Since I started to teach shakuhachi in the Netherlands in 2013, it was a dream for me to invite my master Fukuda Teruhisa and his wife Kineya Shiho (shamisen) to come to Holland. When I got my Jun Shihan diploma in January 2013 with the name Seiyu (wisdom/holy kindness), I didn’t consider it as an achievement but as a start. The beginning of a new adventure in a new land, new language, new rules, new habits, and a new personal life.
Since then, it has been a lot of work here in Holland to build up friendships, a professional network and to find my space in my new country in the Japanese cultural world, as a non-Dutch non-Japanese person. I have got some help and I am very thankful for the people who have been trusting and helping me since the beginning. My efforts, practice and professional performances were rewarded by Fukuda sensei giving me a Shihan diploma in November 2015, which has encouraged me to develop my work even more. Sometimes when I feel down, tired or discouraged by the difficulties, I think of what I have received so far and I see it as a precious gift, which gives me energy to go on.
The Hijiri Shakuhachi Foundation
At a moment in 2017, I realised that I had reached the limits of what my little company could do and that, if I wanted to go a step further in developing and promoting the shakuhachi in the Netherlands, I needed another organisation. This is how the Hijiri Shakuhachi Foundation was created, on the 9th of October 2017, with 3 of my students as co-founders. Please visit our website. With even a small gift, you can support us!
Shakuhachi & Shamisen Masterclass and Concert
The Shakuhachi & Shamisen Masterclass and Concert was held on the 26th & 27th of August 2018, at the Japanese Cultural Centre Shofukan, in Rotterdam. 13 students signed up for one or both days, which was already a great achievement. I was so proud and happy that my students could benefit from the teaching of my master, one of the best shakuhachi players in the world. It was also for me a recognition of my work in the Netherlands to build up a shakuhachi school.
For Fukuda Sensei, playing together is very important. So he offered to practice Tamuke Jibotan all together, in order to perform it during the evening concert. It was a great honour for all of us and I am proud that my students were not afraid by the challenge. Tamuke in itself is very special piece: an offering, a requiem, a spiritual moment we shared together. I think it made a very special impression on the audience during the concert.
The concert featured traditional, modern and contemporary pieces. It hosted the world premiere of a piece composed by the Japanese composer Kei Daigo, especially to be performed during this concert: “Morning Glory Calls“.
I also had the great honour to perform a duet with Fukuda sensei: his new version of Shika-renbo, based on the famous Kinko-ryū Honkyoku Shika-no-tonē (a male and a female deer responding to one another’s calls deep in the autumnal mountains). As of one of Daniel’s student told me in France (where I also performed this piece with Jean-Marie SeiJu Fouilleul): “most of the time, this piece is performed by two men. And it makes the piece even more special when it is performed by a man and a woman”.
The Hijiri Shakuhachi Foundation has got a YouTube Channel where you can watch part of the concert (you can also click on the links in the text). Enjoy!
If you’d like to follow us, we’ll have new projects in 2019!
Photos ⓒ Wim Scheenen