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Azuma Jishi


This is a piece of genre Jiuta in the style of Tegotomono from the Ikuta Ryû - 生田 School. This piece was composed for Shamisen by the person Minezaki Koto.

History (Tsuge Gen'ichi):

Minezaki of Osaka, a great composer of jiuta (a vocal style accompanied by the shamisen), perfected the tegoto-mono form towards the end of the eighteenth century. In this form, songs are connected with one another by virtuoso instrumental interludes (tegoto). Azuma-jishi is one of Minezaki's tegoto-mono masterpieces. The main tegoto of the present piece consists of five sections (dan), and depicts primarily the lion (shishi) dancing in a wild delirium of joy. Hence the title Azuma-jishi, 'Lion of the East.'

Poem (translated by Tsuge Gen'ichi)

From olden days
Men have spoken of him-
The lady-killer
Who goes east from the capital-
On his way, the very pine trees
Pine for him-

On Mt. Fuji's peak,
Snow white
Flowers-like his outfit
And speech, redolent of the Yoshiwara (1).
Tamed by the peony flowers
On your robes,
This lion takes flowers
From his wealth
Even his fiery temper
Is beloved.

Love and be loved
A thousand ages...
Wearing separate clothes
After the exchange of loves,
In threads of music my heart
Is as tangled as my hair.

Singing on love's road,
The bedewed spring, too-
It's over!
Music mirrored
In the dancer's fan.
Wildly, passionately,
This lion also plays
In the Way of Wedlock-
May this world
Be unshakeable
For generations.

(1) Yoshiwara was the entertainment, pleasure quarter and cultural center of Edo (Old Tokyo).
Mukashi yori
azuma-kudari no
shitoo tabiji ya
matsugae no
fuji no takane ni
shirotae no
hana no sugata ni
kimi ga mi ni soo
botan ni narete
ono ga fuuki wo
hana to nomi
yatake-gokoro mo
omoi omoo
chiyo made mo
nasake ni kawasu
kinuginu no
itotake ni
kokoro midare-gami
utoo koiji ni
tsuyu soo haru mo
kuretake ya
kazoo oogi ni
utsusu kyoku


Hanayaka ni
midare midaruru
imose no michi ni
shishi mo asobite
ikuyo made
Kawaranu yo koso

Azuma Jishi appears on the following albums

Bamboo In Zen Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos

Ensemble Nipponia - Japan Traditional Vocal and Instrumental Music Miyata Kohachiro

    Azuma Lion Dance

    This is an excerpt from a late- 18th-century composition that lasts 25 minutes in its entirety Composed originally for voice and koto, it is heard here in a version that also includes shamisen and shakuhachi; the three instruments represent one of the most popular instrumental combinations in Japanese music. This work also makes use of a somewhat modified form of the first variation of Rokudan - heard at the first entrance of the shakuhachi, which plays from the shakuhachi transcription of Rokudan, rather than the original koto version.

Fujii Kunie, The World of Shamisen and Jiuta Singing 3 None
Fujii Kunie
In Dead Earnest Part 2 Ishikawa Toshimitsu

Japanese Traditional Shakuhachi Yokoyama Katsuya

    One of the Gaikyoku (outside pieces) included in the Honkyoku repertoire along with another similar sample Kumoi jishi. Piece for consolation.

Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 2 Yokoyama Katsuya

Sankyoku Home Practice - Chuden 2 Aoki Reibo II

Sokyoku Jiuta Taikei 23
Nakanoshima Kin'ichi

The Road of Hasekura Tsunenaga Rodrigo Rodriguez


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018