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Sagari Ha Urajoshi

下り葉 (裏調子)

This is a piece of genre Koten from the Nezasa Ha / Kimpu Ryû School.

History (Jin Nyodo):

Nezasa-ha: SHIRABE-SAGARIHA (Urajoshi)

1. About the title:

The same as Nezasa-ha: Shirabe and Nezasa-ha: Sagariha.

2. Structure of the piece

The same as Nezasa-ha: Shirabe and Nezasa-ha: Sagariha.

3. Special features of the piece:

Within the ten pieces of the Nezasa-ha there were originally four tunings (choshi) apart from hon-joshi. These are Akebono (dawn), Kumoi (sky), Yugure (twilight), and Taikyoku (?). Collectively they are referred to as ura-joshi and are played in ensemble with hon-joshi. (However on this recording we find a solo performance.)

The ura-joshi of the three pieces included on this recording (Shirabe, Sagariha, and Matsukaze) is in each case Akebono-joshi. Instead of the 1.8 flute o: hon-joshi a 1.3 flute is used; likewise a 1.5 flute replaces a 2-shaku flute. That is to say, the flute used is a full four steps higher than in hon-joshi.

The skeleton of the melody is identical with hon-joshi but there is more detailed fingering to the articulation (kizami) of the tones than in hon-joshi, so that compared with the latter ura-joshi is more rhythmical and unconstrained and hence more emotional.

When ura-joshi is played in ensemble with hon-joshi, the custom is for the senior or more skilled musician to play ura-joshi. This entwining of the two choshi gives an even richer texture to the piece.

When ura-joshi is played alone it differs from hon-joshi in its more sorrowfully subtle quality. On this recording Shirabe is followed by Sagariha in close succession.

Sagari Ha Urajoshi appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Jin Nyodo No Shakuhachi 02 Jin Nyodo

    Nezasa-ha: SHIRABE-SAGARIHA (Urajoshi)

    2-shaku 1-sun
    4 min. 12 sec.

    1. About the title:

    The same as Nezasa-ha: Shirabe and Nezasa-ha: Sagariha.

    2. Structure of the piece

    The same as Nezasa-ha: Shirabe and Nezasa-ha: Sagariha.

    3. Special features of the piece:

    Within the ten pieces of the Nezasa-ha there were originally four tunings (choshi) apart from hon-joshi. These are Akebono (dawn), Kumoi (sky), Yugure (twilight), and Taikyoku (?). Collectively they are referred to as ura-joshi and are played in ensemble with hon-joshi. (However on this recording we find a solo performance.)

    The ura-joshi of the three pieces included on this recording (Shirabe, Sagariha, and Matsukaze) is in each case Akebono-joshi. Instead of the 1.8 flute o: hon-joshi a 1.3 flute is used; likewise a 1.5 flute replaces a 2-shaku flute. That is to say, the flute used is a full four steps higher than in hon-joshi.

    The skeleton of the melody is identical with hon-joshi but there is more detailed fingering to the articulation (kizami) of the tones than in hon-joshi, so that compared with the latter ura-joshi is more rhythmical and unconstrained and hence more emotional.

    When ura-joshi is played in ensemble with hon-joshi, the custom is for the senior or more skilled musician to play ura-joshi. This entwining of the two choshi gives an even richer texture to the piece.

    When ura-joshi is played alone it differs from hon-joshi in its more sorrowfully subtle quality. On this recording Shirabe is followed by Sagariha in close succession.

Tsuru no Sugomori - Komuso Shakuhachi Zenyoji Keisuke

    Urachoshi Shirabe, Sagariha (Nezasa-Ha Kimpu-Ryu)

    Different from modern western flute, Shakuhachi does not have homogeneous tone color among notes in the scale. Therefore, transposition of a song within an instrument provides different expression for the same melody. It is said Nezasa-Ha Kimpo-Ryu tradition of Choshi consists of five, namely, "Hon-Joshi", "Akebono-joshi", "Kumoi-joshi", "Yugure-joshi" and "Taikyoku-joshi". But only "Hon-Joshi", "Akebono-joshi", and "Kumoi-joshi"" are practiced. All other Choshi than "Hon-joshi" are called "Ura-joshi" (secondary-choshi). The piece recorded here is "Akebono-joshi". This piece is a perfect 5th higher transposition from, "Hon-joshi", and therefore a duet with "Hon-joshi" is possible by using a shakuhachi of a perfect 4th higher. It is said senior plays "Ura-joshi" customarily in the school. The "Ura-joshi" by Jin Nyodo, however, has modifications by rather decorative techniques while its fundamental structure is same as "Hon-joshi". The "Uru-joshi" is therefore not simple transposition of "Hon-joshi" and rather independent piece. For example, the same melody created by jaw movement is reproduced using only fingering technique and effective partial replacement to octave of the notes which would be difficult from instrumental restriction without losing the expression. Uchiyama Reigetsu, author of "A commentator of Nezasa-Ha Kimpu-Ryu honkyoku" said "The duet using only transposition of the melody is uninteresting. Delicate modifications make "Ura-Joshi" excellent. Koyama Yuzo was a master player who used the delicate modification but no score describing the modification is found except in the (Onto) Nyogetsu school. "Ura-joshi" solo can excel "Hon-joshi" for its sad atmosphere." "Ura-joshi" indeed has a stronger touch of pathos.


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017