is the heart
The man who has never hesitated under a cloudy moon on a night fragrant with plum blossoms, or has no memories of the dawn moon in the sky as he started to walk through the dewy gardens inside the palace gate, had better have nothing to do with love.
It was in 2007 when I met him for the first time. He struck me as a living komuso because of his austere spirit. He traveled worldwide when he was young as a backpacker. He draws paintings every month on komuso and his paintings reveal his inner spiritual world. (He was once accepted to an American university to study art).
One day, when he allowed me to play his (and his friend's) vintage flutes, he scolded me and said: "I don't understand what you are trying to get from each flute. This precious moment won't come back aqain. Why don't you put all of your energy into each flute?" Since then, he became my good friend and mentor. Later, he explained that he had done research on kokan vintage shakuhachi, and the only useful way for him was to play them with the maximized energy for a few hours at least, not by playing lightly or measuring the bore shape, length, and size of those flutes. In other words, he embodied the characteristics of each flute.
Kobayashi is predominantly a jinashi maker, even though he gives shakuhachi lessons regularly at Mejiro. Among the many jinashi shakuhachi that I've tried, his flutes are most colorful and flavorful in terms of tone quality. I particularly liked his long flutes. The sounds of these flutes were profound, vibrant yet light and smooth. As a pianist, I always think of his jinashi as Steinway, whereas other makers' flutes, however functional and playable, sound like the Yamaha or Kawai to my ears. Of course, this doesn't devalue their flutes (I have theirs and love them). But the tone quality of Kobayashi's flutes is outstanding.
From 13 January to March 10 2016, with a subsidy from the state, a restoration project for the preservation of the Daibutsu will commence. Because of the placement of scaffoldings and temporary roof etc., it will be impossible to view the Daibutsu during this time. We apologize deeply for the inconvenience and ask for your kind understanding.
A man who lives on rose-coloured clouds
shunned the usual haunts for a home
every season is equally dead
summer is just like fall
a dark stream always babbles
a towering pine wind sighs
sitting here less than one day
he forgets a whole liftime of sorrow