Jin Nyodo – shakuhachi master
Jin Nyodo (May 10, 1892 – 1965) was born in Aomori prefecture, Tsugaru (Northern Japan) where he studied the unique regional style, the Kimpu ryu (Nezasa ha). He later moved to Tokyo where he studied Kinko ryu. He eventually developed his own unique playing style that was slower, having very long tones. He also created his own arrangements of the honkyoku he had learned and even composed two new honkyoku.
For example, all of Jin Nyodo’s “Fudaiji” honkyoku are actually his rearrangements of Higuchi Taizan‘s arrangements of the original Seien ryu Fudaiji honkyoku. Some confusion is caused by the fact the Jin Nyodo decided to attach the name of the temples which pieces originated from to the titles of his arrangements. Jin Nyodo’s Fudaiji Kyorei, for example, is very different from both Taizan’s and the original Seien ryu Fudaiji version in that Jin Nyodo’s remains in the first octave Otsu while Taizan’s and the original have many phrases in the upper octave Kan.
Here is a published report of how Jin Nyodo “learned” the piece Ajikan from its composer, Miyagawa Nyozan.
Jin Nyodo went to Miyagawa Nyozan’s dojo in order to learn Ajikan but got turned away at the front gate. When asked about the incident Miyagawa Nyozan said, “Well, he [Jin Nyodo] did come here. Jin told me that before he came to see me he had been playing Ajikan all over Japan. However, he was playing it on a long flute, same as Tani [Kyochiku] (Nyozan expelled Tani Kyochiku). I do not know whether he learned it from Tani or not but either way, I do not see why he should come all the way out here to learn it from me. If I meet and talk to him, I will not be able to avoid playing it for him. But if I play it for him he is just going to play it Jin-style on a long flute, right? And then what am I going to do if he goes around saying ‘This is Ajikan’?”. Jin Nyodo took to loitering around Nyozan’s house, waiting for someone inside to practice “Ajikan” so that he could listen-in. He was a man possessed by “Ajikan”.