HANGSZERSZÁMOK EGY ZEN
The Sound Instruments in the Zen Monastery
In the Zendo life, the movements of the monks on various occasions are directed by the use of different kinds of sound-producing instruments. No oral orders are given; but when a certain instrument is sounded, the monks know what it means at that particular time. The accompanying pictures illustrate such instruments.
The Ôgane (1) is the largest bell used in the monastery, it hangs underneath a specially-designed structure. The heavy swinging beam (2, shumoku) is used to strike the bell. It is this bell which reflects the spirit of the Buddhist temple. The ring has a peculiarly soul-pacifying effect. Lafcadio Hearn in his Unfamiliar Japan, Vol. I refers to the "big bell of Engakuji" and most beautifully describes its "sweet billowing of tone" when it is struck and the "eddying of waves of echoes" which rolls over the surrounding hills. As a work of art the bell occupies an important position, and there are many old bells now in Japan which are classed as "national treasures" of the country.
Denshô or Hanshô (3) is a much smaller one and generally found hanging under the eaves. It is struck with a mallet (4). When a gathering takes place in the Buddha-hall, this calls out the monks from the Zendo.
Umpan (5) is "cloud-plate" made of bronze. When this rings, it means that the dining room is open.
Han (7) is a heavy solid board of wood hung by the front door of the Zendo. When this is struck, the monks know that the time is come for them to get up or to retire to bed or that a teishô is to take place, etc. The characters read:
"Birth-and-death is the grave event,
Transiency will soon be here,
Let each wake up [to this fact],
And, being ever reverend, do not give
yourselves up to dissipation."
The last two lines sometimes read differently in different Zendos. The board is taken hold of, when struck, by means of the strings hanging below in a loop.
Kin or Keisu (9) is a high, somewhat large, metal gong in the Buddha-hall. Its rim is struck with a stick (10) to punctuate the sutra-reading. The smaller one, Rin or Shôkei (16), is also used in this connection.
Two kinds of bells (suzu or rei) used by Rôshi are shown in (11). The choice is individual. Other kinds are also used, one of which is given in (15).
Inkin (12) is always carried in the hand and struck with a metal stick attached to it with a string. When the head-monk strikes it in the Zendo, it means the beginning or the end of the meditation hours. When he does so at the head of a procession it means that all the monks joining it are to stand still and then sit, or that they have to rise from the sitting position and walk back to the Zendo.
Kanshô (13) is used when the monks want to interview the Rôshi on Zen. When the sanzen hour comes, the Rôshi's attendant strikes this bell with the hammer (14). The monks come out of the Zendo, one by one if it is a dokusan, and in file if it is a sôsan; they sit before the bell in the order of arrival. The master interviews one monk at a time. Being ready, he rings his hand-bell (11) to which the monk responds by striking his bell (13), once for sôsan and twice for dokusan.
Rei (15), also called Rin, is a hand-bell which rings by shaking. It is used by Rôshi, and also by a monk when he reads the sutras while standing, for instance, before Idaten, the kitchen god, at meal-time.
The big drum, Hokku (18), is generally set up on a high stand in a corner of the Buddha-hall. When a general gathering takes place, it is beaten with two sticks (19) alternately with a peculiar rhythm.
The big wooden fish (20) called Hô is used principally in the Sôtô monastery and not in the Rinzai. The inside is hollowed out. It is used to announce the midday meal. How the fish came to function in the Buddhist temple is unknown. Some think the fish is a symbol of immortality, and for this reason it is frequently found in Christian symbolism. But Buddhism is the teaching in which rebirth and not individual immortality is emphasised.
Mokugyo (24), literally "a wooden fish" is said to be the modification of the Hô (20). It is a peculiarly-shaped roundish solid block of wood with the inside hollowed out, and obtainable in all sizes, the smallest being as small as one inch on its longer side while the larger ones may measure even more than three feet. It has a fish-scale pattern on its body and where it tapers off into the form of a handle, a pair of eyes is carved. It is beaten with a stick, the top part of which is stuffed and wrapped with leather (25). The sound thus emitted has a strange hypnotic effect on the hearer. When it accompanies the sutra-reading, for example, before a teishô, it makes the minds of the audience properly receptive for what is to come.
There are two kinds of clappers, Hyôshigi (22 and 23) in use in the monastery. They are solid pieces of hard wood: the larger ones may be somewhat longer than one foot in length and the smaller ones about half a foot. The latter are used in the Zendo while the former are used outside, for instance, when the monks are about to eat, when the bath is ready, and on other occasions.
Source: D. T. Suzuki. THE TRAINING OF THE ZEN BUDDHIST MONK, The Eastern Buddhist Society, Kyoto, 1934.
ôgane (nagyharang, kötélen hintázó fagerendával szólaltatják meg)
2. shumoku (ütőrönk)
3. denshô vagy hanshô (harang)
5. umpan (bronz felhő-gong)
7. han (deszkagong, függő fatábla)
9. kin vagy keisu (üstgong, talpas állóharang)
11. suzu vagy rei (csengő)
12. inkin (kézi vagy csészegong)
13. kanshô (ütős harang)
15. rei vagy rin (kézi csengettyű)
16. rin vagy shôkei (kis állóharang)
18. hokku (nagy hordódob)
20. hô (nagy fahal-gong)
22-23. hyôshigi (csapó-pár, fa csattogtató)
24. mokugyo (fahal, kámforfából kivájt dob)
25. bőrfejű ütő
12 cm in diameter, grip painted red, 1 or 2 cushions, metal fittings and metal sticker
Wooden fish serves to keep the rhythm during sutra chanting
(kínai: muyu; koreai: moktak; tibeti: shingnya)
The general chanting in
the sutra hall is accompanied by a wooden instrument called mokugyo. Its
opening in the front resembles the mouth of a fish with two round openings on
either corner of the mouth. The mokugyo rests on a handle that traditionally is
carved in a way that two dragonheads hold a sphere in their mouth. The skin of
the dragons extends into the mainbody of the instrument. The mokugyo is struck
with a wooden mallet that has a leather covered spherical head on its end. Often
a dedication of the donating individual or organization can be found on the
fringe of the fishmouth.
There are different patterns of drumming; starting slow, speeding up, and slowing down in the end. Some texts are accompanied by a constant beat. However, there is one character per beat - this mostly means one syllable, sometimes two per beat. The mokugyo is played by the Densu or his/her helper.
In the zendo there is a small handheld mokugyo that is played by the Jikijitsu's helper or the Shoji.
Cushion: gold-brocaded satin damask
磬子 keisu and shokei
The keisu and its smaller rendition (shokei) are gongs in bowl shape. The rim is thicker on the inside, which allows for a lower sound. The keisu is struck from the outside at the rim. The striker is wooden, half of it is covered with a thin layer of leather, the handle is usually covered with red lacquer. The large gong is struck before the chanting starts, the smaller gong is struck during the chanting. It demarks parts and especially important places in the chanted text. The Ino, who leads the chanting, strikes the keisu.
In the zendo the chanting is led by the Jikijitsu. Instead of the Keisu the Inkin, a handheld bell, is used.
柝 taku (hyôshigi)
Wooden clappers, sounding sticks
Material: red sandalwood.
Deszkagong, a zazen kezdetét fakalapáccsal dobolják ki rajta
The han is wooden board, that is hung outside the meditation hall. Many of the traditional han are inscribed with the Chinese characters inserted here into the picture.
The meaning of those characters is - roughly translated:
Birth and death are
Make use of every moment.
Everything changes quickly.
Time does not wait for humans.
The han is struck three times a day. The first time at daybreak, secondly in the evening, and finally during the closing ceremony. A wooden mallet is used to strike the familiar 7-5-3 pattern with the accelerating rolls in between. The sound is harsh and somewhat unsetteling, trying to remind us of the very reasons we came to study Zen.
In Japan monks hit the han with all their strength, just like they try with their whole being to get through all the delusions and attachments. Traditionally when the han finally shows a hole in the middle the monks have the day off, until a new board is hung.