Kyotaku                                                                                                                           
                                    
  De Zen fluit met een bijzonder warme en stiltebrengende klank.

As known from the Kyotaku Denki, Kyotaku was a name already used for shakuhachi in former times. Here is the story how Koku Nishimura came to name his flutes Kyotaku again.

From the book "Koku", which is about Koku Nishimura's life, and translated by Agar Kyosui Noiri.

The Kyotaku
According to the ancient book of “Kyotakudenki”, the Kyotaku is a bamboo wind instrument developed in the Tang Dynasty (618 AD - 907 AD) by Chohaku, a disciple of an odd Zen monk Fuke. Chohaku’s flute was designed to imitated the tone of Fuke’s “Taku” bell, as used in mendicancy (religious begging) and was constructed with no finger holes, able to make only a single pitched note.

During mendicancy, Chohaku would follow Fuke. just as the Taku bell's sound`boon' would dissipate into the air, Chohaku would reply the sound `buun'made by his bamboo flute - this is why it was called Kyo-taku.
(“Kyo” means false ).
However that flute and its name have disappeared a long time ago.

Now a bamboo flute called 'Kyotaku' has been created by me, Koku Nishimura
I have utilized very old traditional bamboo flute making techniques . After a number of researches and trials, I was finally able to complete my own Kyotaku design, which is a secret traditional craft. With deep low sounds we can calm down our minds more than with shallow high sounds. The longer a bamboo flute become, the lower sounds it makes.

Originally, my bamboo flute design had no name, however the flute came to be called Kyotaku after I was invited to a meeting of cultured individuals
(Shiko Munakata, Kan Misumi, Katsukiyo Koyama, Kanji Koyana, Koume Akasaka) at the Nihon Club in Yuuraku-cho, Tokyo in 1954. At that time, I played a piece of music ‘Ajikan’ with my bamboo flute ; after listening to the music, they understood that my bamboo flute was quite different from Shakuhachi in terms of its length and sound, and that it needed its own name suitable to express the originality of this bamboo flute.
I told them about the story of Fuke and Chohaku and they agreed that Kyotaku was the appropriate name for the bamboo flute. After the meeting, the bamboo flute I created came to be called Kyotaku.
In creating a Kyotaku, the resonant qualities of th bamboo, that is, the sounds from Nature are vitally important and should be taken care of carefully- So far it has not possible to create Kyotaku through computer science.
The quality of each Kyotaku is highly dependent on the quality of the whole bamboo.

In Japan, there are now several dedicated schools (Dojyo) to learn Kyotaku, and at each Dojyo, the Dojyo-master teaches his followers. Abroad, there are also many eager followers and fans of Kyotaku - in Denmark a CD called “Kyotaku” was produced and was sold internationally.
I am always impressed to hear Kotaku played around the world. Kyotaku is played only for the true classical music of Zen.
Presently many people enjoy the majestic sounds of Kyotaku. And they are now trying their best to hand down Kyotaku to the future generations of our world.

      

 


 
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