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The International Shakuhachi Society

Higashi Myogi


Higashi Myogi

Higashi-san began the study of shakuhachi when he was 16 years old. At that time, he entered the Buddhist priesthood under the head of Kokokuji-temple, Munezani Furukawa. This temple, located in Wakayama, is the cradle of Fuke-sect shakuhachi. He was a student of Hanazono High School and Hanazono College in Kyoto. During those days, he learned from the following masters of shakuhachi:

1. Shizan Koizumi (the 38th of Myouan style)
2. Nyohou Aoki (the master of Nezasaha style)
3. Zeshin Sasaki (the master of Nezasaha style)
4. Chikuho Tukamoto (the 3rd of Tozan style)

From April of 1958 to March of 1964, he practiced Zen at the dojo of Ryutakuji-temple in Mishima city, Shizuoka prefecture. When he had a break from Zen training, he studied under the shakuhachi master Setuchou Uramoto. He studied under Watazumido-so (海童道祖) from 1967 to 1983 and received the license of the eight grade and was given the name Kogetsu Watazumi (海童江月) which translates as “moon on the lake” (pure mind). It is a very special honor for the student to be given the master's name. Higashi Myogi has two other shakuhachi names (given by himself). One was Shogetsu, which translates as ”tease moon” and the other was Unkai (雲海), which means, “cloud like sea”.

I believe that he did not think of himself as having a pure mind! A Zen priest who had a recording of his playing introduced him to Watazumido-so. He then became very interested in this way. When the priest became ill, Watazmido-so came to visit him. At that time, Higashi-san met his future teacher. He was 23 years old. At present Higashi Myogi is the abbot of Tengenji Temple in Tokyo Japan



The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018