International Shakuhachi Society Logo

The International Shakuhachi Society

Mukaiji Reibo


This is a piece of genre Koten from the Kinko Ryû - 琴古流 School.

History (John Singer):

This piece is one of the three oldest and most important of the Kinko Ryu Honkyoku along with "Shin No Kyorei" and "Koku Reibo". These three pieces are also referred to as the three pieces of Bekkaku (special rank, i.e.., The Traditional Three).

According to the "Kyotaku Denki" diary, this is a piece which the monk Kyochiku Zenshi (also known by the name of "Kichiku" who was a student of Hotokokushi Kakushin - founder of the Fuke Shu) received in a dream while asleep in Koku Zodo Temple located at the foot of Kishu Asakuma Mountain during his travels as a Komuso. In his dream, while gazing upon the moon from a boat, he heard two different strange flute melodies. As soon as he awoke, he tried to play this strange music with his Shakuhachi and later returned to his teacher Kakushin to report on what had happened and what he had done. The master Kakushin named the first melody "Mukaiji" and the later "Kokuji". The term "Reibo" is just a suffix later added on by Kinko Kurosawa which has no special meaning.

Mukaiji was transmitted to Kinko by Ikkei at Kishu Asakuma Yama Koku Dozo in the year Kyoho 13.

Mukaiji Reibo appears on the following albums

Castles In the Sky Allen Nyoshin Steir

Complete Collection of Honkyoku from the Kinko School - Vol 1 - Disc 4

Flute of the Misty Sea, The Andreas Fuyu Gutzwiller

    One of the three central pieces of the Kinko school. Kinko had learned it in 1728 from Ikkei in Nagasaki. According to legend this piece originated in the 14th century when the priest Kichiku conceived it in a dream. The title means "Flute of the Misty Sea".

Japanese Music for Two Shakuhachi Ralph Samuelson

    Mukaiji ("Fog Sea Flute") belongs to a special group of three honkyoku said to be the oldest and most spiritually profound in the repertoire (the other two being Kyorei and Koku). According to the legendary traditions of the Fuke sect, both Mukaiji and Koku were given by the Buddha to the 13th century monk Kochiku in a dream. Kurosawa Kinko learned Mukaiji at Nagasaki's Shojuken temple and called his arrangement Mukaiji Reibo. (Reibo, "yearning for the bell," is a reference to the legendary origins of the Fuke sect and appears in the titles of many shakuhachi pieces.)

Kinko Ryu Shakuhachi - Koten Honkyoku - Kindai Shakuhachi Gaku Kawase Junsuke III

Musique Zen - 2 Yamaguchi Goro

    Les caracteres chinois me, kai et ji signifient brume, mer, flute. Piece composee par un celebre disciple qui avait reve, dans un temple, qu'il etait sur un bateau, en pleine mer, dans la brume, et qu'il avait entendu de magnifiques melodies de flute sans savoir d'ou elles venaient…

Shakuhachi - Japon Yamaguchi Goro

    the Chinese characters mu, kai and ji mean mist, sea, and flute. This piece was composed by a famous disciple who dreamt in a temple that he was on a boat on the open sea, in the mist, and that he had heard wonderful tunes on the flute, without knowing where they came from.

Shakuhachi Bell John Singer

    It is said that this piece, along with Koku Reibo, came to the priest Kochiku in a dream during a temple visit at the foot of Kishu Asakuma mountain. In his dream, he heard these two haunting melodies while gazing at the moon from a boat. As soon as he awoke, he tried to play this strange music with his Shakuhachi. He later returned to his teacher Kakushin (founder of the Fuke Sect) to report on these events. These two pieces later came to be among the most important and highly ranked of all the Honkyoku.

Shakuhachi no Shinzui-Shakuhachi Honkyoku - 03 Yamaguchi Goro

Zen Music - III Yamaguchi Goro

    This, as well as 'Shin-no-Kyorei,' is one of the three pieces that used to be the most respected of all honkyoku pieces: Reibo is commonly understood as 'the yearning for the bell.' According to the legend, the origin of those pieces which bear reibo in their titles is as follows: Fuke-Zenji in the Tang dynasty, the founder of the Fuke sect, used to propagate his doctrine in streets ringing a small bell in his hand; after his death his disciples composed shakuhachi pieces reminiscent of their master's bell sounds. Mukaiji consists of three words, or three Chinese characters, I.I. Mu, kai and chi(-ji), each meaning the for, the sea, and the flute. There is a story to the effect that Kichiku, a chief disciple of Kakushin who founded the Fuke sect shakuhachi music in Japan, composed this piece after a dream he dreamed in Kokuzo-do, a temple in Ise district, that he heard beautiful flute melodies, not knowing whence it came, while he was on a boat on an open sea in the fog.

The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018