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#101 2010-04-17 23:01:03

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

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Tairaku wrote:

Do you know why Yokoyama licenses gaijin, but not Japanese? That's what you mean, right? I didn't know that.

.
Funny? I have Japanese friends in Japan that have license's from Yokoyama. What gives here?


Michael Chikuzen Gould

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#102 2010-04-17 23:01:35

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

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Offhand I can't think of very many unlicensed teachers out there hanging up a shingle. People like Kiku don't count because her ryu doesn't do licenses. She's certainly qualified to teach Okuda style honkyoku after many years of study and doesn't try to teach things like sankyoku that she's not ready for. I think in the West the vast majority of the teachers have licenses. Some maybe shouldn't but that's another argument.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#103 2010-04-17 23:02:50

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

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

chikuzen wrote:

Tairaku wrote:

Do you know why Yokoyama licenses gaijin, but not Japanese? That's what you mean, right? I didn't know that.

.
Funny? I have Japanese friends in Japan that have license's from Yokoyama. What gives here?

Don't know, Kiku made that statement. Must be mistaken.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#104 2010-04-18 02:46:08

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1061
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Well, this is interesting. First, I'd like to thank to Tairaku , Charles and Kerry for speaking up for me in my absence.  A deep bow.

Sorry, this looks like it's going to be a long one. Please do not read this unless you really really want to.

Thanks for your questions Brian. It makes me realize how little the public knows of my approach with the shakuhachi. I am one of those who teach and do not have an Iemoto license. But I feel I have permission to teach through two entities:

1) The Japan United States Friendship Commission, which I specifically mentioned sharing the shakuhachi through performing and teaching in my application. This grant allows the grantee access to Japan's traditional crafts in hopes that cross-cultural artistic pollination will help cultural understanding through the arts. Their goal is that the artist will take something traditionally Japanese and share it through their own art. The competition is stiff and they chose carefully who they think will be successful in assimilating the craft. From the JUSFC website:

"Nothing is as meaningful and influential as exchanges that take place between artists. Perhaps not readily noticeable or quantifiable in terms of material benefits, artistic impulses which travel from one culture to another mature slowly within the individual artist, and the result is that society as a whole benefits."

When applying for this grant, I submitted my work samples of the previous six years (1996-  2002), which included video documentation of live performance of me making and using the shakuhachi in outrageous costumes (if you think Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter is crazy...).  I explained that often times these shows take place in public schools and require a talk-back or accompanying lectures and demonstrations. These talk backs often involve the shakuhachi, which is clearly why I need this grant. I was very clear in describing my approach and desire to use the shakuhachi in very contemporary, non traditional situations.

The judges were comprised of highly practiced and culturally sensitive Japanese and American artists and arts professionals. At least one was a shakuhachi master.

As a grantee, I am required to acknowledge the JUSFC in my bio in any public event, in a similar way that a traditional musician is required to use his Iemoto name when performing. This, I would say is my license to share the shakuhachi my way.

I studied both making and playing the Dokyoku syle of Watazumi on Jinashi, Hocchiku and Modern Jiari with Kinya Sogawa. I studied Sankyoku with Christopher Blasdel, Jin Nyodo Honkyoku with Keisuke Zenyogi and modern techniques with Akikazu Nakamura.  On informal visits, I learned much about Jiari making with Motofumi Tatekawa (Oshu), Spot Tuning with John Neptune and rattan work  (and much more) with Tom Deaver. There were other makers I visited with such as Eigoro Murai, Kitahara and others. They all taught me much.

While in Japan, I had one brief conversation about licensing with Christopher. He said for what I wanted to do, that probably would not be a viable goal as it wouldn't happen right away anyway. But more importantly, it would be frowned upon if I studied with other teachers. In his brief description on the Iemoto system, getting a license meant there were many fee obligations and restrictions on how you can perform the music. Since my mission in Japan was to learn as much as possible about the shakuhachi and it's music, I chose to learn from as many people as possible and not become indoctrinated into one.

Of course, I fell in love with all the styles and gained immense respect for all the traditional music and the process of transmission. After I came back from Japan in 2003, I began to charge for lessons mainly because a baby was on the way. But, regardless of whether I charge a fee or not, I felt free to teach because the the Japanese Government  gave me permission to not only share one of their traditional arts, but allowed me to "officially" merge it with my performance work. As I understand it, this may not have been possible in a strict Iemoto system. Since 2003, I've played the shakuhachi in over 50 college campuses and over a dozen theater venues across America.

I clearly understand that this is not an Iemoto license and I'm up front about it. I always tell people that they can study a variety of styles up to the intermediate level. My #1 student has gone through several Dokyoku pieces, Jin Nyodo versions of Kyorei and Kumoi jishi. He clearly understands that he's learning different styles and who taught me which pieces. We are both challenged. I understand clearly Michael's point about teaching a song 1000 times. I am not posing as a master, just a teacher. All my students know they are free anytime to find another more appropriate, or better teacher anytime. I tell them right off the get go that I will gladly recommend a teacher anytime they are ready. I do not charge monthly fees. They schedule lessons when they want. 

When you visit my website, the first thing you see is my name followed by Shakuhachi maker, Performer and then Teacher. Although I love teaching, I do not push it. Performing, making and repairs are my priority.

So why do I teach? Because people come to me. When we came back from Japan and my partner was pregnant, I wanted to focus on how to bring in income and making proved to be the best choice as I could work at home. But, students started to appear. At one point, they were starting to eat into my making time and I thought about stopping the lessons. I talked about this to my partner and she said, "People are coming to you, imagine if Kinya or any of the others in Japan turned you away."

I agree with everyone here who says that live, face to face lessons are the best. I've written that many many times on countless threads. I've also written that I think alternative teaching methods are useful for those who can not take a face to face lesson for what ever reason.

In the 7 years that I have been teaching, I have interacted with people from all over the world, from all walks of life. Many have asked about Skype lessons but I prefer not to teach this way as I simply do not like using Skype. I haven't said this publicly because I do not want to taint it for anyone considering this method. In fact, I normally recommend to my Skype inquiries that they contact any of the teachers here who do use Skype and see who fits them.

Jon asked why can't I make time for Skype? Because my time is precious and I want to enjoy every minute of it. Last week, I had 6 live lessons, 2 of which I was the student (one was a Tozan lesson!) I only work M-F 10am - 2:30pm due to my children's school schedules. When they are home, I would rather focus on them, how they are developing. I love the shakuhachi, but I love my family more.

My Mp3 /Video lessons are a personal tailored responses to the individuals' playing. They are not prerecorded. Sure, I understand that it is not the best way to teach as I can not see how they are holding the flute. But I always make sure to remind them not to grip, relax ...the fundamentals

A good portion of the people who are inquiring about MP3/video lessons have some real problems with face to face lessons. Some are mental, some are physical. My partner and I are presently in the mist of finding an alternative learning school for our children. Our daughter is presently in public schools but our son is in daycare. We are not 100% happy with the regurgitation method of public school teaching and found a Charter school that focuses on the individual child where each learns on his/her own speed and is guided accordingly. As we walked the hall ways, we noticed that about 10% of the kids were differently-abled. I then became aware that I don't see any of these kids in my daughters public school.

I know for a fact that my video lessons offer an avenue usually not accessible to those who are some how different. Should they have access to the shakuhachi in a way that makes them feel more comfortable? I say yes. They have been told that I think face to face lessons are the best.

2)Finally! Since 2003, my main teacher has been Ralph Samuelson . Ralph has the licenses but does not offer it to his students. However, all his senior students teach - Ned Rothenburg, Elizabeth Bennett, Shoji Mizumoto and others. Ralph has encouraged me to teach and has even sent new students to me when he was out of town. In the 7 years that I have been with Ralph, we never once had a talk about licenses until, believe it or not, last week. Ralph doesn't offer them. I never wanted one. This only came up because I recently accepted 2 new students and thought that I went over my head. I was already behind in making and repairs and am presently working on a theater production so in a moment of exhaustion during a lesson with Ralph, I mumbled that I didn't want to teach anymore. He then exclaimed (and I'm paraphrasing) "But you can play! You should teach! You are not a master of one style but you have made the shakuhachi your life....there are people out there holding up these licenses ...!" I won't write what he said as that was said in private. Since, Ralph has urged me to teach, I feel I have two non traditional licenses or permissions (which ever is less offensive). When Ralph left, I was reminded about what my partner said about Kinya. These new students came to me specifically. I can not turn them away.

From the website of the JUSFC:

"...they go as seekers, as cultural visionaries, and as living liaisons to the traditional and contemporary cultural life of Japan. The outlook they bring home provides an unparalleled opportunity to promote cultural understanding between the United States and Japan. Cultural understanding is at the heart of this program."

Because of my non traditional experience of learning under a multitude of masters, I have gained a different perspective from the traditional approach. And, feel I have something to share. I apologize to those who are offended by this

Time for bed, I had a great day with the kids, I am not going to respond to any attacks.

- Perry

Last edited by Yungflutes (2010-04-18 03:50:33)


"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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#105 2010-04-18 03:37:01

BrianP
Member
From: Ocala, FL
Registered: 2006-11-03
Posts: 289
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Thanks for the thoughtful response Perry smile  Like I said, I am open minded and in a lot of cases silence breeds misunderstanding.  I am glad you gave some background so I can understand where you are coming from more thoroughly.  Hopefully, you didn't see anything I posted as an attack. 

Once again, thanks for the time and a deep bow to you sir!

Brian


The Florida Shakuhachi Camp
http://www.floridashakuhachi.com
Brian's Shakuhachi Blog
http://gaijinkomuso.blogspot.com

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#106 2010-04-18 03:46:01

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 922
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Thanks for your post, Perry.
It is impressive all the things you are able to embrace.
I did have a look on your video teaching on vimeo as one of my students is constantly asking me to do something similar. I liked looking at your methods as we all teach differently. Teachers can learn among themselves too in this digitalised world.

Nice!

The strict iemoto system as you mention of course still exists. But even in Japan there are changes to this system occuring. There are people stepping out of it and there are teachers being less strict with the attitude of having to have only one teacher.
This has been noticed by several researchers looking at the iemoto systems in traditional music in Japan. I have done some work and a colleague of mine Shino Arisawa did a lot of work on iemoto systems in the jiuta sōkyoku world.
Very inspiring and as always with living traditions - there is space for changes however gradually they might be.

The many teachers and makers around is a sign of the growing popularity of the shakuhachi. I think sooner or later we will somehow be able to judge better the level of teachers and makers. We are in a changing phase... These kind of discussions are actually very important so we all get more awareness of the problems there might be.


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

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#107 2010-04-18 03:56:08

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 922
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Tairaku wrote:

chikuzen wrote:

Tairaku wrote:

Do you know why Yokoyama licenses gaijin, but not Japanese? That's what you mean, right? I didn't know that.

.
Funny? I have Japanese friends in Japan that have license's from Yokoyama. What gives here?

Don't know, Kiku made that statement. Must be mistaken.

Sorry, I should have written he only gives teaching licenses to Japanese players - that is what I have been explained. It was a late night post. I should be more careful! smile

I have learned this from Veronique Piron who explained to me that the Japanese players do not get what is called shihan and not an artist name. She also explained Yokoyama only gives non-Japanese a name if you ask him specifically for it. This was also confirmed by Jim Franklin in a conversation. Jim learned from Yokoyama directly while he was still playing.

I have not researched into the system of KSK so I am only quoting second hand information.

BrianP wrote:

Kiku Day wrote:

What about Nishimura Kokū, Okuda Atsuya, Watazumi-dō who do not/did not pass on licenses?

What about Yokoyama Katsuya who doesn't license his Japanese students?

Or Kurahashi Yoshio who were not licensed but has licensed many?

I think the aforementioned players are obvious exceptions to the rule.  They have been discussed earlier.

But it still gives the problem of how do we judge and for how long are you not accepted as a good teacher until you convince the world.
For example, Michael Soumei Coxall only got his license 2 years ago or so. But he has taught at SOAS, University of London for many years. I learned from him when he was not licensed and I can assure you - he is an excellent teacher and has fully embraced the tradition. His love for shakuhachi is really something. So much that I had to acknowledge him in my PhD thesis thanking him for inspiration just by the love he radiates.
Anyway, was he not a good teacher before he got licensed from Mizuno sensei, Chikumeisha? I think we all know there are exceptions - but how are people to know? That is the problem!


BrianP wrote:

BTW, great to hear from you Kiku.  Long time no talk smile

Thank you, Brian!
Yeah, the past 6-7 month have been the busiest and craziest in my life - I think.
And trying to prepare a sankyoku/shinkyoku program has been quite time consuming since I am literally a beginner in these genres. To my surprise it has been really enjoyable! I've loved the work! And playing with Keiko Kitamura on koto is fantastic! smile

Last edited by Kiku Day (2010-04-18 04:32:58)


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

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#108 2010-04-18 09:07:10

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1061
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

BrianP wrote:

Thanks for the thoughtful response Perry smile  Like I said, I am open minded and in a lot of cases silence breeds misunderstanding.  I am glad you gave some background so I can understand where you are coming from more thoroughly.  Hopefully, you didn't see anything I posted as an attack.

No problem Brian, I greatly respect your teacher...and I enjoyed our nights in the tent at the shakuhachi camp wink

I only saw where this thread had gone late Friday night, after doing a 12 hour film shoot. Then I had my kids all day Saturday. I haven't been on the BBQ all week.

Once again, thanks for the time and a deep bow to you sir!

Brian

Back to you!

Kiku Day wrote:

Thanks for your post, Perry.
It is impressive all the things you are able to embrace.
I did have a look on your video teaching on vimeo as one of my students is constantly asking me to do something similar. I liked looking at your methods as we all teach differently. Teachers can learn among themselves too in this digitalised world.

Thanks for your kind reply Kiku!

Please feel free to email, or Skype (...maybe not;)) me directly with questions and I'll gladly help in anyway I can.

Interesting to know how relaxed the Iemoto sounds now.
- Perry

Last edited by Yungflutes (2010-04-18 09:10:58)


"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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#109 2010-04-18 11:45:53

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

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

BrianP wrote:

Thanks for the thoughtful response Perry smile  Like I said, I am open minded and in a lot of cases silence breeds misunderstanding.  I am glad you gave some background so I can understand where you are coming from more thoroughly.  Hopefully, you didn't see anything I posted as an attack. 

Once again, thanks for the time and a deep bow to you sir!

Brian

If Ralph has given his blessing to Perry to teach that's good enough for me.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#110 2010-04-18 12:12:19

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

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

This topic is about using videos to teach shakuhachi let's keep it there, more or less wink and move other ideas into their own topics.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#111 2010-04-18 12:56:40

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

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Jon wrote:

Tairaku wrote:

If Ralph has given his blessing to Perry to teach that's good enough for me.

I asked Perry above to please explain to what degree.

Probably Ralph expects that Perry wouldn't teach something he doesn't know.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#112 2010-04-18 22:27:11

Kerry
Member
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 183

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Jon wrote:

for my own edification
Are you considered by Ralph to be able to teach everything from beginning to end? In other words, to what degree does he feel you can teach in the Kinko Ryu?

Jon,
This is obviously extremely important to you. This is a question for Ralph Samuelson, plain and simple. In fairness to all involve, especially yourself. This is the most edifying thing you could do to finally find the answers you seek. You could also ask him what he thinks about videos as an inferior teaching method compared to skype. Go straight to the source! A simple reference. Another shihan's take on the matter. This would be excellent. smile


The temple bell stops, but the sound keeps coming out of the flowers. -Basho

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#113 2010-04-18 23:51:07

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1061
Website

Re: Preserving teachings in the age of Youtube

Kerry wrote:

Jon wrote:

for my own edification
Are you considered by Ralph to be able to teach everything from beginning to end? In other words, to what degree does he feel you can teach in the Kinko Ryu?

Jon,
This is obviously extremely important to you. This is a question for Ralph Samuelson, plain and simple. In fairness to all involve, especially yourself. This is the most edifying thing you could do to finally find the answers you seek. You could also ask him what he thinks about videos as an inferior teaching method compared to skype. Go straight to the source! A simple reference. Another shihan's take on the matter. This would be excellent. smile

Hi Kerry, good thought, but Ralph prefers not to discus these things on the forum. And in respect to him, I feel I should not discuss his way of teaching. But since I mentioned Ralph, I will answer these questions as they apply to me.

Jon wrote:

Hello Perry,
I understand your position now of course after your explanation that these individuals are coming to you, not you to them, and that they understand all the options etc. I am curious about some things about your experiences for my own edification and I am sure others may be curious?


I know you received the grant to go to Japan in 2002 and came back in 2003 but I am curious how much time you spent with each individual listed below?

Yungflutes wrote:

I studied both making and playing the Dokyoku syle of Watazumi on Jinashi, Hocchiku and Modern Jiari with Kinya Sogawa.

I started with two to three 3 hour sessions a week depending upon Kinya's schedule. Near the end, we spent almost every day together as we collaborated on a performance with Yoshito and Kazuo Ohno, legendary father and son Butoh team.

Yungflutes wrote:

I studied Sankyoku with Christopher Blasdel, Jin Nyodo Honkyoku with Keisuke Zenyogi and modern techniques with Akikazu Nakamura.  On informal visits, I learned much about Jiari making with Motofumi Tatekawa (Oshu), Spot Tuning with John Neptune and rattan work  (and much more) with Tom Deaver. There were other makers I visited with such as Eigoro Murai, Kitahara and others. They all taught me much.

Once a week with each teacher. Visited Tatekawa san four or five times. He always had me stay for dinner with his family. John Neptune one afternoon about 4-5 hours. Tom Deaver a whole day. Muria san socially late into the night. I played his flutes and we drank sake with Christopher. Kitahara for about two hours.

I was also curious what the frequentcy of your lessons with Ralph have been over the past 7 years?

I attended most of Ralph's Honkyoku workshops, including the Sankyoku intensives with Yoko Hiraoka on Koto. I think he had 3 or 4 a year. Individual lessons the first years were a little spread out because the kids were just born. But the lessons picked up gradually. I saw Ralph twice recently and will see him about three times in the next two weeks because of another Koto workshop with Yoko.

Are you considered by Ralph to be able to teach everything from beginning to end? In other words, to what degree does he feel you can teach in the Kinko Ryu? Do you feel you can teach sankyoku, or rather do you practice sankyoku or is it just the Kinko Ryu 36 Honkyoku?

You must have missed my statement about not being indoctrinated into an Iemoto. I do not teach within that system. Again teaching music is a small part of what I do with the shakuhachi. I continue to learn and play new Sankyoku pieces as I enjoy playing the style very much, and it helps my making. I would not offer to teach Sankyoku. I prefer solo Honkyoku.

Yungflutes wrote:

However, all his senior students teach - Ned Rothenburg, Elizabeth Bennett, Shoji Mizumoto and others. Ralph has encouraged me to teach and has even sent new students to me when he was out of town.

Once again just curious as the level of teaching isn't mentioned.

As I mentioned above, I prefer not discuss what others do here. In fact, I should not have mentioned  them at all, it was late when I wrote the response. However, I would like to make a correction, I meant Elizabeth Brown, not Bennett. My apologies to both Elizabeths.

Lastly, did you ever go back to Japan to learn more about shakuhachi making and or playing after the first tour? If so what were your experiences?

I went back to Japan twice while passing through on performing tours to Honk Kong and Vietnam.  I did brush up lessons and bamboo digging in 2004 and I learned San'an in 2006.

In the end, my JUSFC grant gives me the right to teach as their mandate is to spread traditional Japanese culture through American artists. Out of thousands of artists who applied in 2002, I was one of five that was lucky enough to become, as the JUSF website describes, a cultural ambassador.

Because of your query Jon, I will upload a full description of my shakuhachi work here on the Forum when I get a chance.

Last edited by Yungflutes (2010-08-27 09:29:35)


"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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