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#1 2007-08-29 13:16:38

inasilentway
Member
From: Rhode Island, USA
Registered: 2007-08-29
Posts: 3

scholarly resources on suizen?

Hello all, I'm new to this forum.

For an undergraduate senior thesis I am writing a paper that will deal partially with the topic of suizen. I make and play Native American style flutes, and will be recording observations on my own experience of this activity as a form of meditation practice. I have limited experience playing shakuhachi, but specifically I wish to compare the lesser-known meditative quality of Native American flute playing to the more developed understanding of shakuhachi playing as a formal meditation practice.

While published writing on Native American flute as an instrument of meditation is scarce, I haven't even been too much more successful digging up information on suizen.

By "scholarly resources," I basically mean anything in published form (i.e., in books or scholarly journals especially) that contains information on the Fuke sect, the komuso, and suizen. What little information I have been able to find that has sparked my interest, has not been well documented. For example, the wikipedia pages on these three keywords (Fuke, komuso, suizen) are very short and include no citations--and I was disappointed to find that even the page on the shakuhachi flute itself does not cite any references or sources.

Can anyone recommend any shakuhachi and/or Zen books from their studies that contain a fair amount of relevant information? Anything detailing the history and actual practice of shakuhachi as meditation would be helpful.

Thanks!
Dan

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#2 2007-08-29 14:41:09

Priapus Le Zen M☮nk
Historical Zen Mod
From: St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
Registered: 2006-04-25
Posts: 612
Website

Re: scholarly resources on suizen?

Welcome to the forum!

Ok as far as the material on Komuso and Suizen goes the only English source that I would say is clean and gives accurate facts would be the dissertation called Shakuhachi and Zen written by James H. Sanford. Other than that all the other stuff would be in Japanese.If you can read Japanese the book by Takahashi Kuzan is actually one of the best ressources on the subject. There is also the thesis of Riley Lee that has some pointers to the usage of Shakuhachi in Japanese Buddhism.

Hope this helps.


Sebastien 義真 Cyr
春風館道場 Shunpukan Dojo
St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
http://www.myspace.com/shunpukandojo

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#3 2007-08-29 15:48:30

jeff jones
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Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 113
Website

Re: scholarly resources on suizen?

Hello..Both the Sanford article and the Riley Lee thesis are great, and I would also suggest, Kaido Honsoku (1628) the Komuso Fuke Shakuhachi Credo: on early 17th century ascetic Shakuhachi ideology by Torsten Olafsson, and Tozan Ryu: an innovation of the Shakuhachi tradition from Fuke-shu to Secularism by Tone Takahashi, (the first section of this is great). They would both be good for history., I'm not sure about anything written specifically about suizen tough. But these both have a nice amount of early history, and might be good to use. They can both be gotten at Shakuhachi.com, I hope this helps.


Beauty is ugly at rest

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#4 2007-08-29 19:22:46

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

Re: scholarly resources on suizen?

inasilentway wrote:

Can anyone recommend any shakuhachi and/or Zen books from their studies that contain a fair amount of relevant information? Anything detailing the history and actual practice of shakuhachi as meditation would be helpful.

Hello!

There are also these works:

Eliott Weisgarber: The honkyoku of the Kinko-ryű: some principles of its
organisation", in: Ethnomusicology 12 (1968),

Donald P. Berger: "The Shakuhachi and the Kinko-ryű notation", in: Asian
Music I-2, Autumn 1969.

There is also this article. Sorry I forgot the name of the author:
"The History of the Kyotaku"
Asian Music  Vol. 8.2:47-63 Tibet - East Asia Issue (1977)

These are classical writings on the shakuhachi. You can get them on J-Stor.

Also, a very interesting aspect on the whole issue about suizen is, that this word does not appear in any hitorical documents till the Meiji period, e.g., after the abolition of the Fuke sect. Interesting!

Kiku

Last edited by kikuday (2007-08-29 19:23:42)


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

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#5 2007-08-29 22:46:30

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

Re: scholarly resources on suizen?

kikuday wrote:

There is also this article. Sorry I forgot the name of the author:
"The History of the Kyotaku"
Asian Music  Vol. 8.2:47-63 Tibet - East Asia Issue (1977)

Authorship doesn't seem to be credited, at least in the citation in JSTOR. In the introduction to the volume, Gen'ichi Tsuge implies that it is his own scholarly translation of ancient source materials. It may become clearer when I get to take a better look at the article itself.

Rich


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

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#6 2007-08-30 03:30:29

Christopher Yohmei
Shihan/Kinko-Chikumeisha
From: Tokyo
Registered: 2007-06-16
Posts: 13
Website

Re: scholarly resources on suizen?

One of the best resources on Suizen and the history of the Fuke sect was written by Yuukou Kamisangou,originally published (in Japanese) as liner notes for a recording by Sakai Chikuho and later republished  in "Shichikuron Josetsu" (1995). I translated and edited this essay which forms the last part of my book, "The Shakuhachi, Manaual for Learning." (Ongaku no Tomo-sha, 1986). The book is presently out of print, but I am presently re-writing it and plan to re-publish it by the time of next year's international shakuhachi festival in Sydney (July 4-8, 2008). The book is still availabe in many university and Japan Foundation libraries around the world.
Good luck.

Christopher Yohmei

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#7 2007-08-30 10:13:58

jeff jones
Member
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 113
Website

Re: scholarly resources on suizen?

I can't believe I forgot to mention Mr. Blasdel's book, it has been a great source for history, please forgive me. The book is now out of print, but I checked shakuhachi.com and there are still a few in stock.


Beauty is ugly at rest

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#8 2007-08-31 02:24:59

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3203
Website

Re: scholarly resources on suizen?

Here's a very interesting auto-interview on the matter:

http://shakuhachiforum.com/viewtopic.php?id=1302


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#9 2007-09-01 21:23:41

nomaD43
Member
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: 2006-07-22
Posts: 96
Website

Re: scholarly resources on suizen?

The full text content of Dr. Riley Lee's dissertation "YEARNING FOR THE BELL: A STUDY OF TRANSMISSIONIN THE SHAKUHACHI HONKYOKU TRADITION" can be found at: http://www.rileylee.net/Thesis14Mar06%2 … index.html
There is also another doctoral dissertation on the subject, though from my memory there is little of "suizen" discussion, is "Shakuhachi: Aspects of History, Practice and Teaching" by Andreas B. Gutzwiller (1974). The copy I have is from UMI Dissertation Services, 1995.
I would be very interested in hearing if you find any definitive documentation on Komuso/Fuke practice and tradition, as well as the meditative applications of Native American Flute. I have long been a fan of this sound, particularly R. Carlos Nakai.
Best wishes and welcome to the forum.
Damon

By the way, where in RI are you? Have you been to the Providence Zen Center in Johnston? It has been years since I have sat zazen in that wonderful space, or played Kyorei on the banks of their pond.

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#10 2007-09-02 10:31:27

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

Re: scholarly resources on suizen?

I have added a shakuhachi reading list to my website. There are also blogs of European summer schools and new MP3s.


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

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#11 2007-09-02 14:00:48

marek
Member
From: Czech Republic
Registered: 2007-03-02
Posts: 184
Website

Re: scholarly resources on suizen?

Hi,

another useful source is http://www.shakuhachi.cz/en_rec.html. A detailed study of Kyorei and some notes on Suizen by Vlastislav Matousek PhD, my teacher.

Regards,

Marek


"what are you gawping at!?"
                                          Uchiyama Roshi
 
" www.komuso.cz !"

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#12 2007-10-15 19:00:44

inasilentway
Member
From: Rhode Island, USA
Registered: 2007-08-29
Posts: 3

Re: scholarly resources on suizen?

Thank you all for your responses. I haven't been online much since my hard drive died (not long after I started this thread), so it took me a while to get around to finding it again. I think I will try to see what I can get for free on JSTOR first, then maybe order one of the books on shakuhachi.com, like Ronnie Seldin's Sui Zen perhaps: http://www.shakuhachi.com/PG-Seldin-SuiZen.html

Many of those books and dissertations are a bit out of my price range, so I'm going to have to limit myself to just one, and try to choose whatever seems like it will be most relevant to my research. However, I'm very grateful for all of your suggestions, and will certainly refer back to this thread when the need arises.

Marek, just so you know the link you provided in the post above seems to be broken.

nomaD43 wrote:

By the way, where in RI are you? Have you been to the Providence Zen Center in Johnston? It has been years since I have sat zazen in that wonderful space, or played Kyorei on the banks of their pond.

I'm in the southern part of RI, near URI, but the state is so small it doesn't make much difference anyway right? The Providence Zen Center is indeed beautiful, I've only been there once, I believe it is in Cumberland though.

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#13 2007-10-16 14:07:42

marek
Member
From: Czech Republic
Registered: 2007-03-02
Posts: 184
Website

Re: scholarly resources on suizen?

Sorry, the right link is http://www.shakuhachi.cz/en_rec.html (without the dot at the end).

Cheers,

Marek


"what are you gawping at!?"
                                          Uchiyama Roshi
 
" www.komuso.cz !"

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#14 2007-10-16 17:04:57

inasilentway
Member
From: Rhode Island, USA
Registered: 2007-08-29
Posts: 3

Re: scholarly resources on suizen?

ah, my mistake. Should've noticed that. Thanks!

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#15 2007-10-16 18:09:16

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

Re: scholarly resources on suizen?

I have added a short introduction to shakuhachi history and suizen to my site at http://www.shakuhachizen.com/shakuhachi_history.html. For more in depth and scholarly analysis there is an even longer reading list at http://www.shakuhachizen.com/reading_list.html.


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

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