Ifu Sashi

Each summer, when we arrive on Block Island, I think that this blog, which died and was buried last summer, will rest in its grave, content with reminiscences of its past glory. But it has managed to claw its way through six feet of dirt, and stands again in the open air, eager to eat out my brain once again.

I promise not to confound your mind this summer with another steady stream of shakuhachi music. But I am currently obsessed with Ifu Sashi, and I cannot resist sharing it with you. The ususal warnings apply. You need to listen carefully, and whole-heartedly (earphones help), and more than once, or I can guarantee that you won’t get it.

I don’t know what “ifu” means, and the meaning of “sashi” is disputed. According to tradition, the piece comes from the ItchoKen Temple on the island of Kyushu.

2 thoughts on “Ifu Sashi”

  1. I have just listened three times, and hear more each time. The third time the music was underscored by a faint twittering of bird outside my window, and that seemed good also. I wish my ancient limbs could sit closer to the ground, for that would seem proper, but my chair will have to do. I think also of a segment of about eleven minutes from my favorite Ozu movie, “Late Spring”, which contains a segment of a Noh play, and which I have seen many times with increased awe of the subtleties contained therein. Furthermore, I have a certain amount of jealousy as a poet who tries to convey certain feelings through my words, and cannot approach the realm of music. Thank you for sharing this.

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