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This is a piece of genre Jiuta in the style of Hauta from the Ikuta Ryû - 生田 School. This piece was composed for Shamisen by the person Minezaki Koto.

History (Tsuge Gen'ichi):

Yuki ('Snow') is one of the best-known jiuta pieces. The song text refers to the serene mind of a nun who has lived apart from the world ever since the time she was disappointed in love while she was a geisha girl.

The instrumental interlude (ainote); which is actually meant to evoke the tolling of a distant temple bell on a snowy night, has become so popular that the melancholic melody is often used as a kind of 'leitmotiv' to describe a snowy scene, or to evoke a cold, dark atmosphere.

Poem (translated by Tsuge Gen'ichi)

When I brush away
The flowers, and the snow-
How clear my sleeves become!

Truly it was an affair
Of long, long ago.
The man I waited for
May still be waiting for me.

The cry of the mandarin duck
Calling for his mate
From his freezing nest
Makes me feel sorrowful.
The temple bell at midnight
Wakes me
From my lonely reverie.

It makes me sad to hear
That distant temple bell.
When the patter of hail
Reaches my pillow,
I seem to hear, somehow,
His knocking on my door again.
And less and less am I able
To dam up my tears.
Freezing now
Into icicles.
I no longer care about
This hard, bitter life.
I'm only sorry that
I still can't think of
My former lover as sinful.
Ah, the discarded sorrows!
The forsaken world of sorrow!
Hana mo yuki mo
haraeba kiyoki
tamoto kana

Honni mukashi no
mukashi no koto yo
waga matsu hito mo
ware wo machiken
Oshi no otori ni
mono omoiba no
kooru fusuma ni
naku ne wa sazona
sanaki dani
kokoro mo tooki
yowa no kane


Kiku mo samishiki
hitorine no
makura ni hibiku
arare no oto mo
moshiya to isso
otsuru namida no
tsurara yori
tsuraki inochi wa
koishiki hito wa
tsumi fukaku
omowanu koto no
kanashisa ni
suteta uki
suteta ukiyo no

Yuki appears on the following albums

Abe Keiko Record Set - 02

Fujii Kunie
Araki Kodo III and Fukuda Eika - Collection of Famous Performances - 02 Araki Kodo III
Fukuda Eika
Fujii Kunie, The World of Shamisen and Jiuta Singing 1 None
Fujii Kunie

Fukami Satomi - Sokyoku Jiuta Shu - 3

Fukami Satomi

Ginyu Gunnar Jinmei Linder

Hirai Sumiko no Sekai

Hirai Sumiko
Jiuta to Sokyoku no Sekai - 4

Koto uta None Iseki Kazehiro

Musical Anthology of the Orient, Unesco Collection Vol 3
Tomiyama Seikin V
    Ji-uta is the general term for songs or song-cycles accompanied on the shamisen which have no connection with the theatre. The meaning of the word Ji-uta (local songs) refers to their place of origin and main circulation, i.e. the Kyoto-Osaka district.

    The Ji-uta category includes the following forms: cycles made up of several short songs, extended songs with one continuous text, pieces in which the text occupies first place in importance, and those in which virtuosic instrumental interludes (tegoto) occur.

    "Yuki" (the word means snow) belongs to the group in which the emphasis is placed on the text. It was written by Minezaki Kengyo, a leading composer of the flourishing Tegotomono (tegoto pieces) School towards the end of the 18th century. Thus two shamisen soli are also found in "Yuki"; the initial motive of the second of these was used in the Edo period to portray the coldness of winter and snowfall, and was quoted in many other pieces to represent the mood of winter.

    The subject-matter is taken from the world of the courtesans. Soseki, a well-known Geisha, has resolved to renounce the world and become a nun. But her thoughts keep on returning to her former lover. These moments of tension provide the setting for the piece. The shamisen is tuned in Honchoshi.

Shakuhachi Tokusen - Araki Kodo III Araki Kodo III
Shamisen II

Sokyoku Jiuta Taikei 15 Araki Kodo III
Fukuda Eika
Togashi Noriko - 03 None
Togashi Noriko
Tomiyama Kiyotaka's World

Tomiyama Kiyotaka

    Yuki is one of the most popular jiuta pieces. It was composed by Minezaki Koto, who was active in Osaka at the end of the 18th century. The song text depicts the tranquil mind of a nun and her sad psyche before becoming a nun. The interlude is widely considered to represent the sound of a temple bell on a snowy night. However, its melody is frequently utilized to refer to snow in the theatrical contexts of kabuki and bunraku.

The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017