Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Gift from Shinnyo-ji Temple

My teacher Morimasa Horiuchi Sensei in the mid-1960s used to play shakuhachi with his Sensei Tominomori Kyozan and on occasion an old shaven-headed monk, the head priest of Shinnyo-ji Temple, who made his own bamboo flutes and other works of art.

When the old monk heard that Mori-san was moving to America,  he generously presented my teacher with a going-away gift, his  shakuhachi made by the Shin-ryu that was stamped with the kanji Shin, or Truth.

The old monk also gave Mori-san his ink brush drawing of Daruma, or Bodhidharma, the Indian monk who transmitted Zen to China in the sixth century and began the first physical training of the Shaolin monks.
The jinashi bamboo nodes remain in the instrument bore refinements.

A meticulous method of tuning the flute for tone and pitch, slowly and minutely shaving tiny bits of bamboo out of the bore.

Nearly 50 years later, the monk/artist with the generous and kind spirit is still fondly remembered.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Taizan-ha Shakuhachi Masters

Play for the Spirits in Kyūshū, circa 1970s.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Monden Tekiku 門田笛空

An 85 year old Myoan shakuhachi Sensei in Osaka, Monden Tekiku was taught by Sakurai Muteki, a student of Taizan-ha master Tanikita Muchiku. 

Monden Tekiku plays a 2.5 shakuhachi, the length he prefers, at Hosshin-ji, Tokyo.
Tanikita Muchiku proposed to Sakurai Muteki the idea to form a Meian-Shakuhachi group in Osaka (Muchiku actually presented a wooden name plate to the group in his calligraphy.)   Hence, the "Koten-shakuhachi-kenkyū-kai" (Society for the Study of Classical Shakuhachi) was born.

Monden Tekiku was the second head of the group and retired about 5 years ago (after his 80th birthday). The present leader and Monden Tekiku's successor is Maeda Tekifū. The aim of the group is the study and transmission of Meian-Shakuhachi music using long jinashi-shakuhachi.

A diagram of a 1.8 shakuhachi of Monden Tekiku

At Myoan-ji with Tsuda Tekishū, also probably one of Sakurai Muteki's students.

Sensei Monden's school of students, all playing the preferred 2.5 shakuhachi.  

 Monden Sensei also taught his students to build their own 2.5 shakuhachi. 

Society for the Study of Classical Shakuhachi

In 1996, Monden Tekiku played many of his teacher's shakuhachi, at age 69, for his great public recording Koku.  Very highest recommendation.

On the track, Shika no Tone, Monden-sensei is accompanied by Maeda Tekifu, the oldest student and successor as leader of this great but little known school.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Kyushu Komuso?

double click image to view complete page...any translations welcome