Monday, June 28, 2010

Komuso Scroll



Yushin (left) and unidentified player at Tomimori Kyozan's school.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Japan Today, One Moment Long Ago

Library Komuso

Nice photo of a komuso in tengai and foliage.
The title graphic and library sticker further obscures his anonymity.

Ma: The Expression of Silence and Space

{double click for full image}

The Uses of Not

Thirty spokes meet in the hub,

but the empty space between them

is the essence of the wheel.

Pots are formed from clay,

but the empty space between it

is the essence of the pot. 

Walls with windows and doors form the house, 

but the empty space within it

is the essence of the house.
                            --Lao Tse

Monday, June 21, 2010

Nara Temple Musician

Recording Shakuhachi

                                 with Elizabeth Reian at Tufts' Distler Hall

Komuso: monks 僧 of empty 虚 nothingness 無

In Edo Culture: Daily Life and Diversions in Urban Japan, 1600-1868 by Nishiyama Matsunosuke.

On page 124 the author says: "These monks formed an association that functioned as a kind of relief organization for masterless samurai. The way of the komusō was an honorable calling. As a member of the warrior class , a komusō might theoretically be summoned to rout an enemy. Komusō were thus granted freedom to travel anywhere they pleased. They were given the right to use ferries free of charge and even attended the theater without paying admission. Komusō often misused their privileges, however, and were known to wreck havoc on the road or in the villages through which they passed. The bakufu responded to such behavior by repeatedly issuing various prohibitions.

Komusō were required to tour either alone or in pairs; no large groups of komusō roamed the land during the Edo period. Moreover, komusō were not allowed to stay at a location for longer than a day; nor did they have the right to use horses or palanquins. The komusō were, however, never required to remove their basketlike hat. No matter how exalted a presence they might encounter on the road or at an inn, they were not obliged to show their faces. Hence on both the roads and at inns, komusō were highly conspicuous."


                                      Honkyoku Transcendance
Ken Ko San
Family Shrine
Horiuchi Crest

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Grand Sensei Tomimori Kyozan and Ken Ko San

Grand Sensei Tomimori Kyozan (1899-1975) favored the original requiem honkyoku Ken Ko San.  This treasured honkyoku became a tradition for the students of his school.  Yushin has emailed that Ken Ko San was an original old honkyoku from the Soetsu school.

Ken Ko San is Sensei Morimasa Horiuchi's favorite honkyoku in the Taizan-ha repetoire. 

The feeling within this and many other honkyoku honors the spirits of the departed.  

Ralph Samuelson has shared that one of his favorite honkyoku combinations is Hi Fu Mi followed by Ken Ko San.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Myoan-ji 1960s

Connect the Stars...

into a Constellation of Sound.