Shakuhachi, Bamboo Flute, Zen Mind

The Shakuhachi is a Japanese end-blown flute. It is traditionally made of bamboo, but versions now exist in ABS and hardwoods. It was used by the monks of the Fuke school of Zen Buddhism in the practice of suizen, blowing meditation.

Shakuhachi Zen: “In one sound, become the Buddha.

Blowing zen…The shakuhachi practice of suizen or ‘blowing Zen’ is based on the meditative practice of zazen or ‘sitting Zen.’ The flow of the music is decided by the natural rhythm of the players’ breath. The shakuhachi honkyoku are characterised by their lack of a strict metrical pulse. This non-temporal rhythm is contrary to the temporal or measured rhythm of western music. The western word phrase is not applicable to shakuhachi music which depends on the breath to define its shape. The expression issokuon (一息音) or ‘one-breath tone’ refers to individual sections of honkyoku. Shakuhachi players differ to the extent to which they utilise the breathing techniques of zazen in the present. There are also different interpretations of what type of breathing the komusô used. The komusô followed the discipline of sangakku (三学句) which involved the practice of Zen, shakuhachi and fencing. An essential element of martial arts training is the cultivation of stillness and the ability to immobilise the full energy of the body and thus the breathing at unpredictable moments. This can be felt in shakuhachi playing in the sudden bursts of breath after a subdued tone or silence. An analogy could be made with the ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ martial arts.

Many Komuso were former samurai:
Only true Komuso, though, could play the Shakuhachi honkyoku which were musical pieces of such complexity that only those adept with the Shakuhachi could perform them. Sometimes komuso were asked to perform these pieces to see if they were true komuso or the Shogun’s spies in disguise. However, it mattered little as some of the true komuso were also on the Shogunate’s payroll.

In This Video 2 Masters are living national treasures ( 人間国宝 ). Yamaguchi Goro and Aoki ReiboThey are Playong Honkyoku.Shikanotone.

Honkyoku (Gekko Roteki) play flute in the moonlight

Haru no Umi…the Sea in Spring…
This song is BGM of Seven Samurai

Morden Type of Flute Music…Okinawan song…Shimauta

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