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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:46 am 
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[And yet another revival. - Mod]

Shakuhachi a peaceful mediative instrument? No doubt. Was it always that way? Be its past questionable padawan! When the samurai were disbanded, and the swords confiscated, they needed a weapon that would appear to not be a weapon.
Ah, Grasshopper you play Shakuhachi very well but why is there blood all over the roots of your flute? Why do you wear a basket over your head when you wander through town? All the better to strike the all powerful nearly silent note!
Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of heaven, you can justify it in the end.
There won't be any shakuhachi's blowing, come the judgement day,
On the bloody morning after............. One Tin Grasshopper rides away.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:02 pm 
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I will refrain from accusations of trolling for now, tbone, and instead venture to inform you. (...but Billy Jack? Seriously? :wink: )

In this case your grasp of the matter is not as one might hope, but that's going to be true of most people. First of all, there was no confiscation drive by the Japanese government. In a nutshell, the disbanding of the samurai as a class was a process of steps beginning in 1873 and which was only truly wrapped up once and for all by 1947; indeed, prior to 1873 the nation had already been at peace with itself for so long that the samurai had become largely idle militarily, with fewer and fewer being retained. They drifted into nonmartial occupations because their stipends, if any, became increasingly reduced and they had to find other ways to put food on the table, mostly by entering into administration, but also medicine, academics, and the arts. Some even took up farming. I doubt that any ventured full-out into commerce without some major soul-searching, because no matter how wealthy and influential, merchants were at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Be that as it may, this became the norm, but whatever they did for income they still retained samurai status. In other words, they were redundant. Of course a few descended to banditry and the like, but the lot weren't all going around cutting each other up willy-nilly; there were already very stiff laws against that long beforehand. In the course of the disbanding process, the samurai's right to wear swords and use them at will among the general public was abolished. That's a completely different thing from confiscation. Yes, there were "sword hunts" in the past, but those were either between warlords, the winner in war harrying the loser, or in the most famous and sweeping case, to outlaw and remove weapons from the hands of commoners and monks, not samurai. Big picture is the samurai still kept their arms by privilege and displayed them at home, and continued to use them in contexts such as teaching, practice, and demonstration (pursuits that continue to this day); there was no overarching "need" for stealth weapons to substitute for their traditional ones. Splashy video game gore-fest narratives might be another matter, but questionable amusements ain't history.

Less in question was how the mendicant komusō monk wasn't always entirely what he seemed; the whole getup was perfect for anonymous spying and surveillance, if a bit obvious, so the shogunate granted them complete travel privileges free of challenge and used them for espionage. It's also known that lay people dressed up that way as well for covert reasons. Makes sense. Naturally in all things cloak-and-dagger, self defense is a consideration, so the shakuhachi is logical for the purpose (so long as it's of one-piece construction).

Here's a komusō in full kit so we can stay marginally on-topic:

Image

But it's highly doubtful that samurai would have readily engaged in such deceptions except in great extremity; it would go against their sense of honor. Working in espionage was a ninja's gig, skulking being unworthy of the samurai's hereditary profession. If members of samurai families ever took up the shakuhachi as a pastime, there is no doubt that they would also consider its martial potential, but being primarily a defensive weapon it never replaced the sword, the bow, or any other traditional weapon associated with that class. It would have at most been simply a nonstandard weapon of circumstance. If one felt the need for a dedicated defensive weapon just in case, the socially acceptable tessen (a solid iron bar in the general shape of a folded fan, also a working fan with iron ribs that serves as a baton when closed) was more likely because of its unobtrusive appearance and because it was easily tucked through the belt and out of the way, neither of which can be said about the considerably less durable shakuhachi.

And now that I've bored you all to death...

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:47 pm 
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"bored you all to death?" I hope that was tapered bore. In a small insignificant way you confirmed my absurd posting, Wikipost master. Just kidding. I did enjoy your post. My post was a bit of truth mixed with humor and your post was a bit of humor mixed with truth and the world is a better place for it too Brutus and you are a noble man and a moderator!
One tin grasshopper tip-toes away.

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“Boredom is a pleasing antidote for fear”
― Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:26 pm 
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Well, someone has to be Cliff Clavin around here...

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:23 pm 
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Funny you should bring up Cliff Clavin. I just happen to be one of the 3 people who've never been in his kitchen.
I must clear the aire on the Cliff <-> tbone controversy. I am Not Koko the Chimp.
One more point. Cliff Clavin is not in the Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame and I is!
The above sentence is true on a technicality. I worked in a recording studio and did some back-up tracks for a band that I never met. 20 years later while flipping through channels on TV I saw the induction of said band into the Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame. My notes are in there Toot!

What does this have to do with World/Folk Winds?
Where's a Moderator!

P.S. It goes without saying that I am ashamed to admit that I am fascinated with opened ended 8 hole dong-xiaos.

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"Cliff Clavin was a strolling bore." - Nanu-Nanu
P.S.S. I'll try to get more on topic


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:04 pm 
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Umm...just so we're clear, here, because so far I'm not assured that you are: The Cliff Clavin reference was about my awful, droning factmongering.

I'm sure we'll get to know you. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:38 pm 
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Thank You for allowing me to stay in this awesome forum. I have been a fan of flutes since the Kung Fu TV series. I started building flutes out of bamboo with the old instruction book that had the great idea of using an elastic waist band with the spacing according to the book that could then be stretched to various lengths and the holes would be close to correct. After Bamboo I graduated to Lead pipes which should shed light on my mis-behavior.
While my non musical friends were OK with my flute playing they loved it when I started playing at the State and National parks as the sun went down. Flute = Lovely Lady magnet. All you young youngsters learn from your elders!

30,000 trumps 5
bruce


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:24 am 
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tbone wrote:
I started building flutes out of bamboo with the old instruction book that had the great idea of using an elastic waist band with the spacing according to the book that could then be stretched to various lengths and the holes would be close to correct.
Yeah, that works - provided the elastic band stretches at a uniform rate. It basically comes back to the fact that each note in the scale is a fixed percentage of the sounding length of the flute. You can always calculate hole position based on those factors. The elastic band is a great production aid in the shop in that it absolves the maker from the tedious task of doing the math for a scale of any length.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7dLyOutCzY

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