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For those with an historical bent there is an interesting article at www.japanese-religions.jp/publications/previous.html written by German Buddhologist Max Deeg titled "Komuso and “Shakuhachi-Zen” ". Deeg explores 2 theses :
“First, flute playing mendicant monks of the early Edo period were integrated in the late Edo period into the existing system of the Zen denominations: During this process a line of legitimation had to be created which was connected with the specific feature of this new denomination, the playing of the shakuhachi. Simultaneously, there was a process of laicization, spiritualization and aesthetization of this distinguishing feature, the playing of the shakuhachi, which consisted of an amalgamation of virtuous musical practice and Zen-Buddhist conceptions of spirituality. This development occured during the 19th century, and intensified after the Meiji-restoration. Second, it was this line of interpretation of the tradition which prevailed after the abolishment of the Fuke-shu in certain circles playing the shakuhachi. It was this that, in turn, determined the Western
reception of classical Japanese music as a kind of spiritual practice.”