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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."[1]

Kinko Ry?

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.

  1. Hifumi--Hachigaeshi no Shirabe ?
  2. Taki-ochi no Kyoku (Taki-otoshi no Kyoku) ?
  3. Akita Sugagaki ?
  4. Koro Sugagaki
  5. Ky?sh? Reibo ?
  6. Shizu no Kyoku ?
  7. Ky? Reibo
  8. Mukaiji Reibo
  9. Kok? Reibo
  10. a) Kok? Kaete (Ikkan-ry?) ? () b) Banshikich?
  11. Shin Kyorei
  12. Kinsan Kyorei ?
  13. Yoshiya Reibo ?
  14. Y?gure no Kyoku ?
  15. Sakai Jishi
  16. Uchikae Kyorei ?
  17. Igusa Reibo ?
  18. Izu Reibo ?
  19. Reibo Nagashi
  20. S?kaku Reibo ?
  21. Sanya Sugagaki ?
  22. Shimotsuke Kyorei ?
  23. Meguro-jishi ?
  24. Ginry? Kok? ?
  25. Sayama Sugagaki ?
  26. Sagari Ha no Kyoku
  27. Namima Reibo ?
  28. Shika no T?ne ?
  29. H?sh?su
  30. Akebono no Shirabe
  31. Akebono Sugagaki
  32. Ashi no Shirabe
  33. Kotoji no Kyoku ?
  34. Kinuta Sugomori
  35. Tsuki no Kyoku
  36. Kotobuki no Shirabe

At least three additional pieces were later added to the Kinko-Ryu repertoire:

  1. Kumoi Jishi ?
  2. Azuma no Kyoku ?
  3. Sugagaki

Other notable Honkyoku schools:

School Founder
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 ?



  1. ^ Matou?ek, Vlastislav. "Specifics of the Musical Language of Fuke Honkyoku". shakuhachi.cz.
  2. ^ Shakuhachi Meditation Music, Stan Richardson. Boulder, Colorado: Sounds True (1997) (liner notes)

External links

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