Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tengu Festival; Komuso with Shakuhachi

Tengu (天狗, "heavenly dogs") are a class of supernatural creatures found in Japanese folklore, art, theater, and literature. They are one of the best known yōkai (monster-spirits) and are sometimes worshipped as Shinto kami (revered spirits or gods). Although they take their name from a dog-like Chinese demon (Tiangou), the tengu were originally thought to take the forms of birds of prey, and they are traditionally depicted with both human and avian characteristics. The earliest tengu were pictured with beaks, but this feature has often been humanized as an unnaturally long nose, which today is practically the tengu's defining characteristic in the popular imagination.

Buddhism long held that the tengu were disruptive demons and harbingers of war. Their image gradually softened, however, into one of protective, if still dangerous, spirits of the mountains and forests. Tengu are associated with the ascetic practice known as Shugendō, and they are usually depicted in the distinctive garb of its followers, the yamabushi.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kyotaku Lineage

Tani Kyochiku
Koku Nishimura
Agar Kyosui Noiri

1) Tuning
The way of kyotaku tuning is not like the way of Shakuhachi tuning.
The way of Shakuhachi tuning makes exact pitch, with adjusting the length of the flute, with adjusting the diameter of the inside flute.
On the other hand The case of Kyotaku , the flute is just one piece , no way to adjust the length, no way to adjust the diameter of the inside flute.
So, even same 2.6 length kyotakus makes different pitches.
But you will be able to manage to adjust the pitches when you play with someone together.
2) How to play ?
Compared with Shakuhachi, Kyotaku is more long, more fat,and much more big volume.
If you play kyotaku like the way of Shakuhachi, You will make only superficial light sound .
Slow and steady breath makes vibrate the big bamboo more efficiently.
Sometimes I saw retouched kyotakus by someone who didn’t know how to play with it.
It is difficult to fix again. You have to know the difference between Kyotaku and Shakuhachi.
3)Rot number ( 4 numbers)
The numbers showing the length of kyotaku.
Example, 2640 showing 2.64 = 2 shaku 6 sun 4 bu.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Enso Red Root

Large Bore 2.9 Shakuhachi with Honshu Red Urushi from Meijiro--goes on bright orange red and darkens to a deep red.

Background bamboo--Fargesia Rufa (preferred panda food source) Zone 5 Chicago, insulated last Winter with a 4 foot styrofoam box.  Next winter will have to try a thermal blanket, it's growing too big...

Backgound bamboo--Phylostachys Bissetti.  Zone 5 Chicago, no insulation needed, roots survive to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit ground temperature.  15 feet high in six years from a small plant.

Black Urushi and Brown Shuai Urushi on the roots, a turpentine and shuai wash on the lower nodes. A perfect Summer day for curing the natural poison sumac laquer on a screened porch, 90 degree heat, high humidity, no wind, no dust.
2.6 Jinashi with several coats of shuai urushi, glass finish, streak are reflections of sky.  Background Bamboo--Phyllostachys Nuda.  Zone 5 Chicago, no insulation needed.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Inside Outside

Long after man has forgotten such words as Zen and Buddha, satori and koan, China and Japan and America, still the search will go on, still Zen will be seen even in flowers and grass-blades before the sun.

Yoshinobu Taniguchi Plays Jo-un

Carved in Wood

Friday, July 1, 2011