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Araki Kodo II

二世 荒木 古童

Araki Kodo II
1823 - 1908

Shakuhachi & Composer

After Yoshida retired, Araki took charge of the Kinko style. He directed his efforts into notating the shamisen pieces and adding shakuhachi parts. At first, he notated mainly pieces from the nagauta repertory, later switching to the jiuta style of shamisen. Today's Kinko gaikyoku consist entirely of pieces from the jiuta shamisen tradition and the Ikuta and Yamada styles of koto playing. Araki's teacher, Toyoda Kodo, was very close to Kondo Soetsu and the Soetsu-style of ensemble playing, which probably explains Araki's interest in this type of music. Araki was responsible for the increased interest in sankyoku (shamisen, Koto, and Shakuhachi) ensemble playing in Tokyo.

One of Araki's main accomplishments was an improvement in shakuhachi notation. In classic honkyoku there was no need to indicate rhythms and tempos, but ensemble playing required precision and clarity regarding time and speed. Together with the musicologist Uehara Rukushiro (author of Studies in Folk Scales), Araki developed a system of notation consisting of a vertical script (katakana syllabary) which indicates the pitch and a system of dots and lines which indicate rhythm.

After Araki retired in 1894, he was given the honorific name "Chikuo," and his son, Shinnosuke (1879-1935), took the name Kodo III (Toyoda Kodo was considered Kodo I). Kodo III became the invigorating force of the Kinko style into the 20th century.

From: The Shakuhachi - a manual for learning by Christopher Yohmei Blasdel

Also Known As Araki Chikuo, Araki Hanzaburo


Composed or Arranged

Shakuhachi Compositions
YearTitleKanjiAlternate Title

Tsuki no Kyoku月の曲

The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018