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Tsuru no Sugomori (Fudaiji)

鶴の巣籠

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

History (Jin Nyodo):

Fudai-ji: TSURU-NO-SUGOMORI

1. About the title:

Please refer to the section on Tsuru-no-Sugomori in
"Commonly Used Titles."

Fudai-ji was a komuso temple in Hamamatsu and was an important temple for the transmission of the Koten Sankyoku in their finest form. Jin Nyodo learned the Fudai-ji pieces from Horiguchi Zeku.

2. Structure of the piece

It is formed from a shirabe and honte, the latter being divided into five dan. The shirabe is tranquil and relaxed in the traditional introductory shirabe style. The five dan of the honte are all roughly the same length. In terms of pitch, the first and third dan are fairly low, while the second, fourth and fifth dan shift to a higher range. At the end of each dan the tempo relaxes, and as the music enters the new dan the tempo gradually picks up and returns to the original speed.

We can say that there are small "hills" within each dan, as well as the larger "mountains" within the whole piece formed by the high range of the second, fourth and fifth dans. However there is no real jo-ha-kyu development, and each dan is constructed in a parallel manner to the others.

3. Special features of the piece:

a. Melodies using koro-koro (in the case of this piece used from the opening of the honte), kara-kara etc. are linked together and repeated throughout the piece.
b. The beat is clearly articulated.
c. It has a balanced "dan" structure.
d. The mood of the piece is not at all heavy or somber; rather it has a free and pleasant feeling.

The above features do not apply to this piece alone but can be said to be commonly characteristic of almost all Tsuru-no-Sugomori compositions apart from Hikyoku Tsuru-no-Sugomori. There are many pieces entitled Tsuru-no-Sugomori which are different compositions, perhaps ten in all, but this one is outstandingly beautiful in its classical structure.

Note: The end of the piece on this recording is disturbed by the sound of thunder.

Tsuru no Sugomori (Fudaiji) appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Jin Nyodo No Shakuhachi 04 Jin Nyodo

    Fudai-ji: TSURU-NO-SUGOMORI

    1-shaku 8-sun
    10 ruin. 9 sec.

    1. About the title:

    Please refer to the section on Tsuru-no-Sugomori in
    "Commonly Used Titles."

    Fudai-ji was a komuso temple in Hamamatsu and was an important temple for the transmission of the Koten Sankyoku in their finest form. Jin Nyodo learned the Fudai-ji pieces from Horiguchi Zeku.

    2. Structure of the piece

    It is formed from a shirabe and honte, the latter being divided into five dan. The shirabe is tranquil and relaxed in the traditional introductory shirabe style. The five dan of the honte are all roughly the same length. In terms of pitch, the first and third dan are fairly low, while the second, fourth and fifth dan shift to a higher range. At the end of each dan the tempo relaxes, and as the music enters the new dan the tempo gradually picks up and returns to the original speed.

    We can say that there are small "hills" within each dan, as well as the larger "mountains" within the whole piece formed by the high range of the second, fourth and fifth dans. However there is no real jo-ha-kyu development, and each dan is constructed in a parallel manner to the others.

    3. Special features of the piece:

    a. Melodies using koro-koro (in the case of this piece used from the opening of the honte), kara-kara etc. are linked together and repeated throughout the piece.
    b. The beat is clearly articulated.
    c. It has a balanced "dan" structure.
    d. The mood of the piece is not at all heavy or somber; rather it has a free and pleasant feeling.

    The above features do not apply to this piece alone but can be said to be commonly characteristic of almost all Tsuru-no-Sugomori compositions apart from Hikyoku Tsuru-no-Sugomori. There are many pieces entitled Tsuru-no-Sugomori which are different compositions, perhaps ten in all, but this one is outstandingly beautiful in its classical structure.

    Note: The end of the piece on this recording is disturbed by the sound of thunder.


Priests and Samurai Ryan Sullivan

    Played on Deaver 1.8 #1

Sui Zen - Blowing Meditation on the Shakuhachi - 05 Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin

    There are 13 different versions of this piece, which deals with the family life of cranes. It has been popular since at least 1748, as it is referred to in the stage directions for both the Bunraku and Kabuki plays titled "Kanade hon Chushingura".

    They combine a program music format with a Zen parable. Cranes symbolize both longevity and family strength. The activities of the birds demonstrate the familial virtues of love and devotion. Like the pelican in Western religious iconography, the Japanese crane is said to be willing to pierce its own breast to feed its young. According to Japanese folklore, "pheasants in the burning field and cranes in the night" will shelter their young by sacrificing their own bodies. This is symbolic of the mercy of Buddha.

    All versions of Tsuru No Sugomori have sections representing different stages of the birds' lives. All have strong rhythm and melody. The sound of the birds is imitated in complex trilling patterns. The "koro-koro" pattern (made by alternately tapping the two lowest holes,) when played with a "tamanae" (gargling growl sound that can be made by the tongue or throat,) can give an amazingly realistic rendition of the actual call of the cranes found in northern Japan. Other repetitive sounds represent the beating of wings.

    All versions are secular entertainment pieces, gaiten kyoku, and not for Buddhist religious practices or ritual or ceremonial occasions.

    This version is believed to have been derived from a version transmitted to Jinbo Masanosuke, who played the famous Jimbo Sanya. It is the version played in Fudaiji, a komuso temple in Hamamatsu. Jin Nyodo learned it from some of his disciples, including Hikichi Kozan, and Horiguchi Zeku. This version, which he transcribed, may also have been influenced by versions from more than one temple, adding sanya-derived material to an original crane piece.

    The sections depict the arrival of a pair of cranes, who rejoice in finding a nesting place, build a nest, hatch their egg, lovingly raise the hatchling, who then learns to fly and departs. The cranes then feel grateful that they have been able to fulfill their duty, and their lives end peacefully.

    Listen for the voices of the parent cranes, echoed by the tentative, and then increasingly strong and confident voice of the young.


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017