Mujitsu and Tairaku's Shakuhachi BBQ

World Shakuhachi Discussion / Go to Live Shakuhachi Chat

You are not logged in.


Tube of delight!

#1 2008-04-29 15:12:53

david
Member
Registered: 2006-07-25
Posts: 71

Meian Honkyoku?

I've looked and looked and cannot find a listing of what pieces make up the meian honkyoku! I've found pieces that belong in the Meian honkyoku, but where can i find a complete list?


david
'Listen to the words of no man; listen only to the sounds of the wind and the waves of the sea.,~Claude Debussy

Offline

 

#2 2008-04-29 15:50:20

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: Meian Honkyoku?

Most people loosely term any temple honkyoku which are not Nezasaha or Kinko as "Myoan" or "Meian". There are more than 100 of them.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#3 2008-04-30 01:57:52

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 922
Website

Re: Meian Honkyoku?

Tairaku wrote:

Most people loosely term any temple honkyoku which are not Nezasaha or Kinko as "Myoan" or "Meian". There are more than 100 of them.

Indeed.
Often in Japan, I heard these pieces that are not Myoan (as in the repertoire of the Myoan temple in Kyoto) referred to as Fuke pieces. The Myoan Taizan-ha has released a set of scores that makes up their repertoire. But as Jeff says, there may be many other pieces that are referred to as Myoan.

There is also the historical fact that the repertoire of the Myoan sect was totally changed by Higuchi Taizan around the turn of the 20th century. He became the head of Myoan temple and when he changed the repertoire, he did not include a single piece from the original Kyoto repertoire in the "new Myoan repertoire". He included pieces from his own Seien-ryu and from other temples. So, it is also possible that smaller groups kept on calling Kyoto pieces for Myoan pieces, although from what I hear the Kyoto repertoire has almost been lost. Anyway, Myoan repertoire is for sure a loosely defined animal. smile And Higuchi Taizan did manage to gather some loose ends in all the confusion after the secularisation of the Fuke sect.


I am a hole in a flute
that the Christ's breath moves through
listen to this music
Hafiz

Offline

 

#4 2008-04-30 10:25:50

Dun Romin
Member
From: Holland
Registered: 2008-04-19
Posts: 136

Re: Meian Honkyoku?

Ik should like to learn more about all those historic developments in shakuhachi music. Is there a fitting book on the subject?


Tomorrow's wind only blows tomorrow. (Koji)

Offline

 

#5 2008-04-30 11:33:10

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: Meian Honkyoku?

Dun Romin wrote:

Ik should like to learn more about all those historic developments in shakuhachi music. Is there a fitting book on the subject?

There in no single book. These links may be of interest:

http://www.rileylee.net/thesis.htmll

http://www.komuso.com/schools/

eB

Last edited by edosan (2008-05-03 09:39:17)


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

Offline

 

#6 2008-05-02 21:33:59

-Prem
Member
From: The Big Apple
Registered: 2007-03-27
Posts: 73

Re: Meian Honkyoku?

Hello All-

Not to add more confusing fuel to the fire, but here is some information that I would like to share concerning Myoan Ryu and Taizan Ryu. This topic came up with my teacher shortly after I attended a Suizen Kai at Myoanji in Kyoto. I came to realize through hearing the players at Myoanji that their style sounded different than the style I am learning. So at my next lesson I asked my teacher, who is the current head of the Taizan Ryu, what was I hearing that was so different. Here is some of our conversation.

First a little history as I came to understand through my conversations at my lessons. Higuchi Taizan was an amazing player and compiled a repertoire of ancient shakuhachi music; meaning shakuhachi before it was influenced by western music, as it was played in ancient Japan. His technique was outstanding and his style truly difficult to master. Basically he was GOOD! Higuchi Taizan was also a member and subsequent head of the Myoan Society. His style did not get passed down through his family but rather next to Tanikita Muchiku, who was also part of the Myoan Society and also became it's head. After Tanikita Muchiku the Taizan Ryu got passed to Tsukamoto Chikuho and then to his son Tsukamoto Chikuzen, my teacher. So basically there are 2 lines running simultaneously. One, Myoan shakuhachi, of which Higuchi Taizan and Tanikita Muchiku were the heads and influenced greatly; and Two the Taizan Ryu. So I asked Sensei why do people call Myoan Honkyoku, Myoan Taizan Ryu when it sounds and is played differently. He replied that it was because of the popularity of these 2 people that others wanted to attach their names to their style. Of course there were many others who studied with Higuchi Taizan and Tanikita Muchiku and they were probably Myoan players as well. So I am sure that the Taizan Ryu style got often mixed in with traditional Myoan playing. But I can attest that Myoan shakuhachi as taught through Myoan Society and Taizan Ryu is a very different bird. In the style and technique, as well as the instrument itself. From what I gathered Myoan Honkyoku was also influenced greatly by western music and modern shakuhachi(Yes, believe it or not!). Ancient shakuhachi from what I am being taught was much wider bore, different blowing technique and a different style and techniques. I have played shakuhachi for over 10 years but I can say that now it is like I am starting over again from the most basic with learning this new style.

Of course Myoan music as it is played even today is how this music first started. More as ceremonial music and austere in its quality. But Taizan Ryu has more difficult technique and is a very difficult style to master. I have studied both Myoan Ryu and I am now studying Taizan Ryu. So I have small experience with both.

Kiku, I know you have researched many of these things while you were in Japan. What have you found regarding ancient shakuhachi music and the current Myoan music? Both in its instruments and music? Also, in your post you stated that "The Myoan Taizan-ha has released a set of scores that makes up their repertoire"; does the covers of these scores actually say Myoan Taizan Ryu? Just curious.

Also, both my teacher and his father completed the Myoan repertoire and received their licenses. Apparently they felt the need to also be part of that establishment. But I asked Sensei about the repertoire of Taizan Ryu and he said that it included all the Myoan pieces(meaning those currently being taught through Myoan players and Myoanji) but it also included many others. He didn't give specifics. This implies that there are two distinct schools. But as Kiku mentioned Higuchi Taizan did compile the current Myoan repertoire now in use. I believe that the current repertoire of Myoan shakuhachi are those included in the section on Myoan Ryu at komuso.com. Jeff, I believe you own this set of scores. As far as other pieces, they obviously are coming from different sources. Maybe through other students of Higuchi Taizan and Muchiku? Jeff, did you not say that your teacher was a student of Kobayashi Shinzan who was a student of Higuchi Taizan?

I am in absolutely no way saying one way is better than another. But as anyone that is familiar with Japan and Japanese arts, there are very specific differences that make each school unique, and to call one thing another would be mistaken. So I just wanted to point out this difference. I have been told by another German student of Tsukamoto sensei that these errors about Taizan Ryu are also prevalent in Europe as well. As anyone can attest Jin Nyodo is different than Yokoyama than Chikuho than Tozan, etc. etc. Personally, the more schools the better. If there was only one kind of flower that would be boring. I enjoy them all. But as a bee seeks nectar from many flowers it also must land on one and put in effort to extract any "sweetness"; anything of any real value. Myoan Ryu and Taizan Ryu is not just simply played Honkyoku. Each school has it's own unique and beautiful characteristics.

Anyway, these are some things I have learned. I am certain that there are many grey areas and that many lay claim to Higuchi Taizan, just as many lay claim to anyone who shows extraordinary ability. Anyone that could shed more light upon this subject I would like to hear your opinions.


Prem

Last edited by -Prem (2008-05-02 21:37:03)

Offline

 

#7 2008-05-02 22:03:08

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: Meian Honkyoku?

Thanks Prem, very interesting.

So.......when you say Myoan was influenced by Western, in what way? For example how would a Myoan version of Takiochi be more western than a Taizan Ha version?

All this confusion about what's real and what's authentic makes me wonder if writing your own songs and playing them might not be the "best way" as our friend Horst says.

How does Shimpo Ryu fit into this scenario?

And could you clarify one point? I wasn't sure if you were saying Taizan Ha or Myoan Ryu has the wider bore?

Because if as you say Taizan Ha is more technical AND uses a wider bore that's fascinating. It's the opposite of what most modern players do.

Another question (this is fun) what does your sensei think about your hocchiku? And what do you do your lessons on?


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#8 2008-05-02 22:34:47

Moran from Planet X
Member
From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
Website

Re: Meian Honkyoku?

I have the cassettes of Tanikita Muchiku from Mejiro. Have you heard these and can you tell me if your teacher regards them as representative of pure Taizan Ryu style?

I also have some of the recordings of Yoshimura Fuan. How does his interpretation differ from Tanikita Muchiku?

Thanks!


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." —Rowdy Piper, They Live!

Offline

 

#9 2008-05-02 22:54:59

-Prem
Member
From: The Big Apple
Registered: 2007-03-27
Posts: 73

Re: Meian Honkyoku?

Hello Brian-
First of all I want to make very clear that I harbor no opinions regarding what is authentic or best or anything of the sort. I just wanted to share information that I thought would be valuable to others. I had been taking lessons for almost 5 months before I really understood how different Myoan Ryu and Taizan Ryu are. It became quite clear to me after the Suizen Kai at Myoanji and conversation with Sensei's other German student that was visiting Kyoto at the time.

I will try to reply to some of your questions as best I can and from what information I have absorbed. Of course if I spoke better Japanese I could offer more, but I take what I can understand. Not to mention Sensei repeats to me many of the same things over and over. Maybe until I "Get it".

Tairaku wrote:

So.......when you say Myoan was influenced by Western, in what way? For example how would a Myoan version of Takiochi be more western than a Taizan Ha version?

I was bringing a Myoan shakuhachi to my lessons that I had received through another Myoan player. This was real Myoan shakuhachi made in Myoan style. Sensei from the beginning said that this shakuhachi is different than the Taizan Shakuhachi. It was very confusing to me at the time because I always thought Taizan and Myoan was the same. But over time from studying Taizan Ryu and from playing various Taizan shakuhachi I have come to an understanding that they are very different styles. Sensei has said that even Myoan shakuhachi has been influenced by modern shakuhachi. Possibly the tone color, way of getting sound and even construction. He even stated that the Honkyoku itself was influenced by Western sense of musicality and pitch. To what extent I am not sure. Like I said I am just sharing information. Also, there are many different techniques used in Taizan Ryu that Sensei said were Ancient techniques. For example, between RO and RO DAI meri thyere are 8 distinct sounds, there are 3 techniques used to meri, etc. etc. Also, as you know each school has its history, each school has its "secret" techniques and so on and son on. But I just wanted to point out that Myoan Ryu and Taizan Ryu are 2 different, although related, schools. That was my main intention.


Tairaku wrote:

How does Shimpo Ryu fit into this scenario?

I have no idea!


Tairaku wrote:

And could you clarify one point? I wasn't sure if you were saying Taizan Ha or Myoan Ryu has the wider bore?

Yes, Taizan Ryu uses much larger bore and is more technical. I think that is one of the main reasons it is a very difficult style to master. In the beginning I had an extremely difficult time with the blowing style.(I still get corrected often) Taizan Ryu requires a VERY loose embouchure; even the hole of the lips is more wide open. For 10 years I was instructed otherwise so that habit is difficult to break. All breathing is from DEEP within. All control from deep inside because obviously air escapes fast. Some of my Sensei's shakuhachi reminded me of Taimu. Which I found fascinating because that means that this style has been around for a LONG time. Although from what I gather you based Taimu on various old shakuhachi that you had. True? Also, I had read in Riley's thesis that Watazumido was perhaps influenced by the shakuhachi of Higuchi Taizan who was reputed to have played rather large bore shakuhachi. Sensei has said that this style is more akin to Watazumido's style. Watazumido, when he was alive, was in contact with Tsukamoto Chikuho, Sensei's father.

Tairaku wrote:

Another question (this is fun) what does your sensei think about your hocchiku? And what do you do your lessons on?

To be honest I never brought me Hotchiku for him to see. I already knew that Sensei was very serious, so I only brought my Myoan shakuhachi. But from my experience with Sensei I can say that he is very serious about Taizan Ryu shakuhachi. Big bore, big bottom hole. Actually even in Tokyo I got the chance to meet many players of the Watazumido lineage. Not Yokoyama lineage, but Watazumido. They all favored large bore shakuhachi, big bottom hole. No one uses the term Hotchiku. Even in the Watazumido lineage, no one calls their shakuhachi Hotchiku. I have come to realize that that word is quite a phenomenon of the West. It is simply shakuhachi.

I do my lessons on Sensei's shakuhachi. I play a wide 2.45, and a 1.8.

I have tried to answer the best I can with my limited knowledge and experience. If I only knew Japanese!

Prem

Last edited by -Prem (2008-05-02 22:58:48)

Offline

 

#10 2008-05-02 23:38:40

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: Meian Honkyoku?

-Prem wrote:

Some of my Sensei's shakuhachi reminded me of Taimu. Which I found fascinating because that means that this style has been around for a LONG time. Although from what I gather you based Taimu on various old shakuhachi that you had. True?

The first proto-Taimu was just a fat hunk of cheap non-madake bamboo Ken had laying around. Simply out of curiosity he stuck some holes in it. We played it and realized the charm of wide bore otsu sound, but things went wrong in the second octave. We tried making more but they were never in tune.

Then I got one of Gudo Ishibashi's 2.0 from John Singer. This had the wide bore but played well in tune. So we knew there was the possibility of doing it. Ishibashi is strongly influenced both by old Myoan and by Watazumido flutes.

So Ken went and picked some fat bamboo of this sort with Kodama and Tom Deaver. Then he started making Taimu in earnest.

After that several other pre-Taimu flutes have come to our attention. Indeed they have existed since at least the late 1800's. I have a 1.85 (which I got from Jeff) which plays on C and has the basic dimensions, big holes and sound of Taimu. I estimate it at about 100 years old.

We didn't invent a style, maybe rediscovered independently an old one. Nevertheless Ken's spirit comes through the flutes and the end result is not just an imitation of Ishibashi and Myoan, but rather something unique. Ken's flutes are different than anybody else's I've seen.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#11 2008-05-02 23:47:09

-Prem
Member
From: The Big Apple
Registered: 2007-03-27
Posts: 73

Re: Meian Honkyoku?

Jeff wrote:

From what I've been told Tanikita Muchiku staid very true to Higuchi Taizan's way of playing.

Yes, this is absolutely true. Tanikta Muchika was appointed as the true heir to the Taizan style. Perhaps over those more family related or what have you. I think this is a very important point. I think it was the same with my teacher's father and my teacher. The head spot went to the person that was capable. Of course there were other students of all these teachers, but truly not everyone was capable or wanted to put that much effort in to mastering these styles. This is an unfortunate fact, but my teacher Tsukamoto Chikuzen is the last in the lineage. After him it is finished. I wish I were more capable of writing/interviewing him, but I am not at this point. I am sure that he is a wealth of information. But also that is not my objective either. I do not care much for the facts and figures personally. I have always searched for what I thought was True and Honest. I have found this in my Sensei. So for me this is a great opportunity at this time. While I am living in Japan I want to absorb as much as I can. Of course I realize that in no way will I learn everything about Taizan Ryu as that would take a lifetime. But I feel that I can learn very valuable (to me) lessons regarding my shakuhachi path. I have always pursued the style and flavor of Watazumido, but I have to say I have learned so much from Tsukamoto Sensei in this short time that I have been studying with him. But also perhaps I was ready, but it is very humbling to start from the beginning again. I like it! Difficult, but I like it! I have never met a teacher that was so strict and REALLY pushing me to play STRONG. ALWAYS STRONGER! STRONGER! This is what I want from shakuhachi, to become stronger and more precise.

Prem

Offline

 

#12 2008-05-03 00:21:36

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: Meian Honkyoku?

-Prem wrote:

Hello Brian-
First of all I want to make very clear that I harbor no opinions regarding what is authentic or best or anything of the sort.

Sure Prem sorry if I accidentally implied that. I know you don't.

One thing that's definite about any of these lines is that at some point various mechanisms occurred. Someone wrote a song. Someone took an existing song and changed it. Someone developed quirks in their playing which either they notated or someone else notated and it became a style. But if you go back far enough, which is at MOST a few hundred years you lose everything and get to the point where little or none of what we play today would have existed. So it seems certain other things such as bamboo, blowing, 7 nodes, 5 holes, etc. these are the things which are authentic and the rest is all highly subjective, not to mention political. Then we return to simple verities like is it strong playing, good energy, interesting etc. rather than if it's "authentic". Or not.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#13 2008-05-03 01:35:13

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: Meian Honkyoku?



What a yummy thread this is....

Thanks to Prem and all the contributors.



eB

Last edited by edosan (2008-05-03 01:35:53)


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

Offline

 

#14 2008-05-03 01:51:54

-Prem
Member
From: The Big Apple
Registered: 2007-03-27
Posts: 73

Re: Meian Honkyoku?

Tairaku wrote:

One thing that's definite about any of these lines is that at some point various mechanisms occurred. Someone wrote a song. Someone took an existing song and changed it. Someone developed quirks in their playing which either they notated or someone else notated and it became a style. But if you go back far enough, which is at MOST a few hundred years you lose everything and get to the point where little or none of what we play today would have existed. So it seems certain other things such as bamboo, blowing, 7 nodes, 5 holes, etc. these are the things which are authentic and the rest is all highly subjective, not to mention political. Then we return to simple verities like is it strong playing, good energy, interesting etc. rather than if it's "authentic". Or not.

I couldn't agree more. I truly feel that each of us has a unique voice and abilities. However, they must be honed, honed and re-honed. Or at least that is my way. I know you agree with me on this point Brian, but I feel that traditional study whether in the US or Japan is absolutely essential if your goal is to expose the true possibilities of this instrument. As I mentioned in my last post my Sensei is making me stronger. That is good. That is what I am after. That is why I study shakuhachi and various other disciplines. I guess that is the key word "discipline". Sure anyone can get joy out of playing shakuhachi very quickly, I did also. But my goal in life is not momentary joy. I want to be PUSHED! And then pushed HARDER! I want to grow and I want to break my shell. That is discipline. It is not always fun, but I am not after fun. I am happy I found a teacher of shakuhachi that I can learn this way. He is the first teacher I found that is teaching me truly what I wanted from shakuhachi. Sensei is not after getting students, I am his only student in Japan. He is not after getting any fame. It took me some serious effort to convince him to accept me as a student. But now that he has, he accepts me 100%. But also he pushes me hard! I do not use scores as I have learned pieces by memory. I am not learning many pieces, I play like 4, I am only doing the most basic blowing. But that is what I want. Strict blowing, very serious in every manner. This is my way, others are free to play in any way. Now I am in an intense period of study. I want to take advantage, so I surrender. That is the only way in my opinion to learn from someone more advanced, Surrender. Where this will all lead, I do not know. But I do know that I am growing, so I will continue.

Prem

Last edited by -Prem (2008-05-03 01:53:46)

Offline

 

#15 2008-05-03 09:10:26

nyokai
shihan
From: Portland, ME
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 613
Website

Re: Meian Honkyoku?

-Prem wrote:

I guess that is the key word "discipline"... That is the only way in my opinion to learn from someone more advanced, Surrender. Where this will all lead, I do not know. But I do know that I am growing, so I will continue.

Good attitude.

As for all these Myoan lineages, the best overview I have found is in Riley's thesis, sections 3.7 and 3.8, available on his site.

Offline

 

#16 2008-05-03 09:40:13

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: Meian Honkyoku?

nyokai wrote:

As for all these Myoan lineages, the best overview I have found is in Riley's thesis, sections 3.7 and 3.8, available on his site.

http://www.rileylee.net/thesis.html


[Fxed. --eB]

Last edited by edosan (2008-05-03 13:37:59)


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

Offline

 

#17 2008-05-03 13:34:54

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: Meian Honkyoku?

Back to the original question, follow the links here to Myoan Shimpo Ryu, Myoan Taizan Ryu and the various temples to get an idea of the songs.

http://www.komuso.com/schools/

Go for it Prem, it is important to push yourself (and get pushed). In jazz it's called "woodshedding".


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#18 2008-05-04 00:00:44

-Prem
Member
From: The Big Apple
Registered: 2007-03-27
Posts: 73

Re: Meian Honkyoku?

Nyokai wrote:

As for all these Myoan lineages, the best overview I have found is in Riley's thesis, sections 3.7 and 3.8, available on his site.

I just re-read those sections on the Myoan lineages. Great info! If you are out there, Riley, "Thanks!". However, when I read about the Myoan Taizan Ha in his thesis it made me remember some information that I thought was related to this whole Myoan discussion.

When I first started taking lessons I had no idea about the differences in schools, so I was referring to Sensei's school as Taizan Ha. He immediately corrected me and said, it is not "Ha" it is "Ryu". So, by Riley's definitions of "Ha" and "Ryu", perhaps that is where the distinction is made. There is a sub sect Myoan Taizan Ha, and there is a school Taizan Ryu.

Riley's definitions:
ryû (流, 'school'), ha (派, 'faction')

Prem

Last edited by -Prem (2008-05-04 00:03:03)

Offline

 

#19 2009-01-13 20:33:22

Justin
Shihan/Maker
From: Japan
Registered: 2006-08-12
Posts: 540
Website

Re: Meian Honkyoku?

Hi Prem
I've been reading your thread here. It sounds very interesting. I have only heard of Taizan ha and not Taizan ryu. So I am trying to understand the difference. Do you know when the 2 split apart? Also, although it's very interesting talking about it, it would be very instructive to be able to listen to the style so we can really hear the difference. Is there any link where we can listen Taizan ryu style? Or perhaps you could post something yourself?

It's great to hear what you are doing, and wonderful to hear your dedication. Thanks for sharing.

Best wishes
Justin
http://senryushakuhachi.com/

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson

Google