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#1 2008-02-05 20:42:16

Larry
Member
From: Columbus, OH
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 58

Shakuhachi and Tendai Shomyo

Lately I've been looking into the connection of shakuhachi and Tendai shomyo chanting.  My first experience with shomyo was at Michael Gould's summer shakuhachi retreat last year, where I was able to listen to and participate in chanting under the direction of a very experienced monk.  It was great to see and hear how shomyo and the shakuhachi are so fundamentally connected.  Anyway, in my on going quest for knowledge I ran across an interesting article.  There are several paragraphs on sound that I thought really applied to shakuhachi.

http://www.sukothai.com/Xebec-sakurai.html

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#2 2008-02-05 21:17:05

Priapus Le Zen M☮nk
Historical Zen Mod
From: St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
Registered: 2006-04-25
Posts: 612
Website

Re: Shakuhachi and Tendai Shomyo

Shomyo in itself is not a Tendai exclusive thing.

Shomyo is actually the form of Chant that would be the equivalent to Gregorian chants in Buddhism. Now when it comes to Shomyo there is 2 Schools now in Japan that have a very detailed repertoire. Those 2 schools are the Shingon and Tendai School of Buddhism.

Both Schools basically share the same songs when it comes to the chants in Japanized Sanskrit (Bongo). In Shingon there is both Bongo and Kango type of songs and the same can be said from the Tendai school as well. Now this is a bit like opening a can of worms here if we are to compare the way each school sounds since within each of them there is sub branches and each of them can have their own twists on each of the songs.

All I can say is that generally the ones in Bongo Sanskrit tend to be more shakuhachi like since we are to conecentrate more on each syllable (Bija) in trying to vizualize what the song is all about. In comparison the songs in Kango (Chinese Characters) are more melodic and sound a bit more like music.

When comparing Bongo Shomyo in Shingon and Tendai we can say that they are pretty much the same (Yes there is some differences but essentially the whole package is about the same)

When comparing kango shomyo from Shingon to Tendai from my experience I tend to say that the kango songs from the Tendai school are much more melodic than the Shingon versions. In Shingon the kango stuff is usually done in nearly the same manner as the Bongo. Again there is some exceptions depends on sub sect occasion etc...

I know this is not very kosher but later this year I might make a CD full of MP3 files I collected from various sources availble for interested parties. There will be a small fee plus shipping for the CD which costed me all in all around 1500$ U.S  for all the material that will be included in it. The reason why I will be doing this mainly to generate interest in Shomyo since getting those CD or tapes is very hard and when you can find them they are very expensive and that is you can read japanese and knwo where to buy them etc.. also getting the scores for them is another ball game.


Sebastien 義真 Cyr
春風館道場 Shunpukan Dojo
St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
http://www.myspace.com/shunpukandojo

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#3 2008-02-06 09:03:32

marek
Member
From: Czech Republic
Registered: 2007-03-02
Posts: 184
Website

Re: Shakuhachi and Tendai Shomyo

Hi,

please excuse my ignorance, but do soto and rinzai sutra chanting belong to shomyo?

Thanks,

Marek


"what are you gawping at!?"
                                          Uchiyama Roshi
 
" www.komuso.cz !"

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#4 2008-02-06 09:31:43

Jim Thompson
Moderator
From: Santa Monica, California
Registered: 2007-11-28
Posts: 421

Re: Shakuhachi and Tendai Shomyo

Gishin wrote:

I know this is not very kosher but later this year I might make a CD full of MP3 files I collected from various sources availble for interested parties. .

Gishin,
        Please include me on the list of interested parties. Such a comprehensive collection would be a delight. Thanks for your efforts.
                                                        Jim


" Who do you trust , me or your own eyes?" - Groucho Marx

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#5 2008-02-06 09:42:23

jeff jones
Member
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 113
Website

Re: Shakuhachi and Tendai Shomyo

Hello Gishin, I would be interested as well, I have been trying to find recordings and it has been very difficult as you said.

Jeff


Beauty is ugly at rest

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#6 2008-02-06 20:23:11

Larry
Member
From: Columbus, OH
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 58

Re: Shakuhachi and Tendai Shomyo

Thanks for clearing that up for me!  I'm still trying to figure it all out.

I also would be interested in the CD full of mp3s.

I got word today that your new CD with Chikuzen is finished.  I get my copy this saturday.  I'm excited!

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#7 2008-02-07 05:58:57

Priapus Le Zen M☮nk
Historical Zen Mod
From: St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
Registered: 2006-04-25
Posts: 612
Website

Re: Shakuhachi and Tendai Shomyo

marek wrote:

Hi,

please excuse my ignorance, but do soto and rinzai sutra chanting belong to shomyo?

Thanks,

Marek

In any school sutra chanting = sutra chanting therefore not shomyo in itself.

Now that being said real classical Shomyo belongs to the Shingon and Tendai schools. There is also some older stuff in the Kegon school hat I had the chance to hear but it is mortly sung in Kango (Japanized Chinese).

When it comes to other schools than Shingon, Tendai and the schools before that which are mostly just surviving now we can say that this group owns the old Shomyo tradition.

What you will sometimes see is that later schools will sometimes call their more lyrical chants Shomyo. Also sometimes they will read the sutra in a more slow manner with more enphasis on sound and musiclaity than just reading a sutra and they will still call that Shomyo. This somehow a reappropriation of the term.

Anywhow when generally speaking about shomyo or just typing shomyo in kanji in yahoo Japan or Amazon Japan will bring out at 97% stuff related to Shingon and Tendai. So we can safely say its a sinign speciality that belongs mostly to the Mikkyo schools in Japan.


Sebastien 義真 Cyr
春風館道場 Shunpukan Dojo
St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
http://www.myspace.com/shunpukandojo

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#8 2008-02-07 06:03:24

Priapus Le Zen M☮nk
Historical Zen Mod
From: St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
Registered: 2006-04-25
Posts: 612
Website

Re: Shakuhachi and Tendai Shomyo

Larry wrote:

Thanks for clearing that up for me!  I'm still trying to figure it all out.

I also would be interested in the CD full of mp3s.

I got word today that your new CD with Chikuzen is finished.  I get my copy this saturday.  I'm excited!

For all the people interested in the CD collection of shomyo in MP3 I will be making these available later in march. So please send me private emails and I will email you when it is done and ready to ship. I will also post an official notice on the board when it is ready.


You lucky guy!!!!! you will get to see our CD way before I do sad

Sensei is supposed to send me my share of the loot this Friday. I will be waiting for this very anxiously I tell ya.


Sebastien 義真 Cyr
春風館道場 Shunpukan Dojo
St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
http://www.myspace.com/shunpukandojo

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