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#1 2007-08-15 21:35:07

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 917
Website

Ji-nashi terminology

There is a lot of confusion of what is actually called what in regard to ji-nashi/semi-jinashi/kyotaku/hocchiku etc and it is easy to see that the majority of questions in this section is regarding the confusion of these terms.

I would therefore like to post the generic terms used by many Japanese (although they also get confused because there are so many different words). I will add some of my own thoughts, which I have accumulated while doing research in Japan.
I have to enphasise that these are, of course, just my opinions and no-one else's. However, I shall try to describe the terms as objectively as possible.

Ji-nashi shakuhachi: is the generic term for shakuhachi with absolutely NO filler (ji, e.g., a paste made of urushi and ground stone) added to the bore. This is the generic term, which in a wide meaning includes both kyotaku and hocchiku as they do not have any ji added to their bores. Watazumi-do used to call his flutes for hocchiku, which is his own word. Nishimura Koku used an old Tang Dynasty name, kyotaku to describe his flutes. By the time the shakuhachi entered Japan in the Gagaku ensemble in the 700s, it was called shakuhachi. The gagaku shakuhachi is abour 34 cm because the measuring unit was smaller at the time.
The ji-nashi shakuhachi tradition stayed alive in the shade of ji-nuri instruments and players after the Meiji period where also modern ryu-ha, such as Tozan, Ueda and Chikuho were created. Many ji-nashi makers were members of the Myoan ryu, but not solely.
If any ji is added to the bore, it disqualifies as ji-nashi as the meaning of the word itself is "no ji" e.g., no filler.

Ji-mori shakuhachi (semi-ji-nashi): This is the type of shakuhachi that confuses as this term has been less known - in Japan as well. And it is a pretty new term for me. However, it is a very convenient generic term. It practically just tells you there are ji added some places, not covering the whole bore.
This is a good and non-confusing word to use for semi ji-nashi shakuhachi and the Japanese people understands this word even if they hear it for the first time, in my experience.
You have to remember that the whole concept of ji-nashi and ji-nuri (ari) is post-Meiji restoration when experiments in the creation of "improved" instruments were made, which gave birth to the ji-nuri. First then was there a need to distinguish between the two. There was only ji-nashi before, so that was obviously a shakuhachi. Since the ji-nuri instruments quickly became the mainstream instrument I think the ji-mori instrument may not have had a long time where it had any significance as such and that is perhaps why this term hasn't been coined to the same degree as the other two. Here I am guessing! But with the x-rays I have done so far (and many more done before me by other scholars such as Simura Satosi, Tukitani Tuneko, Yamaguti Osamu, Tokumaru Yosihiko) of Meiji period shakuhachi, you can see how they began to put a little ji here and there. I have for example seen shakuhachi with only ji in the lower end of the bore.
Perhaps this term, ji-mori shakuhachi will become more significant now since more and more people realise the amazing tone qualities of ji-nashi, but still want reasonably priced well-tuned instruments. The very good alternative is then ji-mori.

[Here I insert my explanation to some questions raised by Riley Lee.

I think the confusion about what I wrote was the paragraph just above. I write reasonably priced wel-tuned instrument. This was NOT meant as jimori is less valuable and a lower class instrument. Not at all! Jimori is a method to make shakuhachi that can have jinashi qualities but as well-tuned as a jinuri flute.
There are no value judgement here. I have played great jimori instruments!
I would have liked to engage in a further discussion about this but right now 8th June 2010 - I am about to begin my 40 day meditation retreat. So this was just a comment in haste! Have a great summer]


In my experience, many Japanese makers would, if they don't use this term, say something like: "This is almost a ji-nashi with a little ji added". Most, in my experience, would not solely use the term ji-nashi shakuhachi about a shakuhachi with ji added. But exceptions may exist.

Ji-nuri / Ji-ari / Ji-tsuki: This baby has many names. But all of these terms just tell that there is ji in the bore. This is the type of bore where there is ji added all over, obviously in a variety of thickness at different places after need. Many makers have a chart of measures of how large or narrow the bore has to be in different places, which they follow. Others work from experience. The interesting thing about the shakuhachi is, that even though scholars like Ando Yoshinori (specialist in acoustics) has tried very hard to find the universal measures of the bore of a master shakuhachi, he did not manage to find the prototype. Had he found the magic formula, this could result in mass production of good shakuhachi - like many Western instruments. But no-one has so far been successful with this. This means the shakuhachi is always handmade. There are large shakuhachi producing places where one person makes one part and hands it over the the next person specialising in another part. But that is as industrial as shakuhachi making seems to get.
Perhaps I should ask more questions about the cast bore in the making section as I don't really know enough about that.

I may create myself enemies out there. But I really feel that the use of terms in this way as I have seen it:

• Ji-nashi to describe shakuhachi with a little ji added
• Hocchiku to describe shakuhachi with no ji

is wrong!

Of course, you can contest this opinion, which is solely mine.

However, I think we are out there using some Japanese terms in a wrong way. How did a word like ji-nashi which literally means "no ji" get to mean ji added? I feel strongly that Hocchiku (and kyotaku) is a sub-category of ji-nashi shakuhachi in the sense that all 3 types have no ji added.
I have great respect for people who have learned from Nishimura and Watazumi and carry on these traditions with a conscious mind of the differences.  They seem to have their ways of distinguishing themselves, which I respect. But it is not only hocchiku that has no ji added as hocchiku is a Watazumi term, and the ji-nashi shakuhachi existed for centuries before that.

Praying and blowing for I don't upset anybody out there, this is an attempt to get the terms more straight.
Blow in peace!
Kiku


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

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#2 2007-08-16 13:36:34

Mujitsu
Administrator/Flutemaker
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 867
Website

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

Hi Kiku,

Thanks for your informative post. As ji-nashi and ji-mori shakuhachi continue to grow in the west, it can only help to clarify the differences. Thanks for helping to bridge the gap.

One question:  What is the terminology for a "ji-nashi" shakuhachi with an urushi coated bore but no paste dabs?

Ken

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#3 2007-08-16 20:14:50

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 917
Website

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

Mujitsu wrote:

One question:  What is the terminology for a "ji-nashi" shakuhachi with an urushi coated bore but no paste dabs?

There seem to be no distingushing terminology for that. They just say ji-nashi with or without urushi coating.
Thanks for your answer, Ken.

Kiku


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

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#4 2007-08-16 20:25:08

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

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

So , do i have this correct :

ji ari and ji nashi are antonyms

and

ji are ji nuri and ji tsuki are synonyms

Thanks

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#5 2007-08-16 22:26:44

Tairaku 太楽
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From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
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Re: Ji-nashi terminology

OK Professor Kiku wink,

A few questions and points that come to mind.

What about shakuhachi which are jinashi but have either pieces of other bamboo grafted onto them to adjust length, or a mortise and tenon joint to help with the tuning? Are there terms for that? And I suppose that would disqualify them from being "hocchiku" because they are no longer nobe.

And jinashi flutes can be two piece, whereas "hocchiku" and "kyotaku" must be one piece, correct?


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#6 2007-08-17 08:02:06

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 917
Website

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

Tairaku wrote:

What about shakuhachi which are jinashi but have either pieces of other bamboo grafted onto them to adjust length, or a mortise and tenon joint to help with the tuning? Are there terms for that?

Hi Brian.

As far as I know there are no terms for jinashi with pieces of bamboo or wood or any other material grafted into them. I think terminology has so far been concerned with ji or no ji because that is what made a world of difference in shakuhachi so far. I wouldn't want to come up with new definitions here. So, the answer is no, according to my knowledge.

Tairaku wrote:

And I suppose that would disqualify them from being "hocchiku" because they are no longer nobe.
And jinashi flutes can be two piece, whereas "hocchiku" and "kyotaku" must be one piece, correct?

I don't really have a clear answer to that, Brian. And I wouldn't know whether these would disqualify as hocchiku/kyotaku or not.
Although I don't know whether Watazumi talked about that hocchiku has to be nobe-kan, I highly suspect, he would have said so.
As far as I know Nishimura did say kyotaku has to be nobe-kan.
So in a sense I suppose you are right. But I have never heard it directly apart from Nishimura students say this. But nothing about hocchiku. So, I personally wouldn't like to say yes or no to this.

What I also understood from one of Nishimura's very close students is, that he basically only regarded his own flutes as kyotaku. Most flutes made by even devoted students did not, according to Nishimura, qualify as kyotaku - this person told me. I thought this was very interesting.

Another interesting aspect is also, that I have met Mugai (a Watazumi student, who worked with him in making flutes) many times in the past. And he never called his flutes for hocchiku. I never got to meet him when I could have asked him why... as it is at least 12 years ago I last saw him and he, unfortunately, past away March this year. Whether he just didn't use that word because he thought I wasn't ready to hear about it or he just really didn't use this word, I will not be able to say.

Both the terms hocchiku and kyotaku are very personally associated with Watazumi and Nishimura respectively (although the latter used an old word already existing in literature). I would therefore not like to come up with what qualifies and what doesn qualify as hocchiku/kyotaku as I am not directly associated with the teachings of Watazumi and Nishimura. Since both Watazumi and Nishimura are not among us any longer, we probably would have to ask very close associates of these people to know or know better at least.

I think it is fine, if a person feels such a close association with Watazumi that he/she feels like playing a hocchiku or 'doing hocchiku'. However, to say this is a hocciku because... but disqualifies as ji-nashi may not have understood the word ji-nashi in the sense that 'ji-nashi shakuhachi' has anything to do with philosophy or the like. It simply describes the physical construction of the instrument - just the fact that there is no ji. That is why this word is pretty convenient if used in the sense of what the words mean. The other two words are more complicated because they almost need Watazumi and Nishimura to tell us all the time what they meant, including the philosophy and blowing technique.

So, to the question whether a 'nakatsugi-kan' (as the shakuhachi in two attachable parts is called) would qualify as ji-nashi?
It's a good question, Brian. I never thought about it myself as it is rare to see a nakatsugi jinashi. But they certainly exist (I x-rayed one a few month ago), and I see more and more 'ji-nashi' that have had the length adjusted by having been cut just below the mothpiece. Are they ji-nashi? Well, in the generic meaning of the word, as long as there is no ji in the bore, I guess they are ji-nashi.

Before I posted the first post here, I discussed terminology with professors Simura Satosi and Tukitani Tuneko. They both have amazing knowledge of shakuhachi - obviously far above mine. Especially Simura has specialised doing research into the instrument and is a player of ji-nashi shakuhachi himself. Most of what I posted has been discussed with them. I am writing this just to make sure nobody misunderstands, and think that I believe I am an expert. I felt like I had to ask people more qualified to write that post.

I think if we have a clear understanding of:

Ji-nashi shakuhachi = shakuhachi with no ji in the bore
Ji-mori shakuhachi = shakuhachi with ji added one or few places in the bore for adjustment
Ji-nuri/ari shakuhachi = shakuhachi with a bore build up with ji

Nakatsugi-kan = shakuhachi in two attachable parts
Nobe-kan = shakuhachi in one piece

we are not far off. We will always have shakuhachi somewhere in the middle of definitions. I guess we have to accept that.
If others have other opinions, it would be very interesting to hear.

I think if people with their hearts feel they are making a kyotaku or a hocchiku, then it probably is. I don't have anything to add to that. But I felt a need to clarify that ji-nashi means no filler and ji-mori is with a little filler.

Best,
Kiku


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

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#7 2007-08-17 20:09:08

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 917
Website

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

baian wrote:

So , do i have this correct :

ji ari and ji nashi are antonyms

and

ji are ji nuri and ji tsuki are synonyms

Thanks

Hi Baian.

Yes, you are right, one could say that  Ji-ari and Ji-nashi are antonyms.

Ji-ari, Ji-nuri and Ji-tsuki are all describing the same thing, so they are synonyms

Kiku


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

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#8 2007-08-22 10:39:14

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

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

Thank you very much, Kiku, for sharing this information with us! I think that learning what these terms ACTUALLY mean will only benefit the shakuhachi community in the West. It is wonderful that you are so deeply researching the history, aesthetics, performance, etc., etc. of jinashi shakuhachi. It seems that people often through around these terms loosely without fully knowing/researching what these terms actually mean, especially the whole jinashi/Kyotaku/Hotchiku/Hocchiku thang. I look forward to hearing about the research and information you have gathered regarding these topics. Please continue to share this information with us. Keep up the GREAT work! Thanks again!

-Prem

Last edited by -Prem (2007-08-22 10:39:59)

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#9 2007-11-05 12:14:56

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

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

I know I've heard a couple of tidbits on the subject. For one, I think the European kyotaku enthusiasts agree that there are very specific details which make a flute a kyotaku, like having 7 nodes and the bore must be lacquered.
I also heard somewhere (I think I remember who, I will have to email him and clarify) that watazumi named his flutes hocchiku because that was the name of the type of bamboo that he used.

I was also wondering (since we are talking about watazumi) if any of the flutes he(Watazumi) has personally made are out there? Has anybody played any flutes made by him?


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

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#10 2007-11-06 12:29:45

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 917
Website

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

Hi David.

david wrote:

I think the European kyotaku enthusiasts agree that there are very specific details which make a flute a kyotaku, like having 7 nodes and the bore must be lacquered.

I would say, having 7 nodes is not what characterises a kyotaku. It is a common notion in all shakuhachi types, that the ones with 7 nodes is special. Most 1.8 ji-nuri will be 7 nodes. Ji-nashi shakuhachi comes in many shapes and length as ji-nash is a big category. But many have 7 nodes. It is true that Nishimura said a kyotaku has to have 7 nodes. So, there is that notion, as you write, that it is not a kyotaku, if it doesn't have 7 nodes.
Also many ji-nashi shakuhachi are lacquered, so that is not a defining factor for kyotaku either, although you could argue that ji-nashi doesn't have to be lacqured.

A interesting thing about the kyotaku discussion is also, that Nishimura Koku himself only considered his own flutes to be kyotaku, and the flutes made by his students were not kyotaku. Later on he told his close student, Agar, that Agar's flutes could be considered kyotaku as well. Agar would then be the only maker of kyotaku, apart from Nishimura himself... according to Nishimura.

david wrote:

I also heard somewhere (I think I remember who, I will have to email him and clarify) that watazumi named his flutes hocchiku because that was the name of the type of bamboo that he used.

Watazumi used madake like all other makers post hitoyogiri. Well, I am sure many tried other types of bamboo, but no-one has, as far as I know, come to the conclusion, that there was a better bamboo for making shakuhachi, nor have I heard of anyone who preferred another type of bamboo. Many makers today experiment with other types of bamboo or madake from China. Watazumi experimented a lot. He also used laundry poles etc to make flutes (which may not have been madake). But as far as what I gather from students and people, who knew Watazumi personally, he used madake ji-nashi flutes, and VERY good flutes for concerts and recordings. He chose them very carefully for each piece, as far as I hear.

david wrote:

I was also wondering (since we are talking about watazumi) if any of the flutes he(Watazumi) has personally made are out there? Has anybody played any flutes made by him?

I have. But unfortunately only a practice flute, Watazumi made for one of his students. It was of the type, 'make a flute quickly from what-ever bamboo available'. But it played really well in comparison with how quickly it looked like it was done (very rough way of cutting the root end, the finger holes cut roughly and not filed down smoothly and not much work done to the bore etc).

I understand that Watazumi's daughter and son in law have kept most of his flutes, although there was somewhat an agreement about who should have received them when he died. That happens apparently quite often... Hopefully they keep them well.

Cool pic, by the way... a little like a Watazumi-pose! smile


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

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#11 2009-07-11 13:35:56

Ryuzen
Dokyoku (Daishihan); Zensabo
From: Maderia Park, BC, Canada
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 104
Website

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

Thanks Kiku for the great and informative post! I agree with the terminology you used. Very helpful for clarification of this exquisitely murky pond!

Yokoyama Katsuya sensei told me once that “Shakuhachi is whatever you want it to be”. This I agree to be true and I believe is what folks like Watazumi-doso and Nishimura Koku were doing. These folks were highly creative artists (Nishimura Koku being an accomplished master of other arts including painting, carving, martial arts) and applied their fertile imaginations to their shakuhachi experience. Another term that Watazumi-doso also used other than “hocchiku” was: “DOGU” (instrument/tool) which he used after he acquired title “doso” (priest of the Way). He wanted to emphasize even more that his instrument was NOT a performance instrument but a meditative, philosophical tool. In fact, he even mentioned in one of his writings that “it is not necessary to stick to bamboo” and that other materials will be used in the future.

And this is one of the wonderful things about the shakuhachi experience; the wonderful platform for exercising one’s imagination! All the great shakuhachi players created and are creating their own worlds/universes which are all incredibly beautiful, valid, all adding to the depth and breadth of the shakuhachi experience. And it’s available to each and every one of us.


Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos
www.bamboo-in.com

Last edited by Ryuzen (2009-07-11 13:37:59)


I live a shakuhachi life.

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#12 2009-07-11 13:48:03

ABRAXAS
Member
Registered: 2009-01-17
Posts: 353

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

Ryuzen wrote:

Another term that Watazumi-doso also used other than “hocchiku” was: “DOGU” (instrument/tool) which he used after he acquired title “doso” (priest of the Way). He wanted to emphasize even more that his instrument was NOT a performance instrument but a meditative, philosophical tool. In fact, he even mentioned in one of his writings that “it is not necessary to stick to bamboo” and that other materials will be used in the future.

And this is one of the wonderful things about the shakuhachi experience; the wonderful platform for exercising one’s imagination! All the great shakuhachi players created and are creating their own worlds/universes which are all incredibly beautiful, valid, all adding to the depth and breadth of the shakuhachi experience. And it’s available to each and every one of us.

Ryuzen - great post!

Last edited by ABRAXAS (2009-07-11 13:50:24)


"Shakuhachi music stirs up both gods and demons." -- Ikkyu.

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#13 2009-07-11 19:42:27

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
Website

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

Ryuzen wrote:

Yokoyama Katsuya sensei told me once that “Shakuhachi is whatever you want it to be”.

smile


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#14 2009-07-11 22:04:56

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1040
Website

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

Ryuzen wrote:

... All the great shakuhachi players created and are creating their own worlds/universes which are all incredibly beautiful, valid, all adding to the depth and breadth of the shakuhachi experience. And it’s available to each and every one of us.


Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos
www.bamboo-in.com

Thanks for sharing Al. I totally agree. This is how it was shown to me. And I'd like to add that even novices who enjoy simple blowing have created their own universes that are no less incredible.

I took a great advanced Vinyasa Yoga class yesterday morning and the instructor asked at the beginning of the class if there was anyone new to yoga. One person raised his hand. Then she said something like, "It's important  to keep in mind, and this is for everyone, that Yoga is not competition. The person next to you may have been practicing longer, they may be in a posture longer than you, deeper than you, but your experience is not any less meaningful."


Namaste, Perry


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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#15 2009-07-11 22:24:59

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

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

Hi Kiku
I know you posted this a long time ago, but I only just noticed it due to recent activity on this thread, so I'd like to comment now.

Kiku Day wrote:

Hi David.

david wrote:

I think the European kyotaku enthusiasts agree that there are very specific details which make a flute a kyotaku, like having 7 nodes and the bore must be lacquered.

I would say, having 7 nodes is not what characterises a kyotaku. It is a common notion in all shakuhachi types, that the ones with 7 nodes is special.

I have been told by some of Nishimura Koku's students that Kyotaku MUST have 7 nodes. That is, whereas many shakuhachi do have 7 nodes and though it may be preferred, if they have 6, or 5 or 8 or whatever, they can still be shakuhachi, or even a sub-classification such as jinashi, nobe or whatever, but, cannot be Kyotaku. That's what I was told. So I think David has valid point. As we know, Nishimura's kyotaku are not different from all other shakuhachi, but, there are certain specifications such as this which are required for Kyotaku. Another, for example I believe is that they must be one piece (nobe). So these are really ways of defining a subcategory of jinashi shakuhachi (which for example a 6 node non-laquered 2 piece jinashi, even if wide bore 2.6, would seem to lie outside of).

Kiku Day wrote:

A interesting thing about the kyotaku discussion is also, that Nishimura Koku himself only considered his own flutes to be kyotaku, and the flutes made by his students were not kyotaku. Later on he told his close student, Agar, that Agar's flutes could be considered kyotaku as well. Agar would then be the only maker of kyotaku, apart from Nishimura himself... according to Nishimura.

From whom did you receive this information about Nishimura telling Agar that? Nishimura? Or Agar?

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#16 2009-07-11 23:14:22

Jeff Cairns
teacher, performer,promoter of shakuhachi
From: Kumamoto, Japan
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 517
Website

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

I'm not sure whether Agar was given permission by Koku sensei to call his flutes kyotaku, but I knew Agar some years ago and he called his personally made flutes kyotaku.


shakuhachi flute
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with holes in my bones

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#17 2009-07-12 00:18:05

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
Website

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

Jeff Cairns wrote:

I'm not sure whether Agar was given permission by Koku sensei to call his flutes kyotaku, but I knew Agar some years ago and he called his personally made flutes kyotaku.

I got one of Agar's flutes (from Jeff actually) and it was described as a kyotaku. But if one of the factors defining that is seven nodes, then it isn't because it's not even root end. Interesting and strange flute however.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#18 2009-07-12 11:44:22

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

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

The part I was interested about was specifically that apart from Nishimura Koku, ONLY those made by Agar and are kyotaku. It would be interesting to know if this information came directly from Nishimura Koku. Kiku?

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#19 2009-07-12 18:21:44

Ryuzen
Dokyoku (Daishihan); Zensabo
From: Maderia Park, BC, Canada
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 104
Website

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

Thanks for sharing Al. I totally agree. This is how it was shown to me. And I'd like to add that even novices who enjoy simple blowing have created their own universes that are no less incredible.

Perry, I've always felt this from the very start of my shakuhachi path. Still to this very day! The beginner's sound is absolutely beautiful! The struggle is the soul of the shakuhachi! The gifts are deeper than words can convey.

I took a great advanced Vinyasa Yoga class yesterday morning and the instructor asked at the beginning of the class if there was anyone new to yoga. One person raised his hand. Then she said something like, "It's important  to keep in mind, and this is for everyone, that Yoga is not competition. The person next to you may have been practicing longer, they may be in a posture longer than you, deeper than you, but your experience is not any less meaningful."

I think this SHOULD be the proper mindset in shakuhachi practice as well. This is the great challenge for us all. It all boils down to the fundamental problem of ego getting in the way of clear awareness which is that we are all related and connected. It's a messy game; and no one's perfect. All we can do is do our best with what we have. 

Yours in bamboo,

Alcvin
www.bamboo-in.com


I live a shakuhachi life.

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#20 2009-07-12 20:40:29

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

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

On the other hand, playing 'well' need have nothing to do with 'ego'. One can be a lousy-to-mediocre player and still be encrusted to the eyeballs with ego issues.

I also have known people who are able to keep ego well hidden under a featherbed of studied humility.

Last edited by edosan (2009-07-12 20:42:49)


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

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#21 2009-07-12 20:53:45

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
Website

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

edosan wrote:

. One can be a lousy-to-mediocre player and still be encrusted to the eyeballs with ego issues. I also have known people who are able to keep ego well hidden under a featherbed of studied humility.

OH MAN AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH!


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#22 2009-07-12 23:03:42

Jim Thompson
Moderator
From: Santa Monica, California
Registered: 2007-11-28
Posts: 421

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

Good one, Ed!


" Who do you trust , me or your own eyes?" - Groucho Marx

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#23 2009-07-14 12:28:15

Ryuzen
Dokyoku (Daishihan); Zensabo
From: Maderia Park, BC, Canada
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 104
Website

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

edosan wrote:

On the other hand, playing 'well' need have nothing to do with 'ego'. One can be a lousy-to-mediocre player and still be encrusted to the eyeballs with ego issues.

I also have known people who are able to keep ego well hidden under a featherbed of studied humility.

Very poetic, Ed and so true!


I live a shakuhachi life.

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#24 2010-06-08 16:51:03

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 917
Website

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

I have made a comment to my first post in this 'sticky' thread. This is to respond to some questions raised by Riley Lee.
It is by no means a satisfying response - I know. But a very short explanation here before I go into my 40 day meditation retreat. I will catch up with you on the forum after 25th July when I am back again.

Have a great summer and lots of shakuhachi playing!


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

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#25 2010-06-08 17:00:22

radi0gnome
Member
From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
Website

Re: Ji-nashi terminology

Kiku Day wrote:

...before I go into my 40 day meditation retreat. I will catch up with you on the forum after 25th July when I am back again.

Have a great summer and lots of shakuhachi playing!

40 days without email? I don't think I could do it. You know what would be a neat experiment? Keep a journal and then see if the activity in the forum while you are away in any way correlates to your thoughts and emotions during the retreat. Good luck on your journey.


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

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