Head priest of the Icchoken Temple sub-temple of the grand Saikoji Temple in Hakata, Kyushu; bearer of the long lineage of the Icchoken shakuhachi.
Genmyo Iso is a special guest of this year’s festival. He will introduce the shakuhachi as a spiritual instrument that is played for suizen meditation. His visit to Europe is a very special occasion for everyone involved with the shakuhachi on a spiritual level.
Fuke sect and Icchoken Temple:
The members of the Fuke sect play the shakuhachi during their religious training, believing that playing thoroughly every sound makes one reach enlightenment.
Fuke sect reached its peak during the Edo Period (1603-1868). Although the sect vanished from the public, its tradition has continued and is a part of the cultural heritage of Fukuoka, referred to as “Icchoken Denhocchiku” (Komuso’s shakuhachi that has been handed down to Icchoken). Icchoken is the name of a Fuke sect Komuso temple, located in Hakata and is still one of the few truly active shakuhachi temples left in Japan. It was formed during the Kanei era (1624-1643) by Ichio from Kyoto who started his Komuso life in Entsu temple. Icchoken became the first Komuso temple in Chikuzen (Northern Kyushu). After the abolishment of Fuke sect in the 1870’s, Icchoken revived in Daijojimaecho (Reizen) in 1951, and was then moved to Saiko Temple in a sub-temple of Rinzaishu Myoshinji sect, Shofukuji.