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Sugagaki

菅垣

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

History (John Singer):

The original meaning of the term "Sugagaki" was to play stringed instruments without voice. Numerous Shakuhachi pieces have "Sugagaki" attached to their names as a suffix such as "Akita Sugagaki" and "Sanya Sugagaki". Shakuhachi pieces having this suffix attached to them originated from stringed instrument (Koto and Shamisen) music.

The origin of this piece is unclear. It is said that Yoshida Iccho arranged and added it into the Kinko Ryu.

Sugagaki appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Hotchiku (CD) Watazumi Doso Roshi

    In the Watazumi school, there are philosophical pieces such as Saji whose purpose is the expression of the workings of the heart and spirit, but there are also purely musical pieces such as Shishi.

    Sugagaki is one of these pieces. It comes from Shikoku. The piece has a pleasing melody, but from the perspective of sui-jo pieces like this present little challenge. Since these songs are a performance rather than a blowing of jo, special breath techniques are not called for. Thus these pieces are often used as an interlude or as relaxation songs.

    The hocchiku used for this piece is a 1.1 shaku piece of bamboo about as thick as one's middle finger. It was found discarded on the side of the road and given new life as a hocchiku, but it has not been tuned or otherwise altered from its natural state.

Zen Music Yamaguchi Goro

    The term Sugagaki originally meant to play string instruments without accompanying voice. But in Shakuhachi it simply means those pieces which come from compositions for string instruments; for example, "Akita Sugagaki' and 'San-ya Sugagaki'. The source of the present piece is not known, but is said to have been arranged by YOSHIDA Itcho.


Zen Music with Ancient Shakuhachi - Disc 2 John Singer

    This is a rare Gikyoku or “playful” piece. The term Sugagaki originally meant to perform with stringed instruments without voice. The origin of this very melodic piece is unclear, however, it is said that the great 19th century Kinko master Yoshida Iccho arranged and added it into the Kinko repertoire, though it is not one of the original 36 Kinko Honkyoku.


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017