Sunday, December 29, 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013




  Icchoken is a name of Fuke sect, Komuso temple which is located in Hakata. During the Kanei era (1624-1643), Ichio from Kyoto, Myoan Temple came down to Hakata and started his Komuso life in Entsu temple which at the time did not have a priest. Since then, Icchoken has become the first Komuso temple in Chikuzen (Northern Kyushu).
  During the time of Ikku , he asked the domain for an estate in Yaguramon (Gion) and named it “Entsuji Icchoken” which was later renamed “Fumonzan Icchoken.” In the 4th year of the Meiji era (fiscal year 1871), Icchoken could not be spared from the abolishment of Fuke sect. However, Icchoken revived in Daijojimaecho (Reizen) in the 26th year of the Showa era (1951), which was then moved to Saiko Temple in a sub-temple of Rinzaishu Myoshinji sect, Shofukuji.
In the main hall, we have enshrined a statue of the patriarch of Fuke sect “Fukezenji*” and a statue of Komuso “Kusunoki Masakatsu”. Although Fuke sect had vanished from the public, its tradition has been inherited and it has been designated as an intangible cultural heritage of Fukuoka with the name of "Icchoken Denhocchiku" (Komuso's shakuhachi that has been handed down to Icchoken) since the 40th year of Showa.
*zenji ... Zen-master

Fuke sect

  Fuke sect is a religion in which the believers play the shakuhachi, a religious instrument, during their religious training. In other words, they believe that playing thoroughly every sound of the shakuhachi makes you reach enlightenment.
Their first ancestor was Fukezenji who had a connection with Rinzaizenji during the Tang dynasty of China. Fukezenji's apprentice was charmed by the sound of the bell his master rang at the time for religious meditations, so he recreated the sound with the shakuhachi. That was the beginning of this religion. It was brought to our country by Shinchi kakushin who went to Sung during the Kamakura Period. “Kyotakudenkikokujikai” (Fuke sect's origin that was written during the Edo period)

  Fuke sect reached its peak during the Edo Period. However, it was abolished by the Restoration Government on the 4th year of the Meiji Era as the religion was strongly related to the Edo Shogunate. The origin of “Kyotaku Denki” is said to be a fiction, but the history and tradition of that one sect have been passed from generation to generation until today.


  Komuso means Fuke-Buddhists who play shakuhachi at the time of religious mendicancy. Kusunoki Masashige, a warlord who was active during the period of the Southern and Northern courts, had a grandson named Kusunoki Masakatsu. When he was in Sung he played the shakuhachi and went on a pligrimage by the name of “Komu” which is responsible for the name “Komuso”. Another origin could be “Komoso” who wrapped a mat woven with rush around their waist during religious mendicancy and their name has gradually been changed. Apparently they were also called “Boronji,” “Boroboro,” “Boro”.
  In the Edo period, Fuke sect was established well and Komuso started to provide three items (Shakuhachi, Kesa, Tengai) and three signatures (Honsoku, Kaiin, Tsuin). Komuso are people that have escaped from the world and have become Anchorets, so they considered each other as brothers. When they crossed the world of dust they were given a tengai, a deeply woven straw hat in order to avoid getting dust in their eyes from the wind. Tengai has woven windows called Doko (pupil) so that they can see the outside world easily, but apparently, tengai of Icchoken's Komuso did not have Doko until the Meiji Restoration.
  Three signatures include Honsoku, a document of fundamental dogma, Kaiin, a certificate of being a Fuke-Buddhist, and Tsuin, a passport that allows you to go on a pilgrimage.   When Komuso met each other, it was a rule to show those three signatures to distinguish fake Komuso. Also, keeping their tengai on was a manner during the religious mendicancy no matter how royal people visited. It was considered rude to show their face. Although Komuso disappeared due to the abolishment of Fuke sect in the 4th year of Meiji, religious mendicancy of Komuso has revived after Komusodera (temple with Komuso) gained formal acceptance as a religious corporation in Showa.

Now Fly Away All!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

Miura Kindo Shakuhachi

Recently offered for sale in New York; a Miura Kindo 1.8 that Nyogetsu considers the best flute in this hemisphere by the best maker ever... 100+ years old, price $20,000  
Miura Kindo, 1875-1940

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Transparent Breath Glow

breath glow sound

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Shakuhachi for Lincoln

Morimasa Horiuchi plays a 1.8 red cedar Shin-Sei travel shakuhachi for Abraham Lincoln on the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address in Springfield, Illinois.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fuan #40

In the picture, Chinese letters say Myoan, Fuan, which means

this player is Myoan #40 instructor Yoshimura Fuan

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Black Resin Jinashi Shakuhachi

Overlooking his backyard, Sensei Horiuchi tries out the world's first Black Resin Jinashi Shakuhachi. He remarked this jinashi plays very well, and will not fluctuate in tone with temperature variations as bamboo would.  

Many thanks to maker Jon Kypros for this wonderful work!

The Black Resin Plastic Jinashi Shakuhachi alongside the Tominomori Kyozan Taizan-ha Master style Bamboo Shakuhachi, painted with Urushi Laquer.

The original nodes are exactly reproduced from the bamboo mold. Excellent craftsmanship by Shakuhachi Maker Jon Kypros. With wide dynamic tonal range and volume, a very interesting instrument on which to dwell and appreciate.  

Polyurethane resin is also used in the manufacture of rollercoaster and skateboard wheels!

Sensei Morimasa Horiuchi asks whether 3-D printing will be the next advance in master shakuhachi reproduction?

The molds for the Jon Kypros "Bell" shakuhachi.