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Kuroda Bushi

黒田節

This is a piece of genre Min'yo from the Min'yo School.

History (Takahashi Yujiro):

The title, "Song of Kuroda", is a pun on the homophonous "samurai of Kuroda". The Kuroda clan once held northern Kyushu, whose culture was heavily influenced by court nobles who had fled there in the 12th century. The song's tune derives from the best-known court instrumental piece "Etenraku".
Verse 1 commemorates a supposed event of 1590. The shogun Hideyoshi had just presented a famed spear to his general Masanori. The Kuroda warrior Mori Tahei then arrived with a message for Masanori, who insisted that Tahei join him in a celebratory drink. Forbidden to drink "on duty", he refused; Masanori insisted, and finally offered him a gift of his choice if he would drink. Tahei drank - and claimed the spear! - Verse 2 reaches back to the 12th century: the emperor's concubine had, through court intrigue, been banished to a hidden hut in the woods. The monarch sent a servant to find her. From a distance, he heard her playing on her koto zither a tune that confirmed she still loved her man.

Drink, drink sake! If you drink, you'll win this, the best spear in all Japan.
If you drink enough to win it, you're a true Kuroda samurai.
Is it a storm in the mountains, or the wind in the pines, or the person I'm seeking
playing the koto? Stopping his horse to listen, [he heard] the clear sounds of the
plectrums playing "Longing for Her Husband".

Kuroda Bushi appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Endless Sea - Impressions of Japan John Singer

Flower Dance - Japanese Folk Melodies


    The famous melody of Kuroda bushi derives from a drinking song of the Kuroda family in Fukuoka, Kyushu. The melody was taken from court music known as Etenraku, originally sung to hand clapping by warriors at such occasions as drinking parties. Today the music is performed on the shamisen and other Japanese instruments as accompaniment to sword dances which was probably done in earlier days as well.

Flute and Koto of Japan Yamaguchi Goro
Yonekawa Toshiko
Folk Songs with Shakuhachi


Japanese Folk Songs


    Japanese main folk song. This song tells about the episode of a soldier during the age of the 16th Century wars. As the song is related with Sake (Japanese wine), this is often sung at feasts.

Journey of the Wind


Koto no Kyoshu Nihon no Merodi-shu


Koto no Miryoku - Disk 1


Memories of Japan Riley Kelly Lee

Memories of My Home Riley Kelly Lee

Min'yo - Folk Song from Japan - Takahashi Yujiro and friends Takahashi Yujiro

    The title, "Song of Kuroda", is a pun on the homophonous "samurai of Kuroda". The Kuroda clan once held northern Kyushu, whose culture was heavily influenced by court nobles who had fled there in the 12th century. The song's tune derives from the best-known court instrumental piece "Etenraku".
    Verse 1 commemorates a supposed event of 1590. The shogun Hideyoshi had just presented a famed spear to his general Masanori. The Kuroda warrior Mori Tahei then arrived with a message for Masanori, who insisted that Tahei join him in a celebratory drink. Forbidden to drink "on duty", he refused; Masanori insisted, and finally offered him a gift of his choice if he would drink. Tahei drank - and claimed the spear! - Verse 2 reaches back to the 12th century: the emperor's concubine had, through court intrigue, been banished to a hidden hut in the woods. The monarch sent a servant to find her. From a distance, he heard her playing on her koto zither a tune that confirmed she still loved her man.

    Drink, dink sake! If you drink, you'll win this, the best spear in all Japan.
    If you drink enough to win it, you're a true Kuroda samurai.
    Is it a storm in the mountains, or the wind in the pines, or the person I'm seeking
    playing the koto? Stopping his horse to listen, [he heard] the clear sounds of the
    plectrums playing "Longing for Her Husband".

    Copyright 1999 - Dr David W. Hughes
    e-mail dh6@soas.ac.uk

Minyo no Sekai


Minyo Shakuhachi no Shirabe



Moonlit Castle John Singer

Musical Memories of Japan None

Nihon Minyo - Shakuhachi Tokusen Shu - 2


Sato no Ue


Shakuhachi Folk Tunes - Vol 3


Shakuhachi Min'yo


Shakuhachi, Shamisen no Shirabe; Nihon no Minyo - 2


Tokusen Shakuhachi Minyo


Yagishita - 2



The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018