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#1 2010-04-18 02:10:14

Justin
Shihan/Maker
From: Japan
Registered: 2006-08-12
Posts: 540
Website

Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Here's a lively conversation! I find this topic interesting.

Kiku Day wrote:

Wow! Amazing and lively discussion! smile
I do understand people feel more secure in the hands of licensed teachers....
but I have also heard licensed teachers who play out of tune - constantly.

What about those?

Just as with any qualifications there are good and bad. This largely depends on who gives the license. A degree from Oxford or Cambridge has more weight than from some other establishments. So also some schools have a reputation for being more, or less strict on issuing Shihan licenses. And once you have someone who plays poorly, qualified and issuing licenses, you may have a whole string of poor shihan. But I think this has been covered in a previous thread. The shihan system may not be perfect but actually it works quite well and does function as a way of regulating standards, particularly within schools.


Kiku Day wrote:

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

Watazumi was put forward by the shakuhachi community of Hakata, and even supporting town officials, to be the head of Itchouken and gaining the title "Itchou Fumon". I think that qualifies him pretty well, regardless of whether or not there was specific mention of "Shihan" before being elected to head the lineage.

I'm not sure whether Tani Kyochiku had a shihan system in his school. Perhaps not. If not then it's irrelevant that Nishimura Koku didn't have a shihan. What is relevant is whether he taught with permission from his teacher. Some school's work on an official shihan system of permission, some work on other systems of permission.

Okuda Atsuya studied under Yokoyama Katsuya for 2 or 3 years, perhaps not long enough for him to acquire his shihan. But he made his own way of playing anyway so I doubt he would like to be a part of Yokoyama's organisation, which being a shihan means. I have heard that Okuda has been or was trying to make his own school with an official structure, which he has named "Zensabo". I don't know how far he has come with that and whether he is yet or may in future offer licenses? I know that he charges a joining fee, as is common when joining a ryu.

When I spoke with his several years ago he said his top student was Kodama, but that Kodama was not yet at the level to be a teacher. So that might be a reason for not issuing shihan license yet for his school. Kiku I am not saying that you yourself are in my opinion not good enough to teach. I'm just repeating what Okuda said. But I know that he says some pretty weird things. Such as, his promotional material claims that he is "the only master of the instrument [jinashi shakuhachi] since the passing of Nishimura Koku and Watazumi Doso." This is utterly disrespectful when there are so many jinashi players and teachers throughout Japan of many different lineages! And he has also claimed he is the only ji-nashi player and he is the only successor of Watazumi. This is even more ridiculous! As far as I understand his only teacher was Yokoyama. Yokoyama was Watazumi's student. And there are other students of Watazumi also still alive (and Okuda is certainly not one of them), and of course there are many students of Yokoyama and of those other teachers who studied under Watazumi. So for Okuda to learn from Yokoyama for a few years and then claim he is the only successor of Watazumi is utterly ridiculous, and utterly disrespectful!

Perhaps this is a good example of the benefits of the shihan system. When someone is issued a shihan certificate, it is documentary proof of legitimacy. Then the students can be assured that this person had the confidence of their teacher, and permission to teach. It is proof of a transmission of lineage. Without that, and bearing in mind the stories that some people create, a lot of doubt and confusion can arise. So I think it is good for the lineage that licenses are issued.

As I have been researching shakuhachi lineages more and more, I have discovered various instances of misinformation and deliberate deceit and falsifying of lineage/transmission. This has made me feel more strongly the usefulness of licenses and documents, for the sake of continuing clarity and open honesty as the lineages continue through time.

Kiku Day wrote:

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

Would you like to elaborate? Yokoyama does issue licenses to his Japanese students who qualify for the licenses.

Kiku Day wrote:

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

Someone closer to Kurahashi may be able to give more clarity on this but I wonder if this has to do with school affiliation. He said to me something about having been connected to Chikuyusha I think, but no longer, becoming independent. So perhaps that is involved. There is also again the situation of being authorised to teach by his father, continuing his school and having a clear lineage.

Kiku Day wrote:

Would a shihan-licensed teacher who has played 5 years be better than someone unlicensed who has taught for 20 years?

Quite possibly, yes. But also quite possibly no. Being a better player or being a better teacher cannot be calculated in years. As you noted above, someone may be a teacher but play constantly out of tune! So it doesn't really matter how many decades they have been playing out of tune for.

In the end, one cannot calculate how good someone is at teaching or at playing by how many years they have done it, nor even by whether they have an official qualification or not. However, the official qualifications are very useful. Just as there are bad doctors and good doctors, if I had to choose blind, I would choose a qualified one over one with no qualifications. That is concerning music and teaching ability. But this also applies to lineage, indeed more so. Shihan licensing is proof of authentic lineage. This may not be important to everyone, and that's fine. But for those for whom it is important, this is a good system to follow.

Last edited by Justin (2010-04-18 02:39:48)

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#2 2010-04-18 03:26:57

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

Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Justin wrote:

When I spoke with his several years ago he said his top student was Kodama, but that Kodama was not yet at the level to be a teacher. So that might be a reason for not issuing shihan license yet for his school. Kiku I am not saying that you yourself are in my opinion not good enough to teach. I'm just repeating what Okuda said. But I know that he says some pretty weird things. Such as, his promotional material claims that he is "the only master of the instrument [jinashi shakuhachi] since the passing of Nishimura Koku and Watazumi Doso." This is utterly disrespectful when there are so many jinashi players and teachers throughout Japan of many different lineages! And he has also claimed he is the only ji-nashi player and he is the only successor of Watazumi. This is even more ridiculous! As far as I understand his only teacher was Yokoyama. Yokoyama was Watazumi's student. And there are other students of Watazumi also still alive (and Okuda is certainly not one of them), and of course there are many students of Yokoyama and of those other teachers who studied under Watazumi. So for Okuda to learn from Yokoyama for a few years and then claim he is the only successor of Watazumi is utterly ridiculous, and utterly disrespectful!

Justin, I seem have the effect waking you up! Welcome back to the forum smile
The way you come at me makes me only want to answer to one aspect of your post because you still get so angry about the heritage of Okuda that you do not know enough about and don't want to learn.

Promotional material is not only written by the person him/herself. I for example once read some promotional material about Riley Lee saying:

"His studies with traditional teachers in Japan have included such peculiar methods as practicing barefoot in the snow, running marathons, and blowing into his flute in blizzards until icicles formed at the shakuhachi's end".
Taken from promotional material for a concert at the Gualala Arts Center.

I thought first there were some misinformation as it can be understood as these 'methods' are traditional methods taught by these traditional teachers. I thought to myself 'how can Riley write this?' But then by chance Riley explained on this forum that he just did the icicle thing as an experiment and promoters have loved the story which has since then been used a lot.
http://shakuhachiforum.com/viewtopic.php?id=3090
Here I understood it wasn't particularly Riley who wrote it....

I have also read the material saying Okuda was the only master of jinashi shakuhachi since the passing of Nishimura and Watazumi. I don't know who wrote that - right now I can't remember where this is written - but one thing is sure - Okuda did no write it himself! If you become a well known person there will be loads of material out there about you that you probably will think 'ok - is that how they see it but it is not how I see it'. Lots of people write stuff describing what they hear and how they understand the world. It is not always directly representative of the performer him/herself.

But before you get the strong words such as ridiculous or disrespectful... perhaps you should try a big breath and perhaps look into your own anger.
The rest of us would like to continue the discussion! wink


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

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#3 2010-04-18 04:38:09

Justin
Shihan/Maker
From: Japan
Registered: 2006-08-12
Posts: 540
Website

Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Kiku Day wrote:

Justin wrote:

When I spoke with his several years ago he said his top student was Kodama, but that Kodama was not yet at the level to be a teacher. So that might be a reason for not issuing shihan license yet for his school. Kiku I am not saying that you yourself are in my opinion not good enough to teach. I'm just repeating what Okuda said. But I know that he says some pretty weird things. Such as, his promotional material claims that he is "the only master of the instrument [jinashi shakuhachi] since the passing of Nishimura Koku and Watazumi Doso." This is utterly disrespectful when there are so many jinashi players and teachers throughout Japan of many different lineages! And he has also claimed he is the only ji-nashi player and he is the only successor of Watazumi. This is even more ridiculous! As far as I understand his only teacher was Yokoyama. Yokoyama was Watazumi's student. And there are other students of Watazumi also still alive (and Okuda is certainly not one of them), and of course there are many students of Yokoyama and of those other teachers who studied under Watazumi. So for Okuda to learn from Yokoyama for a few years and then claim he is the only successor of Watazumi is utterly ridiculous, and utterly disrespectful!

Justin, I seem have the effect waking you up! Welcome back to the forum smile

Hi Kiku.

Kiku Day wrote:

The way you come at me makes me only want to answer to one aspect of your post because you still get so angry about the heritage of Okuda that you do not know enough about and don't want to learn.

I'm not coming at you. What made you think that?
You say that I don't know enough about this and don't want to learn. What makes you think that?

If I had chosen to learn about Okuda's lineage from you, I would have believed that Okuda had been asked to play jazz for Yokoyama as Watazumi told Yokoyama it would improve his shakuhachi. What a fanciful story! You explained how that was the only time Okuda went to Yokoyama, and that they were on equal terms, that Okuda played a piece for Yokoyama and then Yokoyama played a piece for Okuda. And that this was for Yokoyama's benefit! Furthermore you explained that Okuda had learned shakuhachi not from Yokoyama but from various old master etc across Japan when he was younger.

Kiku Day wrote:

What Okuda did was to wander around Japan in his youth and collect
pieces from old masters around the country probably in the 1960s.

This story is quite simply untrue. I understand that you may have believed it yourself as it was told to you. However you were presented with information by Ray Brooks and by myself to the contrary, and I expect plenty of other people may also have informed you. But you publicly called Ray Brooks a liar. So perhaps it is you who "doesn't want to learn".

You may be forgetting that I am myself a student of Yokoyama, and that I am also a student of and friends with various other people who were studying under Yokoyama during the years that Okuda was also studying under Yokoyama. I also have many friends in the shakuhachi community here in Tokyo and elsewhere who have been happy to share with me much background information.

I had specific interest in this as I did myself study a few pieces from Kodama, Okuda's top student. When I asked Kodama who Okuda's teacher was, he told me that he didn't know. That was unusual, and so I have spent time researching this topic.

You say that I am angry about it. I would say that there may be both some frustration and some anger. I have a passion for shakuhachi. I am also a foreigner, but living here in Japan. So I have a foot in both the Japanese shakuhachi world (mainly) and also a foot in the international shakuhachi world since I participate in this forum and various interactions abroad. So I have care towards to continuation of shakuhachi music, and of the spreading of shakuhachi music, culture and history internationally. In this respect it has been frustrating to see certain lies and misinformation being spread, whether deliberately or not, in the foreign shakuhachi community. To be frank, yourself being a university scholar, you could do your research about your own lineage a little better!

After the drama on the euroshak email list when you called Ray Brooks a liar and then he appeared on the list, it was publicly evident that Okuda had indeed studied under Yokoyama.

Kiku Day on Euroshak yahoo group 2006 wrote:

From Ray's book many
have learned that Okuda Atsuya was a student of Yokoyama Katsuya.
Although Ray covered it up by using a synonym for Okuda, for some
reason everybody knows it is Okuda Ray is 'describing'. It is rare I
will use words such as liar about a person, but I really think Ray is -
and and opportunist.

To remind you, this was in 2006 when, in a conversation on that yahoo group I was writing about teaching styles and in passing mentioned Okuda having studied under Yokoyama. You then responded with a long mail about Ray Brooks' book Blowing Zen and how he was a liar for saying Okuda had learned from Yokoyama, and how I had evidently got my information from that book. In actual fact my source of information was someone else entirely. I was shocked at your strong reaction to this fact.

So since then the story changed. Before it was that Okuda had only been there once, basically to teach Yokoyama by playing jazz for him.

Kiku Day on Euroshak yahoo group 2006 wrote:

Once - according to Okuda, Yokoyama's mother asked Okuda to
go to Yokoyama place to play jazz for him. The reason being that
Watazumi had told Yokoyama that he needs to listen to jazz if he wants
to become a good honkyoku player...! And so they met and exchanged
music, Okuda made Yokoyama listen to jazz (playing trumpet) and
Yokoyama played Hi Fu Mi Hachigaeshi for Okuda. Thus Okuda says he can
accept if people say he have learned that piece from Yokoyama, but
nothing else.

Then the story changed after that to

Kiku Day in 2008 shakuhachi forum wrote:

Okuda liked the environment at the time at Yokoyama's dojo, so he hung around.

This I suppose is to try to account for the fact that people witnessed him regularly going to Yokoyama's lessons. So the old story doesn't fit any more and needs this new alteration. But the old part still remains:

He told me he learned one piece from Yokoyama, which was... I forget... Hi fu mi hachigaeshi (I think), because he liked that version of that particular song.

Are you starting to get suspicious yet?

Kiku Day wrote:

Promotional material is not only written by the person him/herself.
[...]
I have also read the material saying Okuda was the only master of jinashi shakuhachi since the passing of Nishimura and Watazumi. I don't know who wrote that - right now I can't remember where this is written - but one thing is sure - Okuda did no write it himself!

Perhaps you did not notice what I also wrote above:

Justin wrote:

And he has also claimed he is the only ji-nashi player and he is the only successor of Watazumi.

This is what he has said directly, more than once, himself, clearly, to shakuhachi players in the US.

Justin wrote:

But before you get the strong words such as ridiculous or disrespectful... perhaps you should try a big breath and perhaps look into your own anger.
The rest of us would like to continue the discussion! wink

You are effectively saying that I am not worthy to participate in this discussion. How rude.

When I see misinformation being spread in the international shakuhachi world, I have a choice before me. I can either ignore it, or I can try to remedy it. It is easier to ignore it, in some sense. And standing up against it can be unsettling as people may have vested interests to protect, and things can become quite complicated. A search for truth can be a hard journey sometimes. In this case I have chosen to speak out for the sake of open dialogue, and the relevance of truth and reliability as it relates to this topic of teaching and licensing. I also care for the people who may be receiving misinformation. It can be unpleasant to believe mistruths about ones teacher or lineage only to find it out after many years. Or even after generations have gone by. If a Okuda claims to have learned from various old masters in the 60's, his students or students' students may believe that the pieces and techniques actually come from these claimed lineages. I believe that this is not healthy, and feel it is wrong to perpetuate such misinformation when it is known to be untrue. I also think it is unacceptable to claim to be the only jinashi player or successor of Watazumi, and this misinformation has a good chance of disrupting proper learning in the shakuhachi community. This is giving a false picture of the true state of the shakuhachi community here in Japan, where there are many teachers of Watazumi's lineage and many teachers of various lineages teaching on jinashi shakuhachi. This world may not be so visible to the international shakuhachi world as the jinashi scene is not as visible as some other scenes. That makes it easier for misinformation to go unnoticed, especially abroad. As a jinashi player myself and as a student of several jinashi teachers, I feel some obligation to speak up about this.

Teaching the style is fine. I am not complaining about that at all. Anyone is free to create their own style of playing. But you of all people Kiku, being a researcher, should have some caution when teaching the historical and cultural side of things, which are indeed valuable aspects of shakuhachi. culture.

Last edited by Justin (2010-04-18 05:13:40)

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#4 2010-04-18 05:14:18

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

Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Justin,
Why I think you are coming at me? You just answered.
Would you just stop doing this, honestly?
And I am not excluding you from the discussion. But I would like to discuss shakuhachi matters and not personal anger.

Last edited by Kiku Day (2010-04-18 05:20:07)


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

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#5 2010-04-18 05:37:31

Justin
Shihan/Maker
From: Japan
Registered: 2006-08-12
Posts: 540
Website

Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Kiku Day wrote:

Justin,
Why I think you are coming at me? You just answered.
Would you just stop doing this, honestly?
And I am not excluding you from the discussion. But I would like to discuss shakuhachi matters and not personal anger.

Hi Kiku
If you go back again and read my post (#119)[EDIT Now post #1 as this topic has been cut from it's original topic here http://www.shakuhachiforum.com/viewtopi … 46&p=5 ] you will see that I am not referring to you at all. I mentioned you only once and then only to clarify that I was not talking about you! But every time this topic is raised you either start calling people liars or try to have the conversation ended. This time your response was that I "do not know enough about [it] and don't want to learn." I'm sorry but if you make statements like that you can only expect me to bring up the details, as I have done. And then yes I do end up quoting you, as you are one of the sources of information in this topic. So please don't be surprised.

To reiterate, I am not coming at you, and I have always tried my best to get along with you. I have always tried to treat you with the respect as I would anyone else, and will continue to. This is not a personal matter but a matter of lineage, transmission, truth, history and culture. This does involve people of course, but hopefully we can step back and see things in context.

Last edited by Justin (2010-04-18 12:29:42)

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#6 2010-04-18 07:28:50

Christopher B.
Member
From: Berlin, Germany
Registered: 2009-03-17
Posts: 235
Website

Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Hey, this one is getting really active.

Justin wrote:

But you of all people Kiku, being a researcher, should have some caution when teaching the historical and cultural side of things, which are indeed valuable aspects of shakuhachi. culture.

I dont know much about history and linages so I will keep out of this discussion in this case....I dont know and it doesnt matter to me what happened in the past. I have spend some time with Kiku as her student and I was asking some question and as I can say with my limited expierence she uses caution by talking about things like that.

But anyways I will keep out. Just a short question about playing in tune.

I am a student of some Myoan Honkyoku teachers here in Germany. So what about playing in tune with that "older" schools? I never heread about playing in tune from my teachers they just say "It should be a little bit lower or higher" I dont have a tuner besides me always when I have lessons so does tune matter when you play in a "tradional" matter? All the schools are quite old but I cant imagine that some monks care about tune while playing in spiritual practice.

Last edited by Christopher B. (2010-04-18 07:40:06)


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#7 2010-04-18 09:19:29

Justin
Shihan/Maker
From: Japan
Registered: 2006-08-12
Posts: 540
Website

Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Christopher B. wrote:

I am a student of some Myoan Honkyoku teachers here in Germany. So what about playing in tune with that "older" schools? I never heread about playing in tune from my teachers they just say "It should be a little bit lower or higher" I dont have a tuner besides me always when I have lessons so does tune matter when you play in a "tradional" matter? All the schools are quite old but I cant imagine that some monks care about tune while playing in spiritual practice.

Hi Christopher
Playing "in tune" just means playing at the correct pitch, so does not necessarily have anything to do with "tuners". If your teacher is telling you to play a little bit higher or lower, he is teaching you how to play in tune.

There is no singular "traditional way" but many different traditional ways. These also all change over time. In most of these, pitch is quite important. But there are schools which place more importance on this, and others which place less. Generally the schools who play only honkyoku and no other genre are often less strict about pitch. This is connected with the fact that musicians who play in ensemble are forced to play in tune otherwise the ensemble won't work well. This often trains them to more more sensitive to pitch and have greater control over their pitch production.

I would not necessarily think that spirituality should exclude care for accurate pitch. Think for example of the various Christian monk lineages who use singing in their spiritual practices, such as Gregorian chant. Those that I have heard seemed to take care in their control of pitch. The same I would say about Muslim spiritual singing and other music making.

The thing to remember is that "in tune" is relative. Each school has their own way of playing. And this changes over time. So what was once "out of tune" becomes standard for a school, and passed down as "in tune". So then it is indeed "in tune" for that school. These changes often happen unconciously, but sometimes also by choice, from the musical tastes of the teacher involved. And, there are schools who really don't mind very much.

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#8 2010-04-18 09:26:54

Christopher B.
Member
From: Berlin, Germany
Registered: 2009-03-17
Posts: 235
Website

Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Hey Justin,

thanks for the information. Yeah I know what "in pitch" or "in tune" mean before. I was just curious about the connection with playing in spiritual practice. So it depends on the school and the teacher and how much they take care about pitch.

Again thanks for the information.


In reality it is Ha,Ro,Ha,Ro... ~Sensei~
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How do you know that life is a dream? Cause there is a way to wake up!
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#9 2010-04-18 12:10:57

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
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Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

I split this off from the other topic which was really about video teaching. Once Justin entered it went off into another direction.

OK Kiku, Justin has raised some points here which are legitimate. Namely, how much did he study with Yokoyama and was Yokoyama his "main" teacher? If not, who specifically did he learn the tunes he teaches from? I don't know how important the hype allegations are (such as 'only jinashi master since...etc.) because Japanese traditional music is more full of that BS than teenybopper pop bands.

It seems to me that if Okuda has set up his own ryu, outsiders, prospective students, and even actual students and teachers in the ryu such as yourself might want to know the origin of the ryu. Some questions here are "is it an offshoot of a specific ryu?" or instead "is it a combination of previous schools, if so, which?" or "is it a new original way of playing?" etc.

To me statements like "Okuda learned songs from a bunch of old guys in the 60's and 70's" is unsatisfactory simply because I'd like to know more. In the case of Jin Nyodo and Watazumi who learned from various sources, in many cases we know what those sources are.

If for some reason there is mystery about the origins of Okuda's repertoire I suppose that's his business but then there will also inevitably be skepticism such as that voiced by Justin. So that's part of the deal and must be endured. Clarity is the only thing that can dispel it. Maybe you should post a new topic, "Brief History of Zensabo".


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#10 2010-04-18 12:57:54

BrianP
Member
From: Ocala, FL
Registered: 2006-11-03
Posts: 289
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Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Awesome questions Brian and also thank you Justin for all the time you take in research and education on shakuhachi!


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#11 2010-04-18 13:10:51

Jon Kypros
Flutemaker
From: Norfolk VA
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 259
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Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

I was mislead when I started out by Okuda Atsuya information. The stories that Justin is mentioning are the vary ones that made me, as a beginner back then, want to learn from him and had me thinking that somehow Dokyoku, and specifically Okuda, was the most original honkyoku. Of course, as I learned more about the Jin Nyodo honkyoku I found this all to be untrue or incorrect and it left a sour taste in my mouth over Dokyoku, which I still had minimal understanding of. Everything is cleared up now and I understand Dokyoku but it was a powerful illusion for me as a beginner.

Last edited by Jon (2010-04-18 13:17:42)


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#12 2010-04-18 14:17:17

Dun Romin
Member
From: Holland
Registered: 2008-04-19
Posts: 136

Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Funny and sad at the same time to see the differences of looking to culture and history between American - and European based backgrounds. I've seen this happen before on the Forum, like I saw it happen in person. I think it's good never to forget that there are differences in the way people from different backgrounds look at the same facts. Also if they speak the same language.
In this case, to clear the painfully different views, like Brian already suggested, it would be a good thing to do some research. But please let it be done by an undependent third.
smile Wouldn't it be great if we could all have the same vademecum of the shakuhachi-lineages, including playing- and teaching styles?
Anyway this discussion MIGHT be considered a nice proof why preserving lessons on internet MIGHT be a good thing for the unity in knowledge now and in the future.

Last edited by Dun Romin (2010-04-18 14:19:04)


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#13 2010-04-18 15:38:53

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
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Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Jon wrote:

I was mislead when I started out by Okuda Atsuya information. The stories that Justin is mentioning are the vary ones that made me, as a beginner back then, want to learn from him and had me thinking that somehow Dokyoku, and specifically Okuda, was the most original honkyoku. Of course, as I learned more about the Jin Nyodo honkyoku I found this all to be untrue or incorrect and it left a sour taste in my mouth over Dokyoku, which I still had minimal understanding of. Everything is cleared up now and I understand Dokyoku but it was a powerful illusion for me as a beginner.

Jon are you saying Okuda himself told you he played Dokyoku and that he plays the legitimate form? Or just that you picked this idea up from various sources and came to that conclusion yourself?

Almost every school except Tozan claims to have the oldest and purest honkyoku. We know for sure that Kinko is the longest unbroken line, although the way they play it has certainly changed. And those were original compositions by Kinko Kurasawa so it can't be the "oldest" songs.

Whether anything preceding Kinko has survived in anything like its original form seems to be a matter of debate. Various Myoan lines, including Watazumi's, make claims that they are playing older stuff but who knows for sure? Nobody.

Some styles may seem simpler, purer or more rustic and we might think that's evidence of antiquity but could instead be new compositions that sound old.

This is why the best thing to do is find the music you like to listen to and play and learn that without putting too much faith in the hyperbole.

This is one of the reasons I like playing Edo flutes because in that case at least you know the flute is old even if the music isn't! wink


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#14 2010-04-18 18:23:54

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

Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Tairaku wrote:

Jon are you saying Okuda himself told you he played Dokyoku and that he plays the legitimate form? Or just that you picked this idea up from various sources and came to that conclusion yourself?

He didn't tell me himself but I read and was told information from other sources but I came to no conclusions on my own. Although the way things are worded and presented I feel mislead which could be seen as coming to a conclusion. I either read or was told that Dokyoku, as taught by Okuda, was closer to the roots of Honkyoku and that Okuda traveled around and collected pieces after having been a student of Watazumi. This, I suppose, is where words and opinion get tricky. Is it closer to the roots? What does "closer to the roots" mean? For me back then it simply meant older and more authentic!

Tairaku wrote:

This is why the best thing to do is find the music you like to listen to and play and learn that without putting too much faith in the hyperbole.

This is solid advice and such an important thing for myself which is on my mind all the time lately. Once the mystique washes away from any Ryu you can hopefully enjoy it for what it is.

Tairaku wrote:

This is one of the reasons I like playing Edo flutes because in that case at least you know the flute is old even if the music isn't! wink

Word. I'll have to get my self out to California one day and try and meet up with John Singer and others to have this experience. Exciting prospect!

Last edited by Jon (2010-04-18 18:40:06)


My site flutedojo - jinashi shakuhachi bamboo flute maker.

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#15 2010-04-18 18:27:29

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
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Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

I don't think Okuda was a student of Watazumi.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

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#16 2010-04-18 18:45:38

Jon Kypros
Flutemaker
From: Norfolk VA
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 259
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Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Yeah once I got my Ryu's in a row and learned more about Dokyoku etc. I pretty much disregarded any other information on Okuda, his playing aside.


My site flutedojo - jinashi shakuhachi bamboo flute maker.

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#17 2010-04-18 20:18:28

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

Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Sorry guys. Offline for a while preparing for the gig in Oman - in case the European airspace opens up.

I don't mind trying to clarify the best I can - but not when somebody is again digging up old, old cases that I have apologised for long ago.
I am - of course - not Okuda himself. So I can only repeat what he has told me. So this is what I am going to do.

Okuda did go to Yokoyama's place. How many month/years he went there to learn and to hang around (which he always says became more important for him as there were many interesting people there) he never clarified - and I never asked - sorry. What he always says is that the honkyoku playing of Yokoyama did not catch his interest enough to stay on and he therefore does not feel Yokoyama was/is his teacher then and today. That is what he told me. I am only repeating here.

Okuda himself says he is autodidact and that is his simple answer.

He told me he went to all concerts he could possible go to of different players - in particularly Watazumi.

Okuda told me he has especially researched into older scores. He did a lot of that in the komuso kenkyu-kai. He also traveled to several players to hear and see their scores (if they allowed him). But he has never mentioned names to me because he says they never had a big influence on him - but that he learned a lot from listening to different players.

He mentions Okamono Chikugai fondly as the single most important direct 'in person' influence and source for his research. Okamoto had a great collection apparently of score, writings etc. So if you really need a name of a teacher - perhaps Okamoto is the closest - but I have never heard Okuda saying this.

So, he has only mentioned two names of players he was in direct contact with and they are Okamono and Yokoyama. And then Watazumi's concerts. Watazumi was - for Okuda - the one!
If you ask Okuda directly whether Yokoyama was his main teacher or not, he would boldly say no! And I can't change that. Sorry!

Okuda has an amazing ear and ability to remember music. He was after all a jazz musician and are used to work in not only improvisation situations but also using his ears to play with a group on the spot etc. His way of hearing alternative fingering must have been quite remarkable because he does use a lot of different techniques. When I asked him how he got these techniques, he said something like 'I heard the difference and search for them when I came home after the concerts .... and Okamoto showed me some'. Sorry if this is not exactly as he said it or the sentence was said in two parts. It is after all probably 15 years ago or so he told me this.

To me it doesn't matter really. And my anger and accusations towards Ray Brooks who studied with Okuda at the same time as me was not only because it says in the book that Yokoyama was Okuda's secret teacher. But rather the persona is very different from Okuda himself. Putting 3 people into one person in an autobiography explained why the person was so different while hints like the jazz background so clearly pointed to Okuda. But all that has been discussed. I am not proud of this discussion we had on the European email list - but I do believe I apologised sincerely and do not want to have this digged up again and again. I will say sorry for this one as many times as necessary - but it would be nicer if it was Ray who digged it up and told me he still had bad emotional left-over as it was - after all - with him I had this dispute. This was in 2006.

The first time I was told the story about Yokoyama's mother calling Okuda's mother it was told by Okuda's mother. She was an amazing old woman. She was around 93 at that time. We were staying in a simple Japanese inn on our bamboo harvesting trip. It must have been early 90s. I did not suspect her of lying. If she was - I apologise for having passed on this story by a lying old woman. I only had the story confirmed by Okuda because I asked him. I thought it was funny if Watazumi heard a link between jazz and honkyoku. I have later had a few people confirming that Watazumi liked jazz. How much he listened to it - I have no clue.

Jon, I have personally never heard Okuda say he plays dōkyoku. That sounds more American in my ears as lots of Americans use that word via the teachings of Yokoyama...
Okuda explained to me in the early days of my shakuhachi playing that that was the word Watazumi used instead of honkyoku. But to me he explained we all play honkyoku so that is what he said he plays.
In fact Okuda has always been very careful about making associations with Watazumi. He didn't call his flutes for hotchiku until he told me he gave up and will say yes to non-Japanese if they ask him if he plays hotchiku. He believed it would be the same thing whether he played jinashi shakuhachi or hotchiku.
Jon, I have no idea where you got the information that Okuda was playing a more original version of honkyoku than everyone else. If you got it from me we must have communicated wrongly.
I have tried in the past to explain what the difference was between jinuri and jinashi shakuhachi, where I said to this person - who had no clue of the difference - that jinashi was closer to the shakuhachi of the komuso monks in the way that they did not have ji inside. Later on I realised the student only heard what I think he wanted to hear - that it was the original instrument... and I try to be more careful of not making wrong or rather dangerous associations. We all have to learn. But I can't imagine that happening with you as you already knew quite a bit when we first communicated.

For me it was only the music and the sound that count when I chose Okuda as my teacher. Also in the question of my choice of jinashi shakuhachi it is only the sound that counts. I actually do not care about his lineage. Fuke shū and lies are very intertwined so for me the only thing that speaks is the sound.

I would like to point out that I did live 13 years in Japan 11 of which while studying shakuhachi and have weekly/monthly connections with players in Japan even today, so I do indeed have a foot in both the Japanese and non-Japanese camp. And I speak, read and write Japanese - that is really an important skill to have when doing research on shakuhachi. My reading skills could be better.... but I can do it. Of course I can't follow everything that happens in Japan from far... but that is fine. I chose to move. Apart from the first 2 years - I had to take a long break each year from Japan. It is not always easy to be half Japanese in Japan. But apart from that I lived, studied and worked in Japan from 1987 till 2000.

In the Japanese society, which is very much a mainstream society not having much space for alternative ways to live and do things, I have noticed that autodidact people pops up and play a significant role here and there. Takemitsu Tōru is one of them. Have you ever seen his orchestral scores? Huge! And so detailed! This long tradition of composition in Western art music... and Takemitsu is autodidact!!! Extraordinary!
The same can be said about Miyata Kōhachirō. He claims to be autodidact like Okuda. Has anyone digged into his story?

Here is one example of writing about Okuda that he has no influence on:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atsuya_Okuda
It says that 'some says he is the greatest hocchiku player...' and in the same article it says Okuda has played shakuhachi since 1985.... that is only 4 years before I began studying shakuhachi. Ha ha! He has played shakuhachi fewer years than his first students... smile Talking about mis-information online.... just a classical example. Certainly Okuda wouldn't cut more than 20 years of his playing away if he was to write all the promotional material we find online.

Ooops! I forgot one thing. To answer Tairaku's question regarding what the origins of Okuda's honkyoku is.
It is not more original than anything else played today.
He got some pieces by listening to Watazumi's concerts and LPs, quite a few from Okamoto's scores. He has never claimed to be playing more original than anything else. He was curious and researched into older writings and recordings which influenced his honkyoku repertoire - according to what he says. He emphasises the newness and freshness of honkyoku each time it is being played. In his philosophy no rendition should be the same or aimed at being the same. However, he does stress that it is important to embody the tradition and know the aesthetics of the tradition so that your variations remain within that tradition when playing honkyoku.
I once listened to a CD of a student of his with him. He looked very surprised and said 'But he plays exactly what is written in the score! Then why record the music?' He was - in fact - looking forward to hear what the rendition of the next generation's interpretation was. That is the way he looks at it.... and I hope that answers your question.
I think I better stop here because I am getting really tired now. Good night! smile

Last edited by Kiku Day (2010-04-18 21:13:47)


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

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#18 2010-04-18 20:29:31

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

Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

PS. I am supposedly flying to Oman to play sankyoku and shinkyoku with Keiko Kitamura tomorrow ... but as we don't know if the European airspace will open tomorrow - I don't know if I can make that gig. Too bad - I was looking forward to it.
If we don't fly to Oman - I will probably try to make it over land to Denmark with the ferry Dover-Calais, France and then either bus it up or find a train I can buy ticket to towards north.
I just wanted you to know why - just in case I am silent while loads of people are asking me angry questions... smile


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

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#19 2010-04-18 22:08:01

Musgo da Pedra
Member
From: South of Brazil
Registered: 2007-12-02
Posts: 332
Website

Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Kiku Day wrote:

Would a shihan-licensed teacher who has played 5 years be better than someone unlicensed who has taught for 20 years?

Depend on the area you step into.

In shakuhachi music, beautiful played shakuhachi?

In spiritual, real liberty earned with shakuhachi meditation??


Not measure, not judge.


Omnia mea mecum porto

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#20 2010-04-19 00:43:05

Moran from Planet X
Member
From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
Website

Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Tairaku wrote:

... because Japanese traditional music is more full of that BS than teenybopper pop bands.

Chicago blues harmonica players, hands down.


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." —Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#21 2010-04-19 00:56:13

Justin
Shihan/Maker
From: Japan
Registered: 2006-08-12
Posts: 540
Website

Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Kiku Day wrote:

Okuda did go to Yokoyama's place. How many month/years he went there to learn and to hang around (which he always says became more important for him as there were many interesting people there) he never clarified - and I never asked - sorry.

It is then strange that you accuse me of not knowing enough about it and not wanting to learn. If you have not bothered to research this yourself even from the side of Okuda, let alone the other sources then your reaction towards those of us who have researched it seems misplaced.

To summarize, we have in 2006 the claim that Okuda went to Yokoyama once, and heard Yokoyama play only Hifumi Hachigaeshi. The visit was for Yokoyama's benefit.

In 2008 this story becomes

Kiku Day in 2008 shakuhachi forum wrote:

Okuda liked the environment at the time at Yokoyama's dojo, so he hung around. He told me he learned one piece from Yokoyama, which was... I forget... Hi fu mi hachigaeshi (I think), because he liked that version of that particular song.

And now in 2010 this becomes

Kiku Day 2010 wrote:

he went there to learn and to hang around (which he always says became more important for him as there were many interesting people there)

There seems a sense of gradual progression in this story.

Kiku Day wrote:

What he always says is that the honkyoku playing of Yokoyama did not catch his interest enough to stay on and he therefore does not feel Yokoyama was/is his teacher then and today.

I can understand if Okuda does not want to follow Yokoyama's style, and may not want to label himself as Yokoyama's student. However it is quite another story to study under Yokoyama for 2~3 years and then claim that he never studied under Yokoyama, or was never Yokoyama's student. I expect this may be because he wanted to make a different style. But still I think this causes confusion and I don't think this is appropriate at least in the international scene. Better to be truthful and clear about what people are learning.

Kiku Day wrote:

Okuda himself says he is autodidact and that is his simple answer.

That is a simple answer, yes.

Kiku Day wrote:

Okuda told me he has especially researched into older scores. He did a lot of that in the komuso kenkyu-kai. He also traveled to several players to hear and see their scores (if they allowed him). But he has never mentioned names to me because he says they never had a big influence on him - but that he learned a lot from listening to different players.

Well as Brian mentioned, not mentioning the names doesn't help to clear skepticism. But in the end hearing people play and seeing their scores does not constitute studying shakuhachi in the traditional sense. To step back a little, just imagine if he was from the USA. Imagine someone coming to Japan from the USA in the 60s who has never learned shakuhachi, visiting some anonymous shakuhachi players around Japan, hearing them play and looking at some of their scores but not actually taking any lessons. What kind of a picture does that give you?

In 2006 you seemed to imply that he actually learned shakuhachi from these anonymous guys, when you denied that he studied under Yokoyama and explained

Kiku Day wrote:

What Okuda did was to wander around Japan in his youth and collect
pieces from old masters around the country probably in the 1960s.

This makes him out to be like masters such as Jin Nyodo, Takahashi Kuzan or Yamaue Getsuzan who actually did wander around Japan studying from shakuhachi masters of different lineages collecting pieces. However, going around listening to players and looking at their scores (if they allowed him) is quite another story.

Kiku Day wrote:

He mentions Okamono Chikugai fondly as the single most important direct 'in person' influence and source for his research. Okamoto had a great collection apparently of score, writings etc. So if you really need a name of a teacher - perhaps Okamoto is the closest - but I have never heard Okuda saying this.

He studied for 2 or 3 years under Yokoyama, and he got some scores from Okamoto. This makes Okamoto his teacher but not Yokoyama?!

Kiku Day wrote:

So, he has only mentioned two names of players he was in direct contact with and they are Okamono and Yokoyama. And then Watazumi's concerts. Watazumi was - for Okuda - the one!

I can understand his love of Watazumi. And I know that a number of Okuda's pieces come from him transcribing Watazumi's lps. What confuses me is this:

Kiku Day 2005 wrote:

Okuda never called his flutes hocchiku because he does not like
Watazumi and does not want to be compared to him.

And yet you often seem to compare him.

Kiku Day wrote:

To me it doesn't matter really. And my anger and accusations towards Ray Brooks who studied with Okuda at the same time as me was not only because it says in the book that Yokoyama was Okuda's secret teacher.

So it was at least partly for this. Well at least now you know that it was true.

Kiku Day wrote:

I actually do not care about his lineage. Fuke shū and lies are very intertwined so for me the only thing that speaks is the sound.

OK so now we understand that you don't care about his (i.e. your) lineage. It is still possible that your students, or other of Okuda's students or students's students do care about lineage. So this discussion may be useful for some, and knowing the truth may be of some benefit.

Kiku Day wrote:

Here is one example of writing about Okuda that he has no influence on:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atsuya_Okuda
It says that 'some says he is the greatest hocchiku player...' and in the same article it says Okuda has played shakuhachi since 1985.... that is only 4 years before I began studying shakuhachi. Ha ha! He has played shakuhachi fewer years than his first students... smile Talking about mis-information online.... just a classical example. Certainly Okuda wouldn't cut more than 20 years of his playing away if he was to write all the promotional material we find online.

If I am understanding Wikipedia correctly, the article about Okuda was created by someone in Vancouver (perhaps Al Ramos as he studied with Okuda?) on 10 April 2005, when it contained the reference to "greatest hocchiku player" but not the starting year, which was added, again by the same person in Vancouver, in 1 June 2008.

To address the year he started, Kiku if you know this date to be wrong and know the true date, it is possible for you to edit the Wiki. From what you have just said are you saying he started in 1965? Since you say on your own website "After twenty years as a jazz trumpeter, Okuda turned to the ji-nashi shakuhachi" are we then to assume Okuda started trumpet (or his trumpet career) in 1945? When was Okuda born? Anyway these are all details you can sort out for the wiki if you don't want him misrepresented.

To address the claim "some regard Atsuya Okuda as the greatest living hocchiku player", it is actually not far off your own claim which you publicly announced in 2005

Kiku Day on Euroshak yahoo group 2005 wrote:

Okuda Atsuya, my teacher and probably the most important teacher in
ji-nashi shakuhachi today after the death of Nishimura Koku in Kyushu

Everyone is free to have their opinion of course.
Then there is Okuda himself, as I wrote above:

Justin wrote:

Justin wrote:

And he has also claimed he is the only ji-nashi player and he is the only successor of Watazumi.

This is what he has said directly, more than once, himself, clearly, to shakuhachi players in the US.

Do you still wonder where these claims come from?

Kiku Day wrote:

I once listened to a CD of a student of his with him. He looked very surprised and said 'But he plays exactly what is written in the score! Then why record the music?' He was - in fact - looking forward to hear what the rendition of the next generation's interpretation was. That is the way he looks at it.... and I hope that answers your question.

Interestingly I know of players in Watazumi's lineage (from Yokoyama's branch and other branches) who have listened to Okuda's music and feel he's just copied from Watazumi's lps, rather than study the piece from a teacher. I'm not saying this simply to criticize. I like Okuda's idea that playing should be different each time. That is free and creative, even if it may be different from the traditional Japanese approach. But there is the other aspect of this which is that some of Okuda's pieces are themselves clearly copied from recordings. And it's not just me who has noticed. Few people know of Okuda here in Japan but among those who do, a common complaint is that he gets his pieces from lps rather than from actually studying the piece under a teacher. This is apparent from his playing. The result is quite different. From a purely objective musical standpoint that might not be any worse or inferior to studying under a teacher. However from the traditional perspective, this is not an authentic way of learning the pieces. And the result is clearly different, and, not considered authentic.

An analogy would be to try to copy the fast cursive calligraphy before studying the basic standard form. From the teacher we get the basic form and learn how to make the cursive form. In shakuhachi terms this means that we receive the foundation of traditional learning from the teacher, for each piece, and then go from there. Well I won't go too much into why it is considered that honkyoku should be learned from a teacher as it has been covered elsewhere and is straying from the topic.

This is the traditional view and that held by perhaps all of my teachers. This is the standard view in the honkyoku world. However, this is not to detract from Okuda's music as music. How traditional or authentic in the traditional sense a music is, and how "musical" or artistically pleasing it is, are not necessarily the same thing.



Understanding all of this you should then be able to understand how absurd it is, from the traditional viewpoint, for Okuda to claim that he is the "only successor of Watazumi", and why this might upset people here in Japan who actually are successors to Watazumi, having studied with him or his students. Can you imagine, you study for decades under a teacher, and someone comes along and transcribes some pieces from your teacher's (or teacher's teacher's) lps, then claims to be his only successor! I'm not referring to myself here, nor to Yokoyama's students, but there are other people out there in the lineage who are quite pissed off.


Kiku Day wrote:

Ooops! I forgot one thing. To answer Tairaku's question regarding what the origins of Okuda's honkyoku is.
It is not more original than anything else played today.
He got some pieces by listening to Watazumi's concerts and LPs, quite a few from Okamoto's scores.

To summarise, I think this could be a fair conclusion from the information presented:
Okuda studied shakuhachi under Yokoyama Katsuya for approximately 2~3 years. He then went his own way, gathering more pieces from LPs and notation and attending various concerts and worked to create his own unique style.

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#22 2010-04-19 01:27:15

Justin
Shihan/Maker
From: Japan
Registered: 2006-08-12
Posts: 540
Website

Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

BrianP wrote:

Awesome questions Brian and also thank you Justin for all the time you take in research and education on shakuhachi!

Hi Brian
I'm happy to share. This topic is not so comfortable! But truth can be a bumpy ride at times. Anyway I'm really glad that there are people like yourself who take a real interest in shakuhachi, musically and in terms of history. I love your enthusiasm and look forward to sharing time if/when you visit Tokyo.

Jon wrote:

I was mislead when I started out by Okuda Atsuya information. The stories that Justin is mentioning are the vary ones that made me, as a beginner back then, want to learn from him and had me thinking that somehow Dokyoku, and specifically Okuda, was the most original honkyoku. Of course, as I learned more about the Jin Nyodo honkyoku I found this all to be untrue or incorrect and it left a sour taste in my mouth over Dokyoku, which I still had minimal understanding of. Everything is cleared up now and I understand Dokyoku but it was a powerful illusion for me as a beginner.

Hi Jon
This is exactly the reason why this misinformation should be cleared up. And that's very sad that that gave you a bad impression Watazumi's lineage, which Okuda is certainly not considered representative of by any of Watazumi's lineage. This is how misinformation had wide effects.

Regarding what is older, this is a very difficult topic to understand. I have had great interest in this. I myself started in Kinko-ryu, and after some time studied from Jin Nyodo's lineage. I was taught that some of those pieces were older than the Kinko pieces and somehow I heard that Kurosawa Kinko had pretty much composed the pieces of his repertoire. As Brian says:

Tairaku wrote:

Almost every school except Tozan claims to have the oldest and purest honkyoku. We know for sure that Kinko is the longest unbroken line, although the way they play it has certainly changed. And those were original compositions by Kinko Kurasawa so it can't be the "oldest" songs.

But according to the Kinko records this is not the case. John Singer has a great page on his website for info about this:
http://www.zenflute.com/kinko.html

Click on the pieces and you can see some history of where they came from. So these pieces, with one or two exceptions, were already existing honkyoku which Kurosawa Kinko learned and taught. This answers the next question:

Tairaku wrote:

Whether anything preceding Kinko has survived in anything like its original form seems to be a matter of debate. Various Myoan lines, including Watazumi's, make claims that they are playing older stuff but who knows for sure? Nobody.

The pieces in Kinko-ryu actually precede Kinko-ryu. But as Brian pointed out, the Kinko-ryuu style has of course changed over time. Some of the pieces contained in Shimpo-ryu are also very old and may indeed have the same source as some of the pieces in Kinko-ryu.

As for Jin Nyodo's and Watazumi's repertoires, they both come from diverse sources. Neither is older than the other particularly. They both have some pieces from Kimpu-ryu (Jin more and more authentic/reliable as far as being true to the original Kimpu-ryu style), from Kyushu-kei (Watazumi more and perhaps more authentic), from Taizan-ryu, from Shimpo-ryu, and from Oshu-kei, and perhaps some others.

It has been fascinating for me to study the various lineages and gradually I am getting a picture of the historical developments and changes in the styles. When I understand it well enough, if people have interest I would be happy to write about it in detail.

Last edited by Justin (2010-04-19 01:30:10)

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#23 2010-04-19 01:33:40

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
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Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Justin it is usually stated that Kinko used previous honkyoku as basis for new compositions and adaptations which were not the same as the source material.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

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#24 2010-04-19 01:36:23

Justin
Shihan/Maker
From: Japan
Registered: 2006-08-12
Posts: 540
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Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

Tairaku wrote:

Justin it is usually stated that Kinko used previous honkyoku as basis for new compositions and adaptations which were not the same as the source material.

Hi Brian
Where or by whom is this stated? I had heard the same from one source but never seen it written. When I told that to a Kinko-ryu teacher he said this was untrue.

Last edited by Justin (2010-04-19 01:38:38)

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#25 2010-04-19 01:51:59

Justin
Shihan/Maker
From: Japan
Registered: 2006-08-12
Posts: 540
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Re: Iemoto system, playing in tune, Okuda

To add to the above, my initial reason for thinking it likely that it could be true that Kurosawa Kinko had composed the pieces anew merely basing them on or inspired by other honkyoku, was due to the similarity of the pieces throughout the Kinko-ryu repertoire. However upon examining older notation I have noticed that there are more differences between the pieces in older notation. So I believe that gradually the pieces have become more similar to each other through the long history of the Kinko-ryu. This is a natural and common process, which we can see in more recent examples also such as Jin Nyodo's repertoire having Kimpu-ryu flavour (his native style) even when he plays pieces of other schools such as Fudaiji honkyoku. Another example is Watazumi whose Kimpu-ryu has Kyushu-kei (his native style) influence.

I am not saying that Kurosawa Kinko didn't arrange the pieces. I know he certainly did some of them. But others I don't know and would be very interested to hear about it. Hopefully my ongoing study of old scores may bring some new information to light too. It's exactly these patterns of history which I am searching for.

Last edited by Justin (2010-04-19 01:53:04)

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