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The International Shakuhachi Society



"Kinko and Meian honkyoku."

Ralph Samuelson
Music of the World - MOW 153

Track Title Kanji Length Shakuhachi Shamisen Koto
1   San'ya Sugagaki 三谷菅垣 10'08 Ralph Samuelson

The name San'ya usually written as "three valleys," is a term which in the shakuhachi tradition implies supplication, and there are several different pieces with the title San'ya. The precise origin of the word is not clear. Some maintain that it refers to the Buddhist state of sanmai (focused spiritual concentration) while others believe it is simply a place name in Japan or China. The term sugagaki is a reference to eighteenth-century shamisen music, as reflected in the rhythmic character of the piece. Within the Kinko ryu shakuhachi repertoire, sugagaki pieces are generally more secular in nature and offer a sense flowing expression.
2   Shin Kyorei 真虚霊 19'47 Ralph Samuelson

According to the legendary traditions of the Fuke-shu, the origin of shakuhachi playing as spiritual practice lies in the piece Kyorei, which is considered the source of all shakuhachi honkyoku. Fuke-shu history traces the sect's origins to the tenth century Chinese monk Fuke (Pu Hua), whose ringing bell inspired a young follower to enlightenment and to then play the bamboo flute in response to the bell's sound. The resulting shakuhachi piece, called Kyotaku or Kyorei ("Empty Bell") is said to have been subsequently transmitted to Japan by the monk Kakushin in the thirteenth century. The Kinko ryu version of this piece is entitled Shin Kyorei (the "true" Kyorei) and is often written with characters meaning "empty spirit" rather than "empty bell". Kurosawa Kinko, the founder of the Kinko school, is said to have learned this version of Kyorei from the priest Ikkeishi at the Shojuken temple in Nagasaki.
3   Choshi (Taizan Ha) 調子 04'27 Ralph Samuelson

In the tradition of the Meian school of shakuhachi, the performer first warms up the bamboo and settles the mind for spiritual practice through the playing of the short introductory prelude piece Choshi (literally, small melody). This piece is characterized by a pure focus on breath.
4   Ôshû Sashi 奥州薩字 09'22 Ralph Samuelson

Oshu Sashi is a Fuke-shu piece played today in the Meian ryu and related schools. It originated in Oshu, a place in northern Japan near present-day Sendai. Sashi refers to the music which monks played as part of their spiritual discipline and implies dedication and offering.
5   Yoshiya Reibo 吉野鈴慕 15'30 Ralph Samuelson

The term reibo ("yearning for the bell") is a reference to the origins of shakuhachi practice in the sound of Zen master Fuke's bell. Many different shakuhachi pieces are called Reibo, and temples in different regions of Japan developed their own distinct melodies using the word as a suffix to a temple name or place name to identify the origin of a particular piece. Yoshiya is the name of the district in Kyoto where this reibo is thought to have originated.

The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018