"komusoh (=nothingness monk)" , is the priest of the Fuke sect
which is a sect of the Zen Budism. The
founder of Fuke sect is Zen-master Fuke of Tang (=China).
the years of Kencho in Kamakura era, a Chinese Zen priest named Hohfuse
Koji came to Japan and stayed at "Kyuko-an" temple and
evangelized zen for the first time in history.
figure in the photo is a "han-soh or han-zoku-nosoh", a
half-priest or the priest of a half-way of the world, who is playing the
"shakuhachi" bamboo flute to ask for charity.
monks, who were described in the book titled "the 71-turn Poetry
Meet" published in Ashikaga period, were called "boro", a
kind of the beggar priest of owner hair. In
the "Tsurezuregusa", Essays of Idleness, Yoshida Kenkoh
(1283-1352) wrote as follows; ""The komusoh's avarice is
strong in spite of being a hermit. In spite of seeking the Buddhism, he
fights frequently. " In
the essay, the "komusoh" monk wore a balck kimono over a white
one, a white "hachimaki" headband, a "shakuhachi"
flute on the waist, a "karakasa" hat, and a pair of "geta"
wooden sandals; he wore neither a "koromo" priest's robe nor a
"kesa" surplice. In
the Edo era, a samurai who left the main house became a "rohnin",
a samurai who is out of employment; he kept his status secret, obtained
priesthood, and then wandered about countries.
October 28th in the fourth year of Meiji, the Fuke sect was abolished
and was made to belong to the Rinzai sect, another Zen sect.
belongs to the Myoanji Buddhist temple in the Tohfukuji group of Rinzai
sect now. The
figure in the photo wears the costume which was reproduced on the basis
of the current "komusoh" style; the style is cosidered to be
almost same as the one in Edo era. He
wears a "tengai" hat, a "kosode (=shor sleeve)"
kimono in black or white color, and a "obi" band. [There is no
rules for the "obi" band.] He
also wears "oh-kuwara" or "rakusu" surplice over the
shopulder and a "ge-bako" box on the chest.
as in the "ge-bako" box means the musical notes for the "shakuhachi"
bamboo flute; the "komusoh" priest keeps several things, such
as the "ge" notes and the "fuse" charity. etc.
he wears a pair of white "tekoh" glove, a pair of "kyahan"
socks and "zohri" straw sandals. [Otherwise, a pair of "zohri"
sandals or "geta" wodden sandals.] He
holds a "shakuhachi" flute in hands, a "juzu" rosary
in the left hand and keeps an extra flute for replacement.