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San'ya (Dokyoku)

三谷

This is a piece of genre Koten from the Dokyoku / Chikushinkai School.

History (Riley Kelly Lee):

Three Valleys

As with so many other honkyoku, there are many versions of San'ya. There are variations in the titles of this piece as well, for example, "Mountain Valley" (also pronounced 'san'ya'). The 'Three Valleys' may allude to a semi-mythical abode of enlightened beings, or to the 'three jewels' of Buddhism, the Buddha, the teachings, and the community. This version of 'Three Valleys' is the only piece on this recording not transmitted in the Chikuho lineage, instead being found in the Watazumi lineage.

San'ya (Dokyoku) appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Autumn Field - Yearning for the Bell Volume 4 Riley Kelly Lee

    Three Valleys

    As with so many other honkyoku, there are many versions of San'ya. There are variations in the titles of this piece as well, for example, "Mountain Valley" (also pronounced 'san'ya'). The 'Three Valleys' may allude to a semi-mythical abode of enlightened beings, or to the 'three jewels' of Buddhism, the Buddha, the teachings, and the community. This version of 'Three Valleys' is the only piece on this recording not transmitted in the Chikuho lineage, instead being found in the Watazumi lineage.

Bamboo In Zen Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos


Contrasts Seki Ichiro

Hotchiku (CD) Watazumi Doso Roshi

    ("Mountain Valley")

    The piece Sanya expresses a state of contemplation, as symbolized by the serene flowing of a stream hidden deeply in the mountains.

    Contemplation is a part of Watazumi-Do's Way of Nature, and is centered around the secret breathing techniques whose purpose it is to train the breath and attain the unification of mind and body.

    Sanya began in Oshu, and, through sound, expresses the state of contemplation.

    A 2.7 shaku hocchiku named Rin was used for the playing of this piece. It was made by a 13-year old boy from a piece of bamboo that had been used for drying laundry, and is so flawed that some of the holes are placed on joints.

    Using such flawed instruments flawlessly is part of the challenge of the Way of Dharma. Those who progress down this path are called "Followers of the Way of Dharma."

In Dead Earnest Ishikawa Toshimitsu

In Dead Earnest Part 2 Ishikawa Toshimitsu

Japanese Traditional Shakuhachi Yokoyama Katsuya

    Chuukyoo district origin. Its title Sanya (three valleys) is believed to have derived from its melodic design with three climaxes each time dropping back to quieter music. Many different pieces of the same name exist.

Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 1 Yokoyama Katsuya

    Chukyo district origin. Its title Sanya (three valleys) is believed to have derived from its melodic design with three climaxes each time dropping back to quieter music. Many different pieces of the same name exist.

Koten Shakuhachi Kakizakai Kaoru

    This piece originates from around the Nagoya area. I was deeply impressed by a recording of this music made by my teacher Katsuya Yokoyama when he was young. He expressed an image for this honkyoku (traditional piece) which was quite new to me and it had a strong impact.


Marco Lienhard - Shakuhachi Marco Lienhard

Mysterious Sound of Bamboo Flute - 1 Watazumi Doso Roshi


    The name Sanya refers to the act of begging for alms. Thus, this piece is one that is meant to be played for an audience. The piece has 3 peaks of high notes surrounded by more simple, peaceful parts of the song. It originated in the Nagoya region.

    The hocchiku used for this piece is 2.7 shaku, and was made from a bamboo laundry pole by a 14 year old child. Its construction was so haphazard that some of the finger holes are directly on top of the bamboo's nodes.

    The hocchiku cracked in the middle of the performance and began leaking air, but the performance of the piece was fully completed anyway.


Poeme du Bambou Marco Lienhard


Searching - Yearning for the Bell Volume 7 Riley Kelly Lee

    As with so many other honkyoku, there are numerous versions of San'ya. There are variations in the titles of this piece as well, for example, "Mountain Valley" (also pronounced 'san'ya'). The 'Three Valleys' may allude to a semi-mythical abode of enlightened beings, or to the 'three jewels' of Buddhism, the Buddha, the teachings, and the community. This version of 'Three Valleys', transmitted though the Chikuho lineage, is noted for its comparatively upbeat tempo.


Spirit of Dusk, The Iwamoto Yoshikazu

    In the calmest expression of "San'ya" (Mountain Valley), the komuso musicians crystallized their spiritual journeys towards the eternal land of peace.

Tajima Tadashi Shakuhachi no Sekai II Tajima Tadashi


The Voice of Bamboo Steven Taizen Casano


Traditional Japanese Music Iwamoto Yoshikazu

    San'ya - mountain valley

    Also known in several variants all with the same title, each originating in a different area of Japan, each quite distinct in character and mood. Nevertheless, they do have one feature in common-the overall melodic curve. This takes the shape of a mountain with the main peak in the middle, i.e. they all start calmly in the lower register and gradually rise up to reach a peak both in pitch and intensity, then descend to a final calm ending.


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018