Contemplation of one's breath is "seeing" one's breath. The act of playing honkyoku is the act of focusing on one's breath. Played on an exceptionally long 3.1 shaku length instrument (one shaku = 30.3cm).
Origin unknown. The title Sokkan might have some relationship with the Zen Buddhist concept of Seikan , the 'serene contemplation'. The player gets him self absorbed in each note in low register trying to 'see the truth with his mind's eye'.
The title of this piece has the characters for "breath" and "sight." The piece expresses the dynamic feelings which result from the contemplation of the breath. According to Wadatsumido, the most important element of shakuhachi playing is the discipline of the breath. This is particularly necessary in this piece using the very long 2 shaku 8.5 sun shakuhachi.
The characters used in the title of this piece are "so" which is denotes "iki" or "breath" and "kan" which means "to see" or "observe". This name may come from the zen concept of seikan which is "serene contemplation." Sokkan expresses the dynamic feelings which result from contemplation of one's breath as the player gets absorbed in each note in the lower register trying to "see the truth in the mind's eye". One should naturally incorporate various qualities of breath discovered during this contemplation.