Shakuhachi Master - John Singer


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Shishi (phonetically changeable to Jishi) is translated as "lion" but can also refer to a deer or dog having magical properties and used to repel evil spirits.

It is said that the "Kumoi Jishi" which is performed today is a different piece from the one listed in the Kinko family document. Today's "Kumoi Jishi", thematic, metric, and close to the "Sugagaki" style, was brought to Tokyo during the Meiji Era (1868 - 1912) from Iccho Ken Temple in Kyushu.

Iccho Ken Temple, located in Hakata, Kyushu, was a well known Komuso temple and a branch of the Kyoto Myoan-Ji Temple. "Kumoi Jishi", also called "Ni-Agari Jishi", was transmitted to Iccho Ken. It is known for its beautiful melody and was arranged by the famous Kinko Shakuhachi Grand Master Yoshida Iccho, and taken into the Kinko Ryu. This piece is particularly popular in Kyushu.

John performs this piece on his album Zen Shakuhachi Duets.

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