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Honkyoku (本曲, "original pieces") are the pieces of shakuhachi music played by mendicant Japanese Zen monks called komusō. Komusō played honkyoku for enlightenment and alms as early as the 13th century. Honkyoku is part of the practice of suizen (吹禅, "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 ryū, or schools, of honkyoku, each with their own style, emphasis, and teaching methods.

Kinko Ryū[edit]

In the 18th century, a komusō 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 Ryū 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. Kyūshū Reibo
  6. Shizu no Kyoku
  7. Kyō Reibo
  8. Mukaiji Reibo
  9. Kokū Reibo
  10. a) Ikkan-ryū Kokū kaete, b) Banshikichō
  11. Shin no Kyorei
  12. Kinsan Kyorei
  13. Yoshiya Reibo
  14. Yūgure no Kyoku
  15. Sakae-jishi
  16. Uchikae Kyorei
  17. Igusa Reibo
  18. Izu Reibo
  19. Reibo-nagashi
  20. Sōkaku Reibo
  21. Sanya Sugagaki
  22. Shimotsuke Kyorei
  23. Meguro-jishi
  24. Ginryū Kokū
  25. Sayama Sugagaki
  26. Sagari-ha no Kyoku
  27. Namima Reibo
  28. Shika no Tōne
  29. Hōshōsu
  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



  1. ^ Shakuhachi Meditation Music, Stan Richardson. Boulder, Colorado: Sounds True (1997) (liner notes)

External links[edit]