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#1 2007-06-28 17:49:30

udo.jeromin
Member
Registered: 2007-05-07
Posts: 72

Hitoyogiri

From what I read this instrument can be considered an "ancestor" of the shakuhachi.
I have some questions for people who have seen/investigated/played one/some of the
remaining originals:

1. how does the sound and playability differ from that of a shakuhachi?
2. what's the bore diameter(s) and the bore shape (in particular, how does it look at the node)?
3. how does the utaguchi differ (I have read contradicting statements about the
   angle and I have seen pictures without intersection of bore and utaguchi)?
4. what are the finger hole positions and size and what scale does a hitoyogiri play
   (is there any fingering chart around)?
5. what type/sort of bamboo are hitoyogiri traditionally made of?
6. do they always come with bindings and, if so, why (sound/cracking)?

Alternatively: I'd be grateful for information where to find this information.

Cheers, udo.

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#2 2007-06-29 00:09:52

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

Re: Hitoyogiri

This is nicked from Riley Lee's doctoral thesis:

"3.3.1 The Hitoyogiri

As stated earlier, the hitoyogiri literally means 'cut from [bamboo with] one node'. Today the term refers to a shakuhachi instrument with five fingerholes, made from a piece of bamboo with only one node, and of a length that produces the pitch A, typically about 33.5 cm. The circumference of a typical hitoyogiri is approx. 10 cm. Because of this relatively small circumference, as well as the small size of the blowing edge itself (illustration five), it is extremely difficult to execute what is called the meri-kari technique. This technique lowers or raises the pitch by changing the distance and the angle between the lips and the blowing edge, and is essential in performing both modern pieces and pieces that have been handed down by the komus˘ for centuries. In a similar fashion, the size of the fingerholes of the hitoyogiri, quite small in comparison with the modern shakuhachi, makes finger positions incorporating partially covered holes impractical. Such finger positions are also essential in performing both modern and traditional shakuhachi pieces. "

Here's a link to the entire thesis: http://www.rileylee.net/Thesis14Mar06%20Folder/ Starting with an abstract--to get to the rest of it use the popup menu at lower left. The above excerpt is from Chapter 3.

NB: Googling 'hitoyogiri' will give you a wealth of information to pick through, most of it on the first 3-4 pages. Google is our friend...

eB


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

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#3 2007-06-29 02:58:10

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

Re: Hitoyogiri

1. how does the sound and playability differ from that of a shakuhachi?

Shorter, higher in pitch, tiny holes, difficult to play meri notes, etc.

2. what's the bore diameter(s) and the bore shape (in particular, how does it look at the node)?

Thin.

3. how does the utaguchi differ (I have read contradicting statements about the
   angle and I have seen pictures without intersection of bore and utaguchi)?

Don't remember that.

4. what are the finger hole positions and size and what scale does a hitoyogiri play
   (is there any fingering chart around)?

Same 5 hole configuration but does not adequately perform the insen scale, which is probably the reason it fell from favor.

5. what type/sort of bamboo are hitoyogiri traditionally made of?

Thin madake.

6. do they always come with bindings and, if so, why (sound/cracking)?

Not all bound.

I was fascinated with the IDEA of playing this instrument. Then I met a collector who had a lot of expensive and rare vintage hitoyogiri. I tried them and I quickly got over it. Because it is not a particularly expressive or good sounding instrument.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#4 2007-07-19 21:57:02

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

Re: Hitoyogiri

Hitoyogiri is great and really fun to play! They are the ancestor of shakuhachi, yes.

What happened is that the shakuhachi came to Japan as a member of the gagaku ensemble imported in the 7th century. By the 9th century this shakuhachi (which was 1 shaku and 8 sun in the older Chinese measure system and had 6 holes) disappeared from the gagaku ensemble. The flute obviously didn't disappear from the surface of the world, and there are flutes mentioned here and there in the fantastic old Japanese literature collection, that is so hard to read! The shakuhachi is mentioned played by nobels, by street entertainers and also blind monks playing biwa and shakuhachi, and after it disappeared from the gagaku ensemble, it changed shape a few times. The most important change is the number of holes from 6 to 5. However, during all the changes from gagaku shakuhachi through hitoyogiri and miyogiri to Fuke shakuhachi, it keps the characteristic shape of the mouthpiece with the cut outward.

The name hitoyogiri comes up in literature for the first time in 1593 in a poem written by Takasabu Ryutatsu. However, the name hitoyogiri probably was in use before that, although the word shakuhachi is used in the writing 'Taigenshou' from 1512.

Yes, the hitoyogiri is made from very thing bamboo and it has one node just above hole 4
(what we call hole 4 today as apparently in old days they counted the holes from the back hole as being no 1). There is a great drawing of a biwa-houshin (blind biwa playing monk) from a collection of drawings from 1504-21. On this drawing the biwa-houshin is sitting down, playing the biwa and singing. Besides him the painter has included the biwa-houshin's wooden sadals, walking stick, panflute and hitoyogiri. On this drawing it is very clearly a hitoyogiri with its one node above hole 4. This drawing is no. 21 in a collection of drawings called 'Kanginshou'. I think this drawing is from 1518.

I have played a few old hitoyogiri. The bamboo has a much smaller diameter and the mouthpiece cut is extremely shallow. One has to blow extremely softly in to get any sounds, and it is not held as vertically as the shakuhachi is today.
From my own intuition, having tried to play the hitoyogiri, I suppose the meri notes were rather produced by combinations of fingering than the meri/kari techniques we know today. But I am just guessing here.
The hitoyogiri also varies in length and thereby pitch.

We don't know much about the music that was played on hitoyogiri. But there is a collection of scores in a 'how to learn to play on your own' manual called Shichikushoshinsho from 1664. This book includes scores for hitoyogiri, shamisen and koto. Some pieces are to be played together. There has been several attempts of trying to decipher from the score how the music sounded. There has been teams of scholars working on it and performances and CD has been made. However, whether the music really sounded like that. . . is hard to say.
I have myself tried to decipher the score a little. And there are many unknown facts... But fun it is!

Hope this helps!
Blow well!
Kiku


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

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#5 2007-07-20 00:42:56

dstone
Member
From: Vancouver, Canada
Registered: 2006-01-11
Posts: 552
Website

Re: Hitoyogiri

Can someone tell me what the flute in this photo might be.  Is it a hitoyogiri?  I took the photo but I'm sorry I didn't pay enough attention at the time to note what the name of the instrument was I was seeing and hearing.  It's Miura Taro playing something interesting as part of a gagaku concert.  It does have a shakuhachi-like blowing edge but also clearly has multiple nodes, so maybe it's not a Hitoyogiri afterall.

http://bitmason.com/photo/japan2005/0340_Gagaku_and_Shakuhachi_at_Miura_Taro's_in_Yokkaichi/dsc_1756_s.jpg
(click for bigger picture)

This pic of two other Japanese flutes might also be interesting.  I'm sorry I can't tell you more but I'm sure someone else here can!
http://bitmason.com/photo/japan2005/0340_Gagaku_and_Shakuhachi_at_Miura_Taro's_in_Yokkaichi/dsc_1754_s.jpg

-Darren.


When it is rainy, I am in the rain. When it is windy, I am in the wind.  - Mitsuo Aida

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#6 2007-07-20 05:24:00

Daniel Ryudo
Shihan/Kinko Ryu
From: Kochi, Japan
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 355

Re: Hitoyogiri

The flute in the top photo looks like it is patterned after a gagaku shakuhachi, which would make sense as it is a gagaku event.  There are gagaku shakuhachi preserved in the Shoso-in treasure house in Nara, Japan and photos of those flutes show a similar node pattern, with three nodes visible in the main body of the flute and no root end.  The gagaku shakuhachi is thinner walled and has a smaller diameter than a standard shakuhachi; the bamboo flutes found in Nara were made from hachiku (phyllostachys nigra. var. henosis) while the shakuhachi made from Edo period on are in most cases made from madake (phyllostachys bambusoides), a bamboo with a wider internal diameter (Monty has made some flutes from tora chiku, a variety of bamboo with a mottled pattern).  The other two flutes pictured are hichiriki (in the foreground), also sometimes called Japanese oboe, a gagaku instrument with a double reed, and what looks to be a ryuteki, also a standard instrument in gagaku ensembles and the largest of the gagaku flutes, usually sporting a red brocade (there is a smaller horizontal flute with a green brocade called komabue).  The only main type of wind instrument used in gagaku which is not represented in the photos is the sho, which is a set of 17 bamboo reed pipes placed in a cup-shaped wind chest, an instrument one often hears -- sometimes on taped recordings -- in Shinto shrines.  The sho is patterned after a Chinese instrument called the sheng, which is sometimes referred to as the oldest pipe organ.  It looks like it was an interesting event.

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#7 2007-07-20 09:52:15

baian
Member
Registered: 2006-03-28
Posts: 83

Re: Hitoyogiri

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#8 2007-07-20 12:08:35

rpowers
Member
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 285

Re: Hitoyogiri


"Shut up 'n' play . . . " -- Frank Zappa
"Gonna blow some . . ." -- Junior Walker
"It's not the flute." -- Riley Lee

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#9 2007-11-17 18:02:32

philthefluter
Member
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: 2006-06-02
Posts: 190
Website

Re: Hitoyogiri

I put up a comparison of the precursors of the shakuhachi at http://www.shakuhachizen.com/precursors.html. I invite corrections and additions from the experts on gagaku shakuhachi, tempuku, hitoyogiri, miyogiri and Fuke shakuhachi. I am also looking for photos or sound clips of these instruments that I can use on the page. I will of course credit any photos or sound files sent.


"The bamboo and Zen are One!" Kurosawa Kinko
http://www.shakuhachizen.com/
http://www.myspace.com/shakuhachizen

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