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#1 2006-02-01 14:00:11

Alex
Member
From: Barcelona - Spain
Registered: 2005-10-17
Posts: 138

Tozan and Kinko, and some other stuff

Hello everybody,

I don't have a teacher near me and I'm in the process of looking for articles, books, recordings and so on that can inspire me. Through my research I found a couple of things that look quite interesting. One of those things is Koga-sensei "Extract from  Master techniques". I read in the web page that it's a book for players approaching master level, but then I read that it deals with posture, embouchure and things that I think any beginner should know. I mean, I'm sure there are things that a beginner would not understand but there must be some very basic things that could help any Shakuhachi player, right? If you don't agree I would like to know the reasons.

Anyway, I'm more into Kinko than Tozan, just because the teacher I found when I was in London came from the Kinko tradition. I read they are different styles and that even the flutes are a bit different. I would like to know what the difference between one and the other is but my question today is about Koga-senseiís book. I read he plays Tozan style and I was wondering if those techniques he talks about in his book only apply to Tozan or someone playing Kinko would also get something out of it.

Such a fascinating instrument...  Anyway, if someone does not think Koga-sensei book is a good thing for a beginner I would be extremely thankful if you could recommend me something to read, but not so much about fingerings, techniques and various mechanics, but more about the philosophy behind Shakuhachi playing, about making your body a resonance box; more about the body and the spirit, the intelligence and the context than about fingers and chins! (not that I donít think they are not important but I find it easier to find things about that). I hope someone understands what I mean... Ah, articles would be great too!

Well, thanks for keep on reading up to this point, I sure appreciate it!

Salud!

Alex


"An artist has got to be careful never really to arrive at a place where he thinks he's "at" somewhere. You always have to realise that you are constantly in the state of becoming. And as long as you can stay in that realm, you'll sort of be all right"
Bob Dylan

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#2 2006-02-01 21:05:17

gmiller
Member
From: Ozello Trail, Fla
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 109

Re: Tozan and Kinko, and some other stuff

Hi Alex... Yoshinobu Taniguchi, KODEN & KOTEN HONKYOKU:Chikuzen Shakuhachi Series. Available from Monty Levenson (Tai Hei) shakuhachi.com. Check it out.


George

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#3 2006-02-02 15:21:51

Alex
Member
From: Barcelona - Spain
Registered: 2005-10-17
Posts: 138

Re: Tozan and Kinko, and some other stuff

Hey George!

Thanks for the tip! The part of "The Spirit of the Shakuhachi" *of somehing similar..." looks like the kind of thing I m looking for.

Have you read the one by Kogasensei? I would really like to know what I can expect from it

Salud!

Alex


"An artist has got to be careful never really to arrive at a place where he thinks he's "at" somewhere. You always have to realise that you are constantly in the state of becoming. And as long as you can stay in that realm, you'll sort of be all right"
Bob Dylan

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#4 2006-02-04 07:54:05

gmiller
Member
From: Ozello Trail, Fla
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 109

Re: Tozan and Kinko, and some other stuff

Hi Alex - I have Koga's first book and cd's. They are excellent. You can find them on ebay form Neil Cohen (naljorcreations.com) or dirct form Monty at shakuhachi.com.. You might also want to read Annals of the International Shakuhachi Society - Vol 1 (also from Monty), a very excellent book;

George

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#5 2006-02-06 06:07:06

Alex
Member
From: Barcelona - Spain
Registered: 2005-10-17
Posts: 138

Re: Tozan and Kinko, and some other stuff

Hi George,

I read Koga-sensei got his shihan from Tozan-Ryu so I assume he plays Tozan style. I play Kinko and I heard both the flute and the notation are different, do you know if it's ok for someone playing Kinko to get that book?

Thanks again for your help

Salud!

Alex


"An artist has got to be careful never really to arrive at a place where he thinks he's "at" somewhere. You always have to realise that you are constantly in the state of becoming. And as long as you can stay in that realm, you'll sort of be all right"
Bob Dylan

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#6 2006-02-06 12:01:54

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3226
Website

Re: Tozan and Kinko, and some other stuff

Alex wrote:

I read Koga-sensei got his shihan from Tozan-Ryu so I assume he plays Tozan style. I play Kinko and I heard both the flute and the notation are different, do you know if it's ok for someone playing Kinko to get that book?

In modern shakuhachi the only difference between Kinko and Tozan flutes is the utaguchi shape. With vintage shakuhachi you find more difference between Kinko, Tozan, Myoan and Komuso flutes. Very few of the old Tozan flutes are good. The Tozan school originated in the Kansai, which is also the region associated with the Myoan school. The early Tozan flutes more closely resemble Myoan flutes than Kinko. However as time went on people got more concerned with the musical response of the flutes and things started to become almost standardized between the schools.Most players will use whatever flute they like regardless of whether it has the utaguchi shape of their ryu.

Re: Koga's book. It talks about technique which can be used by any kind of shakuhachi player. It concentrates on blowing, sound production, embouchure, blowing angle, concentration and so on. Koga uses Kinko notation in his books. He recommends this book for advanced players.

His other book "Shakuhachi: Japanese Bamboo Flute" is more for beginners to intermediate and includes a play along CD. The CD includes a lot of children's and folk songs which are played by all schools.

He also has a book of "Shakuhachi Essays" which is philosophical in nature and can be enjoyed by players of any ryu.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#7 2006-02-06 14:18:17

Larry Tyrrell
Moderator
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 2005-11-09
Posts: 73
Website

Re: Tozan and Kinko, and some other stuff

Hello Alex,

Perhaps I haven't read all the posts carefully but it's worth saying two things.  One is that the notation covered in Koga's book is Kinko and there is no reason I can see that someone starting out could not use it as a reference for introductory Kinko technique.  As I recall Koga actually started out studying Kinko
with his father in Kyushu and as a college student 'rebelled' by studying and receiving his licence from a Tozan teacher in the Tokyo area.  The other is that it would be both incomplete and erroneous to consider him a Tozan player despite this training.  During his tenure with Ongaku Shudan he concentrated on contemporary playing before branching out on his own and emmigrating to America to follow his unique shakuhachi vision.  It is less well know that he studied with Kohachiro Miyata, the great contemporary master, also.  A note on Miyata as well: although he is generally considered a Kinko player he is in fact something even more unusual in the shakuhachi world; a self-taught master.  I think that many of these concerns are a kind of hair-splitting exercise. There is no specific magic associated with either Kinko or Tozan school and your outcome will represent the sum of your diligent efforts.  Good luck!

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#8 2006-02-07 12:57:49

Alex
Member
From: Barcelona - Spain
Registered: 2005-10-17
Posts: 138

Re: Tozan and Kinko, and some other stuff

Hi there!

Thanks a lot for the replies, I sure appreciate them.

I guess I'm having the "beginners syndrome", being extremely careful with the steps I take, panicking about going in the wrong direction. I guess I should keep in mind what I read somewhere about learning Shakuhachi, "you must learn to live with uncertainty"; crystal clear thought but so hard to actually absorb it!

I think I'd better start with Koga's beginnersí book (I really like the idea of the folk songs, they must be really good to develop a sense of pitch, and the essays must be worth every word in them). And from there I guess I'll just keep on blowing!

Salud, alegrŪa y muchas gracias amigos

Alex


"An artist has got to be careful never really to arrive at a place where he thinks he's "at" somewhere. You always have to realise that you are constantly in the state of becoming. And as long as you can stay in that realm, you'll sort of be all right"
Bob Dylan

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#9 2006-02-07 14:07:19

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3226
Website

Re: Tozan and Kinko, and some other stuff

Alex wrote:

I think I'd better start with Koga's beginnersí book (I really like the idea of the folk songs, they must be really good to develop a sense of pitch, and the essays must be worth every word in them). Alex

To clarify, "Shakuhachi Essays" is a different book (actually more like a pamphlet) than "Shakuhachi:Japanese Bamboo Flute".

If you are a beginner I also recommend James Schlefer's book of exercises. They are straightforward enough that there's not much room for confusion, and there's also a play along CD.

I will be in Spain in late May/early June, if you want to get together I can show you some stuff and run through the material in those books.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#10 2006-02-09 04:17:15

Alex
Member
From: Barcelona - Spain
Registered: 2005-10-17
Posts: 138

Re: Tozan and Kinko, and some other stuff

Hi Tairaku!

Thanks for the the tip and for offering your help! As for your visit to Spain I'll contact you off forum so we can chat about it!

Salud!

Alex


"An artist has got to be careful never really to arrive at a place where he thinks he's "at" somewhere. You always have to realise that you are constantly in the state of becoming. And as long as you can stay in that realm, you'll sort of be all right"
Bob Dylan

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