Kinko Ryu

Araki Kodō V giving a speech at the 100 year Death Anniversary of Araki Chikuō. [Photographs of this event courtesy of Hōgaku Journal]

The Kinko Ryu lineage is the most well documented of the Fuke-shu honkyoku lineages, as well as being the largest school of shakuhachi honkyoku in Japan. We can trace the head teachers, known as “Soke”, from Araki Kodo V all the way back to the founder of the style, Kurosawa Kinko (1710-1771), head teacher of the Kanto Fuke-shu temples Ichigetsuji and Reihoji. This lineage was renowned for highly refined musicianship and shakuhachi craftsmanship, as well as deep spirituality. This is a rare combination of traits, perhaps most clearly illustrated by the fourth Grandmaster Hisamatsu Fuyo’s example. He has passed down to us not only some of the finest shakuhachi, but also the finest writings on the philosophy and practice of the komuso.

Araki Kodō V and Justin playing a duet composed by Araki, at the 100 year Death Anniversary of his great grandfather Araki Chikuō

Justin’s primary teacher for Kinko Ryu is Araki Kodo V, with whom he studied the complete honkyoku repertoire of the 36 pieces (the standard Kinko repertoire) as well as 2 additional rare Kinko honkyoku, and many traditional ensemble pieces. In recognition of Justin’s mastery of this style he was awarded his Shihan master’s licence by Araki Kodo, and in recognition as a master maker, issued with the stamp “Kodo Sen” (“Chosen by Kodo”).

Altar in remembrance of Araki Chikuō at his 100 year Death Anniversary


Kinko Ryu lineage chart:
The following chart shows the Grandmasters in red, and the wider community of Kinko Ryu teachers in black (those who studied directly with the Grandmasters) and blue (those who are two or more steps removed from the Grandmasters). This chart is a simplification showing only the more well known teachers.

While Justin studied some Kinko Ryu pieces with other teachers earlier in his career (Michael Coxall in England and Kurahashi Yoshio in Kyoto), this chart shows Justin’s main teacher Araki Kodo V, as well as showing an extremely rare Ikkan Ryu lineage which Justin received from Otsubo Shido. Ikkan Ryu existed as a variation of Kurosawa Kinko’s established style since the time of Miyaji Ikkan, but was almost entirely merged with Ikkan Ryu in the time of Araki Chikuo.

Kinko Ryū and Ikkan Ryū Lineage Chart


Some shakuhachi made by the Grandmasters of Kinko-ryu:

Kurosawa Kinko I

Kurosawa Kinko II*

Kurosawa Kinko III*

*(It is very hard to distinguish between Kurosawa Kinko II and Kurosawa Kinko III instruments without a written record. Although it cannot be said with 100% certainty, it is most likely that the above are made by Kurosawa Kinko II and III respectively.)

Hisamatsu Fūyō

Araki Chikuō

Araki Kodō III

Araki Kodō IV

Araki Kodō V

For ordering Kinko Ryu shakuhachi or for Kinko Ryu shakuhachi lessons please contact Justin at:

senryushakuhachi ‘at’ gmail ‘dot’ com.