A Buddhist monk begging as a komusō
A komusō, was a Japanese begging monk of the Fuke school of Zen Buddhism, during the Edo period of 1600-1868. Komusō were characterised by the straw basket (a sedge or reed hood named a tengai) worn on the head, manifesting the absence of specific ego. They are also known for playing solo pieces on the shakuhachi (a type of Japanese bamboo flute).
These pieces, called honkyoku (“original pieces”) were played during a meditative practice called suizen for alms, as a method of attaining enlightenment, and as a healing modality. The Japanese government introduced reforms after the Edo period, abolishing the Fukè sect. Records of the musical repertoire survived, and are being revived in the 20th century.
adapted from wikipedia.org
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