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Taki Ochi (Ryogenji)

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This is a piece of genre Koten from the Ryogenji School.

History (Jin Nyodo):

Ryugenji: TAKIOCHI

1. About the title:

South of Izu-Ohito is found the Asahi Waterfall which is said to be 33 jo (1 jo = 10 shaku or 3.31 yards) high. Near the pool below the falls was the komuso temple called Ryugen-ji and it is said that this piece was composed there. There is also a piece Takiotoshi among Kinko-ryu honkyoku, and it is thought that they originally may have been the same piece based on the fact that they have many melodies in common and that the structure of the pieces has many coinciding points. However, in the form in which it is taught at present, the Ryugen-ji piece is much more classically ordered in form and has a clearer sense of formality. Moreover, as regards differences in artistic style, the mood of the two pieces has become quite different, so that on first listening one would not realize that they were originally the same piece. Jin Nyodo learned and passed on Ryugenji Takiochi from Horiguchi Zeku of the Fudai-ji tradition.

2. Structure of the piece

This piece is in three sections: [Honte - Honte-gaeshi - Takane]. A more detailed analysis is as follows:

I Honte: a (RO) - a' (KO) - b - c - d
II Hante-gaeshi: a - a - b
III Takane: a' (without the final breath) - e - d (without the initial breath) - f (musubi)

Section II repeats the first half of Section I, but since this section should have the feeling that the amount of water pouring over the waterfalls increases until it finally becomes a great cascade, the tempo is faster and the sound is blown more strongly. Section III (Takane) represents the waterfall at its greatest force, and so is played strongly and in a high range. In particular, the melody, which descends from the KO-nohi tone appearing after the highest pitched section, is felt to be the most beautiful melody in this piece. Together with an inserted connecting melody, this is repeated three times.

3. Special features of the piece:

This piece has a feeling of extreme decorousness in form and a structure without any useless excess. It has a lyrical quality of great refinement that makes one think of a sumie landscape. Among classical honkyoku it stands out as a famous composition.

Taki Ochi (Ryogenji) appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Jin Nyodo No Shakuhachi 04 Jin Nyodo

    Ryugenji: TAKIOCHI

    2-shaku 1-sun
    10 min. 36 sec.

    1. About the title:

    South of Izu-Ohito is found the Asahi Waterfall which is said to be 33 jo (1 jo = 10 shaku or 3.31 yards) high. Near the pool below the falls was the komuso temple called Ryugen-ji and it is said that this piece was composed there. There is also a piece Takiotoshi among Kinko-ryu honkyoku, and it is thought that they originally may have been the same piece based on the fact that they have many melodies in common and that the structure of the pieces has many coinciding points. However, in the form in which it is taught at present, the Ryugen-ji piece is much more classically ordered in form and has a clearer sense of formality. Moreover, as regards differences in artistic style, the mood of the two pieces has become quite different, so that on first listening one would not realize that they were originally the same piece. Jin Nyodo learned and passed on Ryugenji Takiochi from Horiguchi Zeku of the Fudai-ji tradition.

    2. Structure of the piece

    This piece is in three sections: [Honte - Honte-gaeshi - Takane]. A more detailed analysis is as follows:

    I Honte: a (RO) - a' (KO) - b - c - d
    II Hante-gaeshi: a - a - b
    III Takane: a' (without the final breath) - e - d (without the initial breath) - f (musubi)

    Section II repeats the first half of Section I, but since this section should have the feeling that the amount of water pouring over the waterfalls increases until it finally becomes a great cascade, the tempo is faster and the sound is blown more strongly. Section III (Takane) represents the waterfall at its greatest force, and so is played strongly and in a high range. In particular, the melody, which descends from the KO-nohi tone appearing after the highest pitched section, is felt to be the most beautiful melody in this piece. Together with an inserted connecting melody, this is repeated three times.

    3. Special features of the piece:

    This piece has a feeling of extreme decorousness in form and a structure without any useless excess. It has a lyrical quality of great refinement that makes one think of a sumie landscape. Among classical honkyoku it stands out as a famous composition.

Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 2 Yokoyama Katsuya

Ki-Sui-An Honkyoku Vol 2 Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin

Kyorei Tokuyama Takashi

    One is often overwhelmed by the presence of water in Japan. The Izu Peninsula is renown for not only its incomparable beauty, but also for its many onsen (hot springs) and waterfalls. One such waterfall, the Asahi falls located behind the temple of Ryujenji, was the inspiration for Takiochi. The structure of the piece reflects the spirit of water as a small quiet spring, a raging torrent, and finally the calm of a river as it empties into an estuary. Since shakuhachi master Kurosawa Kinko studied this piece, its composition is dated from the Edo era in the seventeenth century.

Kyoto Spirit Kurahashi Yodo II

    This is a colorful honkyoku composed at the Ryugen-ji kumoso temple, which was located next to a large waterfall that is clearly depicted in the music's three varying sections.

Mukaiji - Komuso Shakuhachi Zenyoji Keisuke

    This piece describes the falling water of a waterfall. Starting from slow current over rocks in the mountain, the water goes through many small waterfalls. Gradually increasing the water amount and the speed, it reaches to Takane representing Ootaki (great waterfall) in the second half. The piece is consisted of a mixture of straight and curved lines describing the flexible movement of water.

    Although this piece is said to be composed at Ryuugen-ji temple, a Komuso temple near Asahi-daki (Asahi waterfall) in Izu Shuzenji-cho, the original song was Takiotoshi of Koto music and was metamorphosed into Honkyoku style after it was taken into Shakuhachi repertoire. The naming of the piece is Takiotoshi in Kinko school while in Seien school an its derivative, Myoan Taizan-Ha, this is called as Takiochi. In the latter schools, the introductory notes are played with Kan note, but Otsu note is used in Kinko school. Jin Nyodoh seems to borrow the idea.

    Nyodoh claimed he learned the piece from Horiuchi Zekuu (1858-1942) in Hamamatsu, but his playing is clearly different from Zekuu's score.

Take Ippon II Yokoyama Katsuya

    This melody has been transmitted with the title "Takiotoshi" or "Takiochi" which means "waterfall". Kinko Kurosawa, the founder of Kinko school, once visited Ryugenji-temple (a Fuke temple which existed in Izu-Shuzenji), and there he composed this piece looking at a waterfall called "Asahi-taki". As an old cliché "Ichi-ji ichi-ritsu ('each temple has its own tune')" suggests, every temple used to have its characteristic melodic style, and the Fuke priests, who made a travel of pilgrimage from temple to temple across the nation, learned and mastered each temple's repertoire. Today, Ryugenji temple is already ruined and we have no chance to listen to the priests who play their original repertoire at the temple; only the melody of Takiotoshi is transmitted and tells us about the people who once played it.

Taki Ochi Vlastislav Matousek


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018