Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fortunes of the Past







mid 1500s


late 1700s

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Karma Crown; The Tengai Progression

Ippitsusai Buncho active1765-1792; depicting late Edo headgear.

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Hasegawa Mitsunobu drawn 1740, early Edo komuso hat.

Keicho okite-gaki, the first memorandum issued to the komuso, in 1677, states in clause 5, that "The komuso should not take off their headgear indiscriminately; they should make sure they have thorough understanding for[the significance of] this."  The word used here for headgear is hokan,  literally "karma crown."

Shakuhachi researcher Nakatsuka Chikuzen noted that the tengai (“canopy”) was not in common use until after the Meiwa era (1764–1771), with reference to woodblock prints of komusō from that time.

According to “Kyotaku denki” (1795) the tengai was introduced by Kusunoki Masakatsu, the alleged first komusō.  In a passage where Masakatsu, a.k.a. Kyomu, explains his clothing: “Kyomu continued, ‘I have made a new ordinance: the basket-hat is to be called tengai it shall be irreverent for a man engaged in these religious austerities to take off the basket-hat. His face must be covered with it when he meets others. The idea is to assume a life of seclusion even in town.” A later 1792 version of “Keichō okite-gaki” does not carry the word tengai, it may indicate that the story in Kyotaku denki kokuji-kai, published in 1795, was the first time that the deep basket type of hat was prescribed.

Okumura Masanobu 1700-1764;early headgear

Suzuki Harunobu 1724-1770

Suzuki Harunobu 1724-1770

Painted by Genki, second month An'ei 7 [1778]

 A dignitary with a long beak is watching a maid do a fan dance, while a creature dressed in skulls - often shown gnawing bones - is providing a tune on the shakuhachi.

Happy Easter

People of various social classes dancing in a ring under the cherry blossoms to the sound of shakuhachi, hand drums, and shamisen.

Miyagawa Choshun 1688-1716

Saturday, April 7, 2012

empty bamboo

to oblivion

and rebirth