born and raise in Kyoto, is a highly respected master of the Japanese bamboo flute, Shakuhachi,. Holding the highest rank that can be given in the Tozan school of shakuhachi (gDai-Shi-Hanh), he is currently active as both a performer and instructor. In addition, he is also an accomplished master of the Zen Buddhist Meian school of shakuhachi, performing under the name of Kyosei.
proficient in both the stringed-instruments Koto and Shamisen, began her traditional music education in Kyoto at the age of eight. She is currently known as a master performer in both instrumental and vocal music in the Ikuta school of Koto and the Yanagawa school of shamisen. In addition to performing and teaching, she is also active in a number of volunteer organizations, including helping people with special needs
The koto originally came from China around the 8th century and was modified gradually over a long period of time to become the instrument that we see in Japan today. The body is made of a light paulownia wood, with 13 strings made of silk. Each string has its own bridge, shaped like Mt. Fuji, and these can be moved in a way that allows for an unlimited number of tunings. Finger picks are used by the players, placed on the thumb, index, and middle fingers of the right hand.. These picks, along with the bridges, are generally made of ivory. The classic song, Rokudan, composed by Yatsuhashi Kengyo in the Edo period, is considered to be the most famous piece in the Koto repertoire, and is credited with first making the instrument accessible and popular with the public in that period of history. Since the 1960fs, an increasing number of contemporary compositions have been added and new koto designs with 17, 20, or even 30 strings have since been introduced.
The shakuhachi is a uniquely Japanese flute, made of one particular species of bamboo (gmadakeh), with five finger holes (four in front and one in back). Its basic five-note scale is in the key of D. The name, shakuhachi, derives from its length in the traditional Japanese measurement system (1.8 shaku, or 54 cm.), although a variety of both shorter and longer ones are also used.
The shamisen is a three- stringed plucked instrument, also called gsangenh. It originated in China and made its way to Japan through the Okinawan islands about 400 years ago. Its present form is the result of modifications that took place after arriving in Kyoto. The body and neck are made of red sandalwood or other similar hard woods, with a cat or dog skin stretched over it, and silk strings. The plectrum (gbachih) is traditionally made from ivory.
About 600 years ago, the grandson of a samurai, Masakatsu Kusunoki, got official permission from the emperor to become a warrior-monk. Calling himself Komuso, he set out regularly on pilgrimages as an itinerant monk, playing the shakuhachi for food and other offerings. Later, the Fukeshu Zen sect was founded, and under the protection and sponsorship of the shogun, Komuso in his heyday had 140 temples under his control. At that time, the shakuhachi was only available to those who were involved in Buddhist religious practices. When the Fukeshu sect was disbanded in the 19th century, the shakuhachi established itself as a musical instrument, particularly after the Meiji period.
At present, Komuso practice with the shakuhachi exists only in a ceremonial way, although the Fukeshu remains as a Zen sect and has retained its traditional base in Kyotofs Tofukuji Temple.
Traditional Music From Kyoto
1. Harunomumi ( KotoEShakuhachi )
2. Rokudan no shirabe ( koto)
3. Myoanhonkyoku Hontetyoshi ( Shakuhachi )
4. Sakura ( Koto E@Vocal )
5. Shichifukujin ( Shamisen E@Vocal )
6. Kotenhonkyokuk Ajikan ( Shakuhachi )
7. Myoanhonkyoku Takiochi ( Shakuhachi )
8. Chidori no kyoku ( Koto E@Shakuhaachi E Vocal )
9. Kyo no ne ( Koto E@Shamisen E@Shakuhaachi@j
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