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#1 2009-03-22 11:16:18

Jon Kypros
Flutemaker
From: Norfolk VA
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 259
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Dokyoku Confusion

Dokyoku honkyoku pieces were created or arranged by Watazumi Roshi in the 20th Century and were inspired by the old Koten honkyoku however Dokyoku honkyoku pieces are referred to as Koten honkyoku and they are listed on komuso.com under "honkyoku" and not under "modern honkyoku". Should this incorrect categorizing of Dokyoku honkyoku not be fixed?

Last edited by Jon (2009-03-22 20:27:50)


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#2 2009-03-22 11:58:40

Bogert
Member
From: Amagasaki-shi, Hyogo-ken
Registered: 2005-12-05
Posts: 203

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

I think only part of those on that list are Watazumi creations, some are real koten honkyoku with the Watazumi flare. 
About half seem to be Watazumi honkyoku.  Indeed though, I think the others should be listed as modern honkyoku.


理趣経百字の偈
菩薩勝慧者 乃至尽生死 恒作衆生利 而不趣涅槃 般若及方便 智度悉加持 諸法及諸有    一切皆清浄 欲等調世間 令得浄除故 
有頂及悪趣 調伏尽諸有 如蓮体本染 不為垢所染    諸欲性亦然 不染利群生 大欲得清浄 大安楽富饒 三界得自在 能作堅固利

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#3 2009-03-22 15:24:04

Jon Kypros
Flutemaker
From: Norfolk VA
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 259
Website

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Bogert wrote:

I think only part of those on that list are Watazumi creations, some are real koten honkyoku with the Watazumi flare. 
About half seem to be Watazumi honkyoku.  Indeed though, I think the others should be listed as modern honkyoku.

The pieces that are similar are none the less "remixed", to use a modern term and are by definition not the originals. However, it is shakuhachi tradition to remix pieces like Jinbo sanya which is an arrangement of another sanya, some say echigo. However, because Watazumi arranged or created pieces in the 20th century does that not make all his pieces "modern honkyoku"?

Last edited by Jon (2009-03-22 15:34:28)


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#4 2009-03-22 16:44:59

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
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Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Jon wrote:

The pieces that are similar are none the less "remixed", to use a modern term and are by definition not the originals.

Please explain how his versions of "Honshirabe", or "Tamuke" for example are so radical as to qualify them as new compositions, or how his version of "Yamagoe" differs so much from the source material "Kyushu Reibo" as to be a new composition.


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#5 2009-03-22 17:15:50

Jon Kypros
Flutemaker
From: Norfolk VA
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 259
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Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Tairaku wrote:

Please explain how his versions of "Honshirabe", or "Tamuke" for example are so radical as to qualify them as new compositions, or how his version of "Yamagoe" differs so much from the source material "Kyushu Reibo" as to be a new composition.

I'm not sure how much a piece has to be changed from the original source to qualify as a new composition but if it is changed or renamed in modern times doesn't that make it a "modern honkyoku"?


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#6 2009-03-22 19:15:10

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
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Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Jon wrote:

Tairaku wrote:

Please explain how his versions of "Honshirabe", or "Tamuke" for example are so radical as to qualify them as new compositions, or how his version of "Yamagoe" differs so much from the source material "Kyushu Reibo" as to be a new composition.

I'm not sure how much a piece has to be changed from the original source to qualify as a new composition but if it is changed or renamed in modern times doesn't that make it a "modern honkyoku"?

Nope. wink

I would say if you recognize the tune and the structure it's the same piece. Songs are very elastic and withstand a great range of interpretation. This goes for all music, not just honkyoku.

Some of Watazumi's stuff is either new composition or improvisation. But most of it is traditional. The style of playing might be modern but the music itself is traceable to previous sources. Watazumi was quite an educated shakuhachi musician.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

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#7 2009-03-22 20:22:14

Jon Kypros
Flutemaker
From: Norfolk VA
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 259
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Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Thank you for your guidance Brian. I'll need further experience beyond observing labels and dates. smile


My site flutedojo - jinashi shakuhachi bamboo flute maker.

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#8 2009-03-22 21:04:30

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

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

I'm not a "Dokyoku" player, hopefully one or two of our members who are will clarify some of these points.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#9 2009-03-23 08:25:23

Bogert
Member
From: Amagasaki-shi, Hyogo-ken
Registered: 2005-12-05
Posts: 203

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

I'm currently studying with a student of Yokoyama Katsuya's, Ishikawa Toshimitsu.  I asked him where Sokkan came from.  He thought that one was a Watazumi composition, but wasn't sure.  I know for example Sanya is almost exactly the same as the Myoan Taizan-ha Sanya Kyoku as well as others.
I'm not sure about:
Daiotsugaeshi
Jyakunen
Kaze
Motogaeshi
Mushirabe
Sagari Nami
Sokkan
Ukigumo

If anyone knows whether these are koten honkyoku or Watazumi compositions I'd love to know.  I know he was part of a Myoan school, the Icchoken revival school, or something like that, could be pieces that come from that school.  Icchoken has a lot of koten honkyoku. 
Just a thought.  Any input would be great.


理趣経百字の偈
菩薩勝慧者 乃至尽生死 恒作衆生利 而不趣涅槃 般若及方便 智度悉加持 諸法及諸有    一切皆清浄 欲等調世間 令得浄除故 
有頂及悪趣 調伏尽諸有 如蓮体本染 不為垢所染    諸欲性亦然 不染利群生 大欲得清浄 大安楽富饒 三界得自在 能作堅固利

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#10 2009-03-23 09:10:32

Josh
PhD
From: Grand Island, NY/Nara, Japan
Registered: 2005-11-14
Posts: 305
Website

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

From what I've heard Jyakunen, Sokkan and Ukigumo are his pieces. Not sure about the others though.

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#11 2009-03-23 15:45:16

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

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Thanks guys..........wonder where our other "Dokyoku" members are.......usually they're quite vocal! wink


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#12 2009-03-24 09:08:29

Josh
PhD
From: Grand Island, NY/Nara, Japan
Registered: 2005-11-14
Posts: 305
Website

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Yes, it seems that after our recent short break and reflection time we have lost a few people.. I hope everyone makes friends and comes back out to play again smile

It seems that Tairaku nailed it with his explanation of Watazumi's pieces. I think Bogert's list is mostly Watazumi's creations, be it original songs or improvisations, but his honkyoku are basically his take on traditional pieces. One of the reasons he left Icchoken was because he basically wanted to do things his own way. So if he felt he was still being true to the honkyoku he learned he kept the name, if it was his own creation he gave it his own title. But there are also pieces like Sanan, Furin, Shingetsu etc. that seem very close to the original, but he felt they needed a new name that more reflected the feeling of the song. He was a complex individual as is his music.

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#13 2009-04-03 09:55:49

Jon Kypros
Flutemaker
From: Norfolk VA
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 259
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Re: Dokyoku Confusion

I have heard that Japanese traditional arts evolve slowly over time. I know that changes we might view as not very significant are perceived differently by others. So what is our barometer?


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#14 2009-04-03 15:37:44

chikuzen
Dai Shihan/Dokyoku
From: Cleveland Heights,OH 44118
Registered: 2005-10-24
Posts: 402
Website

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

I would say that you should you definitely should call Watazumi's stuff Koten or Koden Honkyoku since that's where it originated. If we called it modern honkyoku we'd have to call everyone's version modern honkyoku even if they varied only a little. Here are a few reasons I say that:

  Here's something that might help but not satisfy you. I was taught by Taniguchi Sensei that as long as you don't destroy the ESSENCE of the song, you can have some "artistic license".  Notice, I didn't say, "anything is ok", because it's far from that. The fact is that everyone, including Watazumi, comes from somewhere. When teaching one teaches a "raw bones" version of the song. That means the original transmission as you got it initially. Along with this you teach the ESSENCE of the song. You may learn the song several times over the course of 4 or 5 years or more with your teacher. If the teacher is aware of what he's doing he'll teach you several different "versions". Probably nothing radically different but changes here and there. Yokoyama Sensei did this naturally by playing it somewhat differently each time even during the same lesson. That's real confusion for a while. (The ole $50. a Note Twenty Year Plan For studying Shakuhachi). Back to the point(s). Over time, your Tamuke can change. This way of thinking is more prevalent, I believe, in the Watazumi/Yokoyama/Taniguchi WAY as they were all renegades themselves. If you are upholding a traditional way of playing, i.e. Meian, Kinko, you try your best to play it the traditinal way with the understanding that individual differences are going to occur without trying to make them occur. This is what I call "non-self expression" or "traditional expression" vs the type of stuff these three players (earlier mentioned) did which was to try to be different which is "self expression". Of course, they were just "being themselves". The big danger here is when the ESSENCE hasn't been transmitted which is what happens with impatient teachers and students. I doubt that Watazumi had the patience or the same student long enough to do this, but I don't really know. Then, there is the thing about the Shin, Gyo, Soo concepts borrowed from calligraphy. I didn't study calligraphy formally but Taniguchi said that basically Shin is the act of outright copying the sensei's character by putting your piece of paper directly over the top of the teacher's and imitating the strokes. A sort of block print style. This would be following the transmission to a T by imitation. Gyo would be moving through various transformations (permutations) of the character when it's morphing but you can still recognize the version you are working off of and "see it" in the new version. SOO is something extremely different from the original so that you certainly won't recognize the beginning block print version. We all know that often the "stage version" of a song that the teacher played on stage seemed to differ from the "lesson version". This stage production version would probably fall into the GYO type as the teacher wouldn't normally do something radical on stage but would do something different. This would account for some differences. If someone played the SOO versions on stage, they wouldn't be playing FOR the audience at all but just for themselves. This is usually done at home where there's no harm done. I don't think Watazumi cared about that. Hearing all the stories that are adrift about him it's not surprising. He didn't seem to care about what the "status quo" was as far as what "normal" people are conscious of. Or at best, he took it for granted that you had a high shakuhachi IQ and the strong personality.

  I have mentioned a book titled, "Form, Style, Tradition; Reflections on Japanese Art and Society" by Shuichi Kato before. It's pre computer, having been published in 1970 or thereabouts, and therefore a bit dated but it's still a good insight into this subject. They had several copies on amazon.com for just a few bucks two weeks ago.

Last edited by chikuzen (2009-04-03 19:06:46)


Michael Chikuzen Gould

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#15 2009-04-03 16:51:06

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

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Jon wrote:

I have heard that Japanese traditional arts evolve slowly over time. I know that changes we might view as not very significant are perceived differently by others. So what is our barometer?


Don't worry, be happy...


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

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#16 2009-04-04 00:25:44

mrwuwu
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 160

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Regarding Chikuzen's post about the availability of Shuichi Kato's book, Form, Style, Tradition ,  at Amazon .com   ,  he is being very thoughtful to us because his mention of the book being available for a couple of bucks was the lowest price available used,   the newest used and best condition   "Paperbacks"  were priced at $200 plus dollars!!!     I found a used hardcover library copy from the same page for 5 bucks and 3 $ shipping.  Domo Arigato Gozaimasu,  Chikuzen Sensei !!!    Sorry to hijack the thread,  but I will definitely attend your Shakuhachi Summer Camp in June.   See you there!!!    Clinton Moy


" You know, it's been three years now, maybe a new teacher can help you? ...... " Sensei

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#17 2009-04-04 01:02:59

Jon Kypros
Flutemaker
From: Norfolk VA
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 259
Website

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

chikuzen wrote:

I would say that you should definitely call Watazumi's stuff Koten or Koden Honkyoku since that's where it originated. If we called it modern honkyoku we'd have to call everyone's version modern honkyoku even if they varied only a little. Here are a few reasons I say that: " "

Thank you Michael. That clears up a lot for me and I get it now. So only the honkyoku that Watazumi Doso created need to be recategorized.


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#18 2009-04-04 02:10:03

madoherty
Moderator
Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 366

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

chikuzen wrote:

"Form, Style, Tradition; Reflections on Japanese Art and Society" by Shuichi Kato.

Not that it needs punctuation, but it is a very good / informative book.

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#19 2009-04-04 09:48:20

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

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Jon wrote:

chikuzen wrote:

I would say that you should definitely call Watazumi's stuff Koten or Koden Honkyoku since that's where it originated. If we called it modern honkyoku we'd have to call everyone's version modern honkyoku even if they varied only a little. Here are a few reasons I say that: " "

Thank you Michael. That clears up a lot for me and I get it now. So only the honkyoku that Watazumi Doso created need to be recategorized.

Apparently, you still don't get it...


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

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#20 2009-04-04 09:49:31

STUPID HIPPY
Member
Registered: 2009-04-04
Posts: 20

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

edosan wrote:

Jon wrote:

chikuzen wrote:

I would say that you should definitely call Watazumi's stuff Koten or Koden Honkyoku since that's where it originated. If we called it modern honkyoku we'd have to call everyone's version modern honkyoku even if they varied only a little. Here are a few reasons I say that: " "

Thank you Michael. That clears up a lot for me and I get it now. So only the honkyoku that Watazumi Doso created need to be recategorized.

Apparently, you still don't get it...

It is a bummer but at the same time it is meaningful.


Zen and Bamboo are one. Or is it two? Far out.

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#21 2009-04-04 10:45:41

Bogert
Member
From: Amagasaki-shi, Hyogo-ken
Registered: 2005-12-05
Posts: 203

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

I think he means the ones that are Watazumi originals.. or that seem to have no koten/koden origins.


理趣経百字の偈
菩薩勝慧者 乃至尽生死 恒作衆生利 而不趣涅槃 般若及方便 智度悉加持 諸法及諸有    一切皆清浄 欲等調世間 令得浄除故 
有頂及悪趣 調伏尽諸有 如蓮体本染 不為垢所染    諸欲性亦然 不染利群生 大欲得清浄 大安楽富饒 三界得自在 能作堅固利

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#22 2009-04-04 11:49:20

Jon Kypros
Flutemaker
From: Norfolk VA
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 259
Website

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Yes I am referring to the Dokyoku honkyoku composed with koten honkyoku elements and inspired by koten honkyoku which are not reworkings of an existing koten honkyoku. Outside of Watazumi Dokyoku Other such compositions are categorized as "modern honkyoku". It would be a bummer if one would let categorization and history determine the merit of the piece.

For clarification sake for anyone joining this thread - we've determined that honkyoku pieces that are new individual "versions" of older koten honkyoku pieces and which retain the essence of the originals are considered koten honkyoku while pieces which are not versions of older pieces and are composed in modern times do not generally get the designation of koten honkyoku even if the pieces contain koten honkyoku elements and are inspired by them.

Last edited by Jon (2009-04-04 12:08:41)


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#23 2009-04-04 17:27:22

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

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

There is a lot of confusion about which songs are actually old and which are new compositions based on old concepts and names. Some people say that almost all of the current Myoan repertoire are actually new compositions. Nobody seems to know which, if any, songs come from an unbroken transmission. The oldest continuous stream is Kinko, which we know to be compositions of Kurasawa Kinko. But even those have changed which can be verified by trying to play those pieces on a flute made by Kinko. Some of the current techniques can't be performed.

Does anybody know which of the pieces Watazumi recorded which are NOT recognized honkyoku are improvisations? And which are his own compositions? Compositions meaning pieces he wrote and played the same melodies for each time he played them.

Some of them sound like pure improvisation to me. Which opens up another interesting question. If someone like Watazumi improvises is that honkyoku? If not, why not?


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#24 2009-04-04 17:36:48

madoherty
Moderator
Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 366

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

Tairaku wrote:

If someone like Watazumi improvises is that honkyoku? If not, why not?

What is the definition of honkyoku?  That might get us closer.

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#25 2009-04-04 17:45:03

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

Re: Dokyoku Confusion

madoherty wrote:

What is the definition of honkyoku?  That might get us closer.

I wouldn't touch that with a 10 shaku pole.

Anyway I barely made it out of high school and this forum is infested with Ph.D. types maybe this is for them. wink

None of us have the opportunity to see Watazumi perform. All we have now is the recordings and videos. But when I listen to them some are recognizable honkyoku from the repertoire, some are unfamiliar but consistent in sound and style with honkyoku and some are clearly flights of fancy. But Watazumi did not categorize himself as a musician and probably thought his improv was more consistent with honkyoku than "free jazz" for example, a style he was also familiar with. But that's just speculation.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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