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Does anybody know anything about this Ryu and its music? There are a lot of pieces, but recordings and notation are scarce. Shodo Sakai taught "Murasaki Reibo" in this style at Sydney. He said it's dying out because it's so difficult to play.
You've probably already read this from Riley Lee's thesis and are asking for more information, but just to add to the thread:
Kinko ryű and Taizan ha were not the only new institutions created that transmitted koten honkyoku. In Ky˘to immediately after the dissolution of the Fuke sect, the My˘an Shinp˘ ryű (明暗真法流, 'My˘an True Dharma Sect') was important in continuing the honkyoku tradition after the Fuke sect era. Founded by Ozaki Shinryű (尾崎真龍, 1820-1888), its leading proponent was one of Ozaki's students, Katsuura Sh˘zan (勝浦正山, 1856-1942). Sh˘zan became the head of My˘an ky˘kai in 1881 (see above), and was influential amongst a great number of honkyoku players. He left My˘an ky˘kai soon after the arrival of Taizan. Outliving almost all of his contemporaries, Katsuura came to be known as the last of the komus˘. Although there is no longer an organization called My˘an Shinp˘ ryű, much of Katsuura's repertoire continues to be transmitted today both by individuals and as part of the repertoire of other organizations (Kamisang˘ 1974:20).
Chikuho ryű, a small school in the Kansai area founded in 1916 by Sakai Chikuho I (初代酒井竹保, 1892-1985) is one organization in which shakuhachi players continue to transmit Katsuura's repertoire. Chikuho I learned as many as sixty honkyoku from the My˘an Jimp˘ ryű, first of all from a student of Katsuura, Minamoto Unkai (源雲界), and later directly from Katsuura himself. Sakai's two sons, Chikuho II (二代目酒井竹保, 1933-1992), and Sh˘d˘ (酒井松道, b.1940) added to the Chikuho ryű repertoire koten honkyoku other than that of the old My˘an Shinp˘ ryű. Today the repertoire of the Chikuho ryű lists as many as seventy pieces koten honkyoku, more than any other ryű (see Lee 1986:289-290 for a complete list of honkyoku in the Chikuho repertoire).
The English part of Chikuho's homepage has a "What is Shinpo Ryu?" section that might be of interest. In particular, Sakai himself is apparently learning Shinpo Ryu from a guy named Sagara Yasuyuki (相良保之), who's also a hitoyogiri researcher.
In the page above, Chikuho quote Hogaku Journal as calling Shinpo Ryu "completely different from the authentic classical Honkyoku. Especially in terms of the spiritual aspect". On the other hand, on the Chikuho page of "Shakuhachi World" (the website with a bunch of old 78s), the webmaster says that he's heard two tracks that Katsuura played on, and they reminded him of Tozan Ryu. (He doesn't seem to have put those tracks up on the page, though.)
Sounds like pulling some bamboo-industry strings to get in touch with Sagara would be your best bet? He can't be that hard to track down if he's giving interviews to HJ.
Last edited by No-sword (2008-09-14 08:20:14)