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#1 2010-10-11 20:30:49

Moran from Planet X
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Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

Tairaku 太楽 wrote:

Seems like a difficult task to play like someone from 150 years ago. Dokyoku players of two generations direct transmission from Watazumi don't come close, even with aid of recordings and videos.

Is there _any_one who took lessons from Watazumi who then went on to teach others just as he had learned it from Watazumi who then went on to teach it to someone else ... who we know of?

I suspect not, but I thought I'd ask anyway.


"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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#2 2010-10-11 22:25:26

Justin
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Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

A friend of mine studied from 2 of Watazumi's students (neither of which were Yokoyama Katsuya) and he said they both taught quite differently from each other. That doesn't exactly answer your question, but we can either conclude that Watazumi taught them differently, or just that each students who taught, taught in a different way. This also may depend on how much or to what level they were able to receive what Watazumi taught.

Something which I think is worth understanding about Watazumi was that at the same time as being very authentic to tradition, he was also very unique. I think more unique than any other player I really can think of. It is more common to play the pieces in a style very close to ones teacher. Watazumi was not really like that I think. He did stick to the pieces quite strictly in terms of melody and structure, as opposed o certain other teachers who actually rearranges the melodies and structure of pieces in their repertoires. So in that respect he was often rather traditional. However he was very personal in terms of actual expression, sound, ornamentation and so on. This was so personal that it can be difficult to copy or even be rather strange perhaps, to copy, since it is so personal. So his teaching may have not been to merely copy his personal style. And that is probably why his students all have a lot of variety, as opposed to those who merely learn from his recordings. Because the piece as taught is not always containing that specific personal uniqueness. In fact that can even change a lot from performance to performance. And he also changed a fair bit during his life. I've learned some pieces for example from Yamaue Getsuzan's lineage which Yamaue learned from Watazumi when Watazumi was still living here in Hakata, in his 20's. That was before he met some of his other teachers (Yamaue was the one who introduced him to Uramoto Setcho, for example) and so the form of those pieces is somewhat different from how I learned them from Yokoyama's lineage, Yokoyama having learned from Watazumi after he moved to Tokyo.

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#3 2010-10-11 23:07:33

Moran from Planet X
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Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

Justin wrote:

...  we can either conclude that Watazumi taught them differently, or just that each students who taught, taught in a different way. This also may depend on how much or to what level they were able to receive what Watazumi taught.

...  I've learned some pieces for example from Yamaue Getsuzan's lineage which Yamaue learned from Watazumi when Watazumi was still living here in Hakata, in his 20's. That was before he met some of his other teachers (Yamaue was the one who introduced him to Uramoto Setcho, for example) and so the form of those pieces is somewhat different from how I learned them from Yokoyama's lineage, Yokoyama having learned from Watazumi after he moved to Tokyo.

So much difference between the points of reference!

------------------------------------------------------------

So translating from my own cryptogram ...

Its remarkable, to me at least, that a figure with such influence on the modern shakuhachi world has so little known about him or the way he taught. You talk about knowing two direct students of Watazumi. That's got to be like winning the Irish Sweepstakes in shakuhachidom ... at least on this side of the Great Ocean. Then to hear that each student's experience was so disparate. It's like trying to catch fog.

Then you relate that Yamaue Getsuzan learned from Watazumi in his 20's. So we're talking about the 1930s. And this is before he met Uramoto Setcho. I was under the impression that Watazumi's recordings go back as far as 1935 ...

It's good we have you as an embed-reporter, Justin, because maybe there's a chance we can connect more dots with this mytho-proportioned figure.

Last edited by Moran from Planet X (2010-10-12 03:51:04)


"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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#4 2010-10-12 09:13:29

madoherty
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Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

It may be possible that the weight of what Watazumi's students learned something other than technique from him. Others will know better than I but it is possible that his message was somewhat akin to John Cage's, to start from scratch, with one's own techniques ("sound"?).  He certainly did.

Total conjecture on my part.

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#5 2010-10-12 14:25:15

-Prem
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From: The Big Apple
Registered: 2007-03-27
Posts: 73

Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

Justin wrote:

A friend of mine studied from 2 of Watazumi's students (neither of which were Yokoyama Katsuya) and he said they both taught quite differently from each other. That doesn't exactly answer your question, but we can either conclude that Watazumi taught them differently, or just that each students who taught, taught in a different way. This also may depend on how much or to what level they were able to receive what Watazumi taught.

I too have heard 2 other of Watazumido's direct students. Yes, VERY different. I have also come to the conclusion that Watazumido was not teaching pieces as they sound on recordings at all (obviously). I also find it fascinating that Watazumi truly, truly did not play pieces the same every time. More that any shakuhachi player that I have ever heard. In my opinion this is his True gift to the shakuhachi tradition. Because I can clearly see that he completely embodied the Fuke shakuhachi tradition, yet it could not contain him. I have spoken with Brian about this in the past. Many of the pieces, if you study the original versions, are very minimal. NOT minimal in depth, but minimal in melody. It seems that Watazumi made Honkyoku more melodic in a sense. Also, something I never came across until I studied with my Sensei in Japan is the teaching and practice of ONLY SOUND; NON-melodic, NON-music. Not as an idea, but as ACTION. This is also true with my friend that studied with Higashi Myogi (One of Watazumi's top deshis). It was TRULY starting over from the beginning. Very humbling, yet effective. I used to revel in Watazumido's playing; studying it from recordings. I thought that this way a way to embody its essence as this is how you learn Western forms such as Jazz. But my Sensei broke of this habit completely. Is was quite refreshing and invigorating. Yet it is difficult to play basics and a few pieces for 10 or more years. But I think then you start to plummet the depths. Know what I mean?

-Prem

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#6 2010-10-12 16:43:04

Moran from Planet X
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Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

So, perhaps, Watazumi and these teachers Prem is referring to are teaching a form of Yoga rather than a type of music?


"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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#7 2010-10-12 18:15:48

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 922
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Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

Moran from Planet X wrote:

Is there _any_one who took lessons from Watazumi who then went on to teach others just as he had learned it from Watazumi who then went on to teach it to someone else ... who we know of?

I suspect not, but I thought I'd ask anyway.

I had some lessons and spent a lot of time with... gosh I forget his name (not good to be lacking sleep and in England where I don't have my address book)... the one of W's students that made shakuhachi that Mejiro was selling before. He inherited Watazumi's shakuhachi (Watazumi's wish). He died in 2007. Anyway... his name will come sooner or later... he was Watazumi's closest student... and in my opinion, he sounded close enough....! BUT he certainly was not Watazumi (well, I never heard Watazumi live).

You are right, Prem. Watazumi played his pieces VERY different each time, developed all the time and changed - not only to mood and the time of the day - but I think W was constantly developing his playing style. A great example of the spirit of shakuhachi music: tradition yes - but not stagnating.


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

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#8 2010-10-12 18:40:09

-Prem
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From: The Big Apple
Registered: 2007-03-27
Posts: 73

Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

Kiku wrote:

Watazumi played his pieces VERY different each time, developed all the time and changed - not only to mood and the time of the day - but I think W was constantly developing his playing style. A great example of the spirit of shakuhachi music: tradition yes - but not stagnating.

I have to say. This quality amazes me because it seems VERY easy to get hung up on Japanese traditional music. The teaching style does not lead to this type of advancement. That is why I find it so amazing. In the west the attitude of "do anything you want, whenever you want, good or bad, etc etc." is WIDELY accepted. But in my opinion this style of approach does not put the "juice" in it, so to speak. But I feel that constant study, through thick and thin, through boredom, through monotony can really lead somewhere. Then the spirit starts to come through. And I feel this is True communication. Sometimes I feel that sure, W played technically awesome, but is that what REALLY attracts us? I am so glad that the CD of W from the 50s came out. It is FASCINATING to hear his progression. Totally different. In any case to break out of the shakuhachi tradition of preservation had to have been hard. It almost seems that Japanese society and arts are the antithesis of this in many ways. Of course I am generalizing, because some of the most Avant have come from Asia, but I think you get my drift. I am sure he got outed by many. But I am also sure that by the virtue of his playing he gained many others. Or...maybe the Japanese players are dying to break out...... Maybe it was easy.....

-Prem

Last edited by -Prem (2010-10-12 18:44:16)

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#9 2010-10-12 20:19:01

Moran from Planet X
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Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

Kiku Day wrote:

I had some lessons and spent a lot of time with... gosh I forget his name (not good to be lacking sleep and in England where I don't have my address book)... the one of W's students that made shakuhachi that Mejiro was selling before. He inherited Watazumi's shakuhachi (Watazumi's wish). He died in 2007. Anyway... his name will come sooner or later... he was Watazumi's closest student... and in my opinion, he sounded close enough....! BUT he certainly was not Watazumi (well, I never heard Watazumi live).

The hanko on his instruments was "Mugai" ?


"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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#10 2010-10-13 02:13:53

Kiku Day
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From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 922
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Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

Moran from Planet X wrote:

The hanko on his instruments was "Mugai" ?

YES, thank you, Moran! smile Mugai, of course. He was something. I heard So many stories from him, first Watazumi says and then it changed to said when he died. I really appreciate the time I spent with Mugai.


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

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#11 2010-10-13 04:08:43

Karmajampa
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From: Aotearoa (NZ)
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Posts: 574
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Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

The feeling I get about Watasumi is that first he was a Zen practitioner seconndly a Shakuhachi player. He too, used melodies, but was not fooled by them.

If you meet Watasumi on the road, kill him !

K.


Kia Kaha !

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#12 2010-10-13 11:06:34

madoherty
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Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

Moran from Planet X wrote:

So, perhaps, Watazumi and these teachers Prem is referring to are teaching a form of Yoga rather than a type of music?

Certainly techniques were passed, and are passed down... but that is not all.

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#13 2010-10-13 17:53:42

Moran from Planet X
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Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

Karmajampa wrote:

... He too, used melodies, but was not fooled by them.

If you meet Watasumi on the road, kill him !

madoherty wrote:

Moran from Planet X wrote:

So, perhaps, Watazumi and these teachers Prem is referring to are teaching a form of Yoga rather than a type of music?

Certainly techniques were passed, and are passed down... but that is not all.

Gak! ...  It's "ZENspeak" !!!!

AAAaaaaaaaarrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Thank you, though.  <knocks forehead on cold stone floor three times>

Last edited by Moran from Planet X (2010-10-13 17:58:50)


"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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#14 2010-10-13 21:54:04

Daniel Ryudo
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From: Kochi, Japan
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 355

Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

To go beyond ZENspeak and perhaps into the realm of ZENspace, I was looking at your avatar, Moran from Planet X, and just wondered if you were trying to make a statement about the future history of shakuhachi by juxtaposing photos of an astronaut and a komuso?  Perhaps you've heard that one of the current NASA astronaut candidates is a shakuhachi player?; that information is classified, however, so you won't see it on the NASA bio page.

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#15 2010-10-13 23:35:09

Tairaku 太楽
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From: Tasmania
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Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

Daniel Ryudo wrote:

To go beyond ZENspeak and perhaps into the realm of ZENspace, I was looking at your avatar, Moran from Planet X, and just wondered if you were trying to make a statement about the future history of shakuhachi by juxtaposing photos of an astronaut and a komuso?  Perhaps you've heard that one of the current NASA astronaut candidates is a shakuhachi player?; that information is classified, however, so you won't see it on the NASA bio page.

Interestingly this is not as far fetched as it sounds. One of Nyoraku's best friends is an astronaut and brought Jim's CD into orbit with him and listened to it. So indeed shakuhachi has been in space.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#16 2010-10-14 01:45:27

Moran from Planet X
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Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

Tairaku 太楽 wrote:

Interestingly this is not as far fetched as it sounds. One of Nyoraku's best friends is an astronaut and brought Jim's CD into orbit with him and listened to it. So indeed shakuhachi has been in space.

And let's not forget the Voyager II spacecraft headed into the cosmos with Yamaguchi Goro playing Tsuru No Sugomori (#9 on the Planet Earth Hit List).


"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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#17 2010-10-14 04:38:22

Daniel Ryudo
Shihan/Kinko Ryu
From: Kochi, Japan
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 355

Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

I was obviously kidding about the classified info part but one of the new NASA guys, a Canadian (David Saint Jacques), studied shakuhachi for several years under our iemoto, Fuji Jido, up in Tokyo (and actually got his first sound out of the instrument down here in Kochi), though that information is not noted on his official bio.  He's got other relevant stuff on there such as his being an astronomer and a medical doctor, but as you and Brian both noted, the precedent has already been set, though I don't believe anyone has yet played the shakuhachi in outer space.  I did notice that one of the other NASA astronauts had tin whistle listed as a hobby, however...

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#18 2010-10-14 09:04:03

Moran from Planet X
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Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

Daniel Ryudo wrote:

I did notice that one of the other NASA astronauts had tin whistle listed as a hobby, however...

That's been done too. Jean Luc Picard, Captain of the Enterprise, played tin whistle, in an alternate universe, for an entire episode of Star Trek The Next Generation.

That counts, doesn't it?


"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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#19 2010-10-14 09:08:57

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

Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

Moran from Planet X wrote:

Daniel Ryudo wrote:

I did notice that one of the other NASA astronauts had tin whistle listed as a hobby, however...

That's been done too. Jean Luc Picard, Captain of the Enterprise, played tin whistle, in an alternate universe, for an entire episode of Star Trek The Next Generation.

That counts, doesn't it?

You're off your dang meds again, ain'tcha X?


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

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#20 2010-10-14 11:40:12

baian
Member
Registered: 2006-03-28
Posts: 83

Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

a glass whistle , i think, where a dying world left a beacon to beam a world minus 1 thing into his mind so he could participate realistically and understand their  lives before their world ended.even tho it was only in his head?

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#21 2010-10-14 13:27:57

Taldaran
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From: Everett, Washington-USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 232

Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

And then there was the later episode where he played his flute in the jeffries tubes because of the acoustics, and the lady with the rolled up piano played a duet with him.


Christopher

“Whoever can see through all fear will always be safe.” Tao Te Ching

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#22 2010-10-14 14:34:22

Moran from Planet X
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Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

edosan wrote:

You're off your dang meds again, ain'tcha X?

Just a few.

Not many.

Really.

Not many.


"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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#23 2010-10-17 19:41:32

Zakarius
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From: Taichung, TAIWAN
Registered: 2006-04-12
Posts: 361

Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

Daniel Ryudo wrote:

Perhaps you've heard that one of the current NASA astronaut candidates is a shakuhachi player?; that information is classified, however, so you won't see it on the NASA bio page.

It seems logical enough, as shakuhachi is the only instrument which makes music in space (albeit a lot of 'ma').

Zak


塵も積もれば山となる -- "Chiri mo tsumoreba yama to naru." -- Piled-up specks of dust become a mountain.

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#24 2010-10-17 20:17:32

madoherty
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Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 366

Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

Zakarius wrote:

Daniel Ryudo wrote:

Perhaps you've heard that one of the current NASA astronaut candidates is a shakuhachi player?; that information is classified, however, so you won't see it on the NASA bio page.

It seems logical enough, as shakuhachi is the only instrument which makes music in space (albeit a lot of 'ma').

Zak

"MASA"  Ma Space Administration

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#25 2010-10-18 22:48:52

Daniel Ryudo
Shihan/Kinko Ryu
From: Kochi, Japan
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 355

Re: Astronauts are munching Watazumi's fundoshi!

And we know that when the silver ships finally make it to Earth the first words they aliens are going to say is "Take me to your shakuhachi player."

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