Sometimes ya get lucky
On another post I spoke of getting a Shakuhachi from the recycle store. He took me a while to decide to purchase it. I even checked with the I-ching, I did not want to waste my hard-earned cash. At first I was going to take pictures of it and ask Sensei his opinion and show him the makers mark. However after thinking about it as just a carry around practice flute, it was not a big deal if it was junk, if it served my purpose as I would buy a good one later. As I said it had a flaw but it did not seem a big deal so I brought it. I have been taking it with me to work and playing it sounds fine and Plays well, to me. It is mentally more comfortable to have my own and not be worried something happening to it.
I had my lesson with Sensei last night, and took the flute along for him to check out and give an opinion. After my lesson I told sensei the story about just happening to come across this Shakuhachi in the recycle store sitting in a glass case. He said oh , interesting. And took a look at it. I showed him the piece of tape I put on it to give the sections a better fit. He asked paper tape? I said yes. He replied, good, anything else is too thick. He looked at the makers signature. he said I know of this maker, he makes good Shakuhachi. This is not a no name flute. He put the flute together and started to play. He played scales, runs, then played a couple of songs. Afterward he looks at me and says how much? Sou ka! I will tell you a secret, this flute although student level is better than the one your Sempai lent to you!
Me: ehhhhhhhh! Yokatta
Sensei: yokatta ne!
My day is made, turns out to be a great score! Sensei says when I am leaving, something that means God granted your heart desire.
On another note, (heheh)
I met via the internet several other Shakuhachi players. It started with reading a blog called “myoanshakuhachi.blogspot.jp ” . This person is a Zen priest who plays Shakuhachi, I contacted him as he had posted something about some master flute-maker and how to buy one of his Shakuhachi. This was before I found out about my current new one. So this person was kind and put me in touch with this maker via Facebook. I contacted him however that did not go as planed. I wanted to know about purchasing a flute, he seemed to think i was interested in lessons. I am not sure if his flute are for a certain style or just the language communication was not correct. Although he did write in English and my wife wrote in Japanese. Anyway, seems he gives lessons on Kumoso style playing and perhaps makes Shakuhachi for that, I am guessing. I have not heard back after i said i did not want lessons , I wanted a flute. Oh well, I have a flute now of my own for my next couple of learning years, before making serious purchase from Sensei’s connection/friend.
Along with the introduction to this master I was also turned on to another friend of the Priest, this person a real life Kumosu monk in the Kyoto area.
He I am told is a licensed Kumosu monk, meaning the government says it is ok for him to go out and beg. From some reading I found you need. License to beg here in Japan. I said this before, Japan loves licenses for stuff! Part of that control society thing. Which like most things is both Yin and Yang.
So yeah, this guy is one of those Shakuhachi monks. I did not know they were still around, in real life. From what I hear it is not that hard to be an apprentice. Something I may look into later when my skill set increases. It would help with my training to be a street Musician, and wearing the basket would give me a “sense” of the unknown “ninja-ness”. 🙂
So speaking with Sensei last night at the lesson, unrelated to the guy topic, he brings up he had a disciple who is in Wakayama and is a Kumoso and plays regularly with others at Kokokuji temple in Wakayama. If I was interested he would introduce me. Sensei knows of my Chan/Zen practice and interest. I said thank you,
…but later, my skills are still too weak at this time.