Shakuhachi and Superstition

In the book Komusō Tani Kyōchiku (edited by Inagaki Ihaku, Komusō-kenkyū-kai 1986) Tani Kyōchiku (you can see some pictures of him on the Myoan Shakuhachi Blog) reports some popular beliefs about the Shakuhachi and the Komusō which I present here.

These texts are collected in the chapter "Shakuhachi and Superstition" (Shakuhachi to meishin 尺八と迷信) and had appeared first in the February edition of the magazine Sankyoku in 1927. The stories, which are introduced as Kyōchiku's own experience, shed some light on the way the Komusō were viewed in the last century. That is, after all, not the Edo period anymore and Komusō in that time were no longer masterless samurai or suspected to be criminals in hiding. For many Japanese meeting a Komusō or any other Buddhist monk was - in many cases - on the contrary a happy omen. I find it interesting, that Tani Kyōchiku has quite a rational view on the people's superstitions concerning the Komusō and the Shakuhachi.