International Shakuhachi Society Logo

The International Shakuhachi Society

Koden Sugomori

古伝巣籠

This is a piece of genre Koten from the Dokyoku / Chikushinkai School. Also Known As : Godan Sugomori, Koten Sugomori.

Koden Sugomori appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Bamboo In Zen Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos

Bosatsu Taniguchi Yoshinobu

    This is a version of The Nesting of the Cranes is also known as Godan Sugomori as well as Suzuru. There are many versions of Sugomori coming from various regions of Japan. Many have names linking them to their respective locales: ashu Den Sugomori in Hokkaido, Nezasa Kinpu Ryu Tsuru no Sugomori in the north and Sokaku Reibo are just a few examples.

    The word "koden" in the title comes from the character "furui" meaning "old" and "tsutaeru", "to transmit". Koden honkyoku generally refer to older songs that predate Kinko and Koten honkyoku.

    This piece has five distinct sections or dan and is characterized by flutter tonguing. It incorporates a special fingering technique (koro-koro) and requires unique breath modulation.


Deep Night - Yearning for the Bell Volume 5 Riley Kelly Lee

    Cranes Nesting

    Suzuru means "Cranes Nesting". There are many versions of the "Nesting Crane" pieces. This version, also known as "Koden Tsuru no Sugomori" (Old Transmission of the "Cranes Nesting"), is considered the oldest, certainly within the repertoire of the Yokoyama lineage. The crane is revered in Japan for its beauty and its mating and nesting habits. The Japanese cranes mate for life and are exceptionally attentive as parents. The piece alludes to the intense and mixed feelings (fear, joy, pride, exuberance, sadness, and above all excitement) felt by both parent cranes and the adolescent crane when the latter is just about to make its first attempt to fly!

In Dead Earnest Ishikawa Toshimitsu

Japan - Splendour of the Shakuhachi Ishikawa Toshimitsu

    One of the most famous works in the shakuhachi honkyoku repertoire is called "Tsuru no Sugomori" and in different regions there are pieces of the same name but different tunes. This work uses many different techniques with names such as karakara, korokoro, torira, or tamane to depict the love between a mother crane and her chicks. This koden Sugomori is said to be the original version of these pieces of the same name.

    The form of the piece is highly regular, and because it is very clearly divided into five sections (godan) it is also sometimes called Godan Sugomori.

Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 2 Yokoyama Katsuya

Sangai Rinten - 3 Yokoyama Katsuya

    This piece is one of the older versions of the piece "Tsuru no Sugomori" ('the nesting of cranes'). Cranes are considered a sacred bird and are believed to show a deep love between a parent bird and its child. This piece attempts to show these deep feelings of compassion and love among cranes.

    Among honkyoku pieces, this is one of the more technically complex pieces with its attempt to portray the flying of the birds as well as their cries to each other.

Tajima Tadashi Shakuhachi no Sekai II Tajima Tadashi

Take Ippon II Yokoyama Katsuya

    From ancient times, tsuru (crane) has been esteemed as a sacred bird. Since parent crane protects its fledgling children at the risk of its life, tsuru has become a symbol of "perfect mercy." As a prayer to the creator of such mercy, this piece "Sugomori (or Tsuru no sugomori)" was composed and handed down from generation to generation. Many variants of Sugomori melody exist in several districts, and it suggests that this tune was so much loved by our precursors. This particular version recorded here is specified in its title as "Koden ('of old tradition')": it makes us assume that this melody is fairly close to the original of all the variants of "Tsuru no Sugomori".


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018