Thursday, December 1, 2016

Myōan-dōshō go-eisan--hymn to the Myoan Shakuhachi

The tanka-poem by Tanikita Muchiku has been made into a Buddhist song that can sometimes be heard accompanied by shakuhachi at Myoan-ji.

Yo no naka no 
Uki-fushi nukeshi
Fue-take no
Koe ni hohoemu
Waga kokoro kana.

something close to a literal translation:

The world's sorrows have been taken away.
To my flute-bamboo's voice 
smiles my heart.

It contains a word-play: Uki-fushi means the sorrows of the world, but fushi also can be the fushi (nodes) within bamboo. Taking the fushi or nodes out of the bamboo that the air goes through is compared to taking away the sorrows of the world. 

The actual performance of the song Is similar to the melody, the speed and rhythm of this Soto school song.

Thanks to Professor Oliver Aumann for the translation and commentary.