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Reibo (Dokyoku)

霊慕

This is a piece of genre Koten from the Dokyoku / Chikushinkai School.

Reibo (Dokyoku) appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
In Dead Earnest Part 2 Ishikawa Toshimitsu

Japon L'art du shakuhachi Yokoyama Katsuya

    Reibo (Spiritual Quest)

    The term reibo is likely to have derived from renbo (the feeling of love), taken here not in its limited sense, but with a more metaphysical meaning as the spiritual quest of the komuso, or itinerants monks. Fairly different pieces with identical names, such as "Tohaku-reibo", "Chikushi-reibo", "Kyo-reibo", etc., have been handed down to the present day.

Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 2 Yokoyama Katsuya

Mysterious Sound of Bamboo Flute - 1 Watazumi Doso Roshi

    Everything within Nature changes unceasingly, but Nature itself is constant. Rigorous spiritual training allows one to express this within the piece, Reibo. Such spiritual training is the main focus of the Watazumi school, and what emerges is the concrete manifestation of this philosophy.

    Reibo has been handed down in the Tohoku region. Spiritual training allows one to bring out the depths of the song and make of it a manifestation of one's own philosophy. The song itself consists of a mae-shirabe (or prelude), the hon-dai (the main body), and a hachi-gaeshi (conclusion), and also includes the technique known as sakura-otoshi (most likely a reference to the chi-ru-tsu-ru pattern).

    Reibo is easy to play and pleasant to listen to on a 2 shaku or so flute, but this is merely because one is stimulated by the higher notes. If one does not immerse oneself in the timeless, though, the true aspects of the piece will not emerge.

    A 2.85 shaku hocchiku was used for this piece.


Spirit of Dusk, The Iwamoto Yoshikazu

    The komuso (priests of nothingness) in the Edo period (1603-1868) in Japan adored legendary Fuke who, ringing a handbell, roamed in the streets of the 9th century China. His deeds (seeming eccentric and wild) as recorded in the famous Zen literature "The Record of Rinzai" (1120), were a constant source of inspiration for the komuso. His last anecdote goes:
    When Fuke was about to die he went alone outside the city walls and laid himself in the coffin he had carried on his back. He asked a passing traveler to nail down the lid. The news spread at once and the people of the market rushed to his coffin. On opening it they found that Fuke's body had vanished, but from high up in the sky they heard the ringing of his handbell, resounding faintly and then dying away.
    In "Reibo" (Longing for the Bell), the aspiration of the komuso musicians towards the diminishing sound of Fuke's handbell seems to be relived.


Traditional Japanese Music Iwamoto Yoshikazu

    Reibo - longing for the bell

    The komuso might have heard Fuke's bell as that which led them to the awakening from illusion. This title was therefore much favored by them, so much so that these anonymous composers created many pieces with the same title. The present piece originated in northern Japan.

When the Brightness Comes Iwamoto Yoshikazu

    The komuso might have heard Fuke's bell as that which led them to the awakening from illusion. This title was therefore much favored by them, so much so that these anonymous composers created many pieces with the same title. The present piece originated in northern Japan.


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018