Honkyoku (, "original pieces") are the pieces of shakuhachi music played by mendicant Japanese Zen monks called komus?. Komus? played honkyoku for enlightenment and alms as early as the 13th century. Honkyoku is part of the practice of suizen (, "blowing Zen"). The Fuke sect which originated from this practice ceased to exist in the 19th century, after which several shakuhachi guilds were formed, and the verbal and written lineage of many honkyoku continues today, though the music is now often practised in a concert or performance setting.
There are many ry? ?, or schools, of honkyoku, each with their own style, emphasis, and teaching methods.
"Motion in honkyoku is significantly static, precisely because of the dominance of the sacred purpose and function, and to a certain extent, it is also subject to breathing meditation, the principle of the suidan - the phrase of one full breath - thus a form of breathing exercise."
In the 18th century, a komus? named Kinko Kurosawa of the Fuke sect of Zen Buddhism was commissioned to travel Japan and collect these musical pieces. Although it is commonly thought that the 36 pieces of the Kinko Ry? Honkyoku repertoire were collected and played by Kinko Kurosawa, these pieces were significantly changed and codified by later generations, including Miura Kindo and others.
At least three additional pieces were later added to the Kinko-Ryu repertoire:
Other notable Honkyoku schools:
|Chikuho Ry?||Sakai Chikuho I ?|
|Chikushinkai (Dokyoku)||Watazumi Doso ? / Yokoyama Katsuya|
|Jikish? Ry?||Tajima Tadashi ?|
|Mu Ryû||Miyata Kohachiro|
|Myoan Shinpo Ry?||Ozaki Shinryu ?|
|Nezasa Ha / Kimpu Ry?||Kurihara (Einosuke) Kinpu ?|
|Seien Ry?||Kanemoto Seien ?|
|Taizan Ha||Higuchi Taizan ?|
|Tozan Ry?||Nakao Tozan ?|
|Ueda Ry?||Ueda Hodo ?|