Myōan-ji today

The temple Myōan-ji is not open to the public, even though the area of Tōfuku-ji temple within which it is located is a well known tourist location. If you come to Myōan-ji on a normal day, the gate will be closed and you will only be able to catch a glimpse of the beautiful moss garden. The abbot of Myōan-ji who lives there with his family is not a Shakuhachi player himself and to take part in or to witness any Komusō activity there you need to know when to come. Some of those events are public and then everyone is free to enter and to listen.

Myōan-ji today is home of the Myōan-dōshu-kai 明暗導主会 "Community of Myōan[-Shakuhachi] Teachers" and the Kyochiki-zenji-hōsan-kai 虚竹禅師奉賛会 "Zen-Master Kyochiku Appreciation Society".

The Myōan-dōshu-kai dates back to the time when Higuchi Taizan came to Kyōto in 1885 to engage himself in reestablishing the Komusō-Shakuhachi tradition and compiling the present repertoire of koten-honkykoku. The group is organising regular Komusō events in various parts of the country and in Kyōto. The supervisor or leader of the group is called kansu 看主, the present kansu is Sakai Genshin 酒井玄心 (Seian 清庵). He is the 42nd generation kansu of Myōan-ji, the modern count starting with Higuchi Taizan as the 35th. The homepage of the Dōshu-kai states that there are more than 200 Myōan-Shakuhachi teachers who belong to the organisation.

The Kyochiki-zenji-hōsan-kai, of which I myself am a member, is organising two annual Komusō meetings, one at Myōan-ji (in November) and one in a annually changing location. There are about 50 players from all over Japan taking part in those events.