBO

2-shaku 3-sun
12 min. 14 sec.

1. About the title:

First, please consult the section on Reibo in "Commonly Used Titles." Then, please see the separate article "Different Pieces with the Same Title; Identical Pieces with Different Titles."

This piece is a seikyoku ("true piece") which is the one Futai-ken melody according to the principle of "one temple: one melody." It is famous and representative of Reibo compositions to the extent that if someone refers to Reibo one is likely to think of this piece.

Jin Nyodo received and passed on this piece from Konashi Kinsui 'who is said to have surpassed all others at playing Reibo.

2. Structure of the piece

It is in the classical format of the Tohoku-style honkyoku: [Takeshirabe - Honte - Hachigaeshi - Musubi]. It has an extremely tight, compact form with clear jo-ha-kyu development.

Takeshirabe - The mood of the piece shares much in common with the San'ya of the same Futai-ken tradition in that it is played as if gushing forth from the depths of the earth, out of a profound stillness. In particular the three breaths of the initial maebuki and the melodic shape of the following two breaths are the same in both pieces. The takeshirabe of this piece and the ki section which forms: the first half of the takeshirabe of San'ya, as well as the general flow of the pieces are also quite similar, but this piece has a more profound sentiment. Moreover, whereas the takeshirabe of San'ya combines elements of both shirabe and honte, in this piece there is a separate honte, and the takeshirabe functions as a complete shirabe section.

Honte - At first the KO-no-ro tone is played quite strongly. Continuing the profound mood of the piece already demonstrated in the takeshirabe, the composure and dignity of the entire piece then make another strong impression in the first melody of this honte. It is the first developmental section and proceeds from the shirabe to develop in two dan. A characteristic melody of this piece appears in the second dan where the KO-no-hi tone is again played strongly to form a truly sad and lonely melody.

Beginning with this honte, the technique called shiori is used. In this technique, the chin is pulled back in the middle of a prolonged note so that the tone is slightly lowered; then, it returns to the higher tone. This is not used in San'ya. This shiori and the technique of yoko-yuri are coupled together to strengthen the rather ghostly and dark mood.

Takane - This section begins with an extreme sense of lamenting grief. After the lonely melody that was pointed out in the honte continues some, the second characteristic melody appears. In this piece it is not repeated, but after the insertion of a connecting melody, it moves immediately into the hachigaeshi. Even though this piece is extremely emotional it does not fall into a mood of excessive sentiment, but rather maintains a tense, compact structure.

Hachigaeshi - After a modulating opening melody, the second characteristic melody introduced in the takane is repeated, all the while strengthening #he sorrowful mood.

Musubi - A finale section, that while being quite dignified, also floats with a feeling of distant longing. After the lead-in melody, the first characteristic melodic form is briefly repeated and the piece ends in a mood of dark mystery.

3. Special features of the piece:

Technically it is similar to San'ya except that the use of soko-yuri is quite distinctive.
4   Reibo (Shôganken) 霊慕 (松巌軒) 11'59 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.
5   Banshiki Cho 盤渉調 04'20 Jin Nyodo


1-shaku 9-sun
4 min. 17 sec.

1. About the title:

In Kinko-ryu the name of this piece is read as Banshiki-cho (emphasis on cho); Jin Nyodo also passed on this pronunciation. Pronounced this way it sounds like one word, but as it was originally a maebuki i.e. an introductory piece (according to the book Kokin Techo), it could also be explained as meaning Banshiki-no-shirabe. The ri-tone on a 1-shaku 9-sun flute corresponds to the tone banshiki (=b).

2. Structure of the piece

The form is [A (KO) - B (KO) - A' (RO) - B" (RO-KO)]. In section A the melody climbs gradually within the second octave from the bottom to the highest tone. Section B begins in the midrange of the second octave, but this time the melody gradually descends. Section A, is the same melody as A played in the first octave. In section B', the first half of B is repeated in the first octave and the second half of B is repeated in the second octave. Not just in this piece, but in Kinko-ryu honkyoku in general, entire dan or the melodies which form their units are repeated to suit the performance, but on this recording there are no such repeats.

3. Special features of the piece:

The tone banshiki was traditionally the note of autumn, the note of sadness. In Kinko-ryu this piece is also used as an introduction for Shin-Kyorei and Shika-no-Tone.
6   Reibo (Futaiken) 霊慕 (布袋軒) 10'17 Jin Nyodo

The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017