Thursday, October 15, 2015

Playing Shakuhachi at Ryoanji...Station!

At first glance it looks as if I'm playing shakuhachi at the famous rock garden of Ryoanji.  But most Japanese temples require permission to play, and the occasions are rare that it is granted.  Even if it is, there is a protocol and decorum to follow, to play with reverent intention, offer donations, and pay homage and attention to each deity statue with sound and prayer.  Ryoanji is a sacred place for quiet contemplation, so if you want to play homage to the garden, the next best thing is Ryoanji Station just a few blocks south of the temple.

Here Nara Komuso Jerry Schmick plays a grandson Gyokusui 1.8 nobekan jinashi with a mammoth ivory meian utaguchi, demonstrating the station technique with an extraordinarily beautiful shakuhachi.