WATAZUMIDO DOSO ROSHI (1910-1992) is perhaps the most legendary of all modern shakuhachi players and teachers. Amongst his many students is Yokoyama Katsuya, one of greatest players in Japan today.

Regarding himself as something other than a musician, Watazumido based his music in an uncompromising vigorous physical discipline. He was a practitioner of the Jo stick, a long hardwood pole with which he used to stretch, massage, pounds and invigorate his body in a daily regimen beginning at 3:30 AM each day. For over 3,000 consecutive days, he maintained this discipline.

Watazumido studied Rinzai Zen attaining the title of Roshi or Master and later became the Kanjo or unifying head of the Fuke sect of Zen Buddhism. He shunned traditional organized Zen practice for 32 years in favor of his own iconoclastic approach distinguished by breath training and vigorous exercise at its core. The lengthening of the "Out Breath" in his practice is directly descended from the wisdom of the breath as practiced in Zen.

Watazumido's music is as unique as it is intense. His style of shakuhachi playing is based on a discipline combining Zen breath awareness and the martial arts. He is known for the blowing an original, personal style of Honkyoku on bamboos of enormous size and length called hotchiku flutes.


"So in that sound you have to put in your guts, your strength and your own specialness. And what you are putting in then is your own Life and your own Life Force. When you hear some music or hear some sound, if for some reason you like it very well; the reason is that sound is in balance or in harmony with your pulse. And so making a sound, you try to make various different sounds that imitate various different sounds of the universe, but what you are finally making is your own sound, the sound of yourself."

- Watazumi Doso Roshi

S-W1c [J]
Shakuhachi & Hotchiku
Watazumi Humon / Itcho Humon

Watazumido Doso Roshi used the name Itcho Human up until 1938. This recording of his very early works was first released in 1974.

1. 'Yuri Sashi' (Ajikan) [1954]
2. Honshirabe [1954]
3. Reibo [1952]
4. Azuma Jishi [1954]
5. Tsuru no Sugomori [1954]
6. Tamuke [1952]
7. Koku (Mono) [1952]
8. Watazumi no Shirabe [1954]
9. Yuri Sashi [1940]
10. Sanya [1940]
11. Sagariha [1943]
12. Reibo [1942]
13. Yamato Shirabe [1943]
14. Saji [1941]
15. Tsuru no Sugomori [1941]
1. 淘薩慈 (阿字観)
2. 本調 (テープ録音)
3. 霊慕
4. 吾妻獅子
5. 鶴の巣籠り
6. 手向
7. 虚空
8. わたづみの調
9. 淘薩慈
10. 三谷
11. 下り葉
12. 鈴慕
13. 大和調べ
14. 薩慈
15. 鶴之巣籠



25th Anniversary Commemorative Reissue

S-W1b [J]

(Translation: Musoshoku - "Non-adornment ". Muchoon - "Non-tuning".)

New digitally remastered recording of Watazumido's very first public lecture-demonstration & concert of Dokyoku in Japan, held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Festival Hall on December 5, 1973.

This event was marks the unveiling of Watazumido's philosophy and spiritual practice. Before this time, he had refused any discusion or revelation of his philosophy. The program was divided into three parts: 1. Lecture on Avant-Garde Philosophical Principle; 2. Practice of Watazumi-Dojo; 3. Training of Suijo ("Blowing").

無装飾無調音 ~ 海童道祖
1. Honshirabe
2. Shingetsu
3. Tamuke
4. Shishi
5. Tsuru no Sugomori
6. Kyorei
7. Koku
8. Dai Otsugaeshi
9. Kaze
10. Sagarinami
11. Korosugagaki
12. Matsukaze
1. 本調(ほんしらべ)
2. 心月(しんげつ)
3. 手向(たむけ)
4. 獅子(しし)
5. 鶴の巣籠り(すごもり)
6. 虚霊(きょれい)
7. 虚空(こくう)
8. 大乙返し(だいおつがえし)
9. 風
10. 下り波(さがりなみ)
11. 転菅垣(ころすががき)
12. 松風(まつかぜ)


Minyo (Folk Songs) performed on shinobue (bamboo side-blown flute) and Honkyoku played on very large hotchiku flutes.

Shakuhachi pieces on this CD include: Rinmon, Ukigumo, Kumoi Jishi, Musashi no Shirabe, Dai-Bosatsu, Shingetsu, Shirabe (Nezasa Ha), Netori and Kyorei.

Please note that the recording quality of this CD is rather poor. It appears to be the original unedited field tapes transcribed onto CD without editing or refinement of any kind. Notwithstanding, the spirit and energy of Watazumido's incredible blowing shines through. I am offering this CD as it is the only recording of Watazumido's available outside of Japan.


A Note about Pricing of CDs Imported from Japan

The price of CDs manufactured and sold in Japan are significantly higher than recordings made and distributed here in the USA. The average price for Japanese CDs is ¥3150 or, at the current exchange US Dollar to Japanese Yen rate, significantly more expensive than the cost of most American CDs. Add to this the shipping cost involved in importing these recordings. For this reason, in the past, I have hesitated to carry a large selection of Japanese CDs. However, by request and popular demand, I have changed this policy, but please don't be shocked by the sticker prices. Some Japanese artists represented on this site have are graciously offering their music at a significant discount to accommodate the world shakuhachi community. I have also endeavored to keep pricing in line as much as possible.

Learn more about Watazumido Doso Roshi
ISS Annals-Vol. 1
ISS Annals-Vol. 2
Video including Watazumi playing shakuhachi

Monty H. Levenson, P.O. Box 294, Willits, CA 95490 USA
[email protected]    www.shakuhachi.com

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