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also: Jiang Xingchou; Toko Zenji; Toko Etsu the monk
|Shin-Etsu in the Tokyo National Museum 2|
Born in Puyang, south of Hangzhou,4 Jiang had studied qin with Zhu Xuzhou5 and with Zhuang Zhenfeng.6 Zhuang, from Nanjing but later living in Hangzhou, was well-known as the creator of a number of new qin melodies. His style included both pure music and qin songs. Qinxue Xinsheng (1664) consists mostly of his new melodies.
In 1676 Jiang was living at Yongfu Si, a Chan (Zen) Temple in Hangzhou.7 From here he went to Japan, arriving in Nagasaki in 1677.
In Japan Shin-Etsu originally lived in Nagasaki, but in 1685 he moved to Mito, on the coast northeast of Tokyo. Here he engaged in many scholarly activities and founded Gionji, the Gion Temple.8 He was buried there with great honor after his death in 1695.
It is not clear what qin materials he took to Japan in 1676, but it seems unlikely that he himself ever published a handbook.9 Apparently these included his teacher's Qinxue Xinsheng, as parts of this have been included in writings by his students, and at least one of its melodies (Li Yun Chun Si) appears in a Japanese handbook. He is also known to have recommended Songxianguan Qinpu to students. He may also have found in Japan handbooks brought to Mito by the recently deceased Zhu Shunshui.10
It has been claimed that the pieces included in the handbook called Hewen Zhuyin Qinpu (Wabun Chuyin Kinpu) included pieces Shin-Etsu brought from China; it is thus dated from "before 1676", i.e., from before he arrived in Japan. However, the only surviving copies date from much later and their contents, mostly short songs presumably for beginners, also include a few "Fusang Cao", i.e., melodies he is thought to have created in Japan. From around 1710 there have been a number of Japanese handbooks named after him, the title most commonly being Toko Kinpu (or Toko Kimpu). The earliest of these includes a number of longer pieces as well as more of the Fusang Cao.
It seems likely that at that time many educated Japanese confused the qin with the zheng, an instrument commonly played in Japan, where it is called a koto, and there were few if any qin players. Unlike other Chinese instruments brought to Japan, the qin was never localized. Instead it was generally played in a conscious effort to do something Chinese. This perhaps helps to explain why most Japanese were content to play these fairly simple songs, apparently following the Chinese pronunciations indicated alongside the Chinese characters.
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)
蔣興疇 Jiang Xingchou
32570.xxx. There is considerable information on him in R. H. Van Gulik, Lore of the Chinese Lute, pp.217ff. Van Gulik calls him 蔣興儔 Jiang Xingtao. As for 東皋 Donggao, my computer does not have the gao used in the original text (自 over 二十二), but the alternative 東睾 Donggao does not work for internet searching. (There is a similar problem with the gao of He Ming Jiugao.)
Chen Zhimai discusses Van Gulik's research into Shin-etsu as follows,
Image of Shin-Etsu in the 東京國立博物館 Tokyo National Museum
The painting is by 椿椿山 Tsubaki Chinsan (1801-1854; Chinese Wikipedia). It was also downloaded from Chinese Wikipedia.
Names for 蔣興疇 Jiang Xingchou in Japan
All these names may be used at various places in Hewen Zhuyin Qinpu. (Return)
4. "金華浦陽人"; Puyang is a north-flowing river south of Hangzhou. (Return)
褚虛舟 Zhu Xuzhou
No further information.
莊臻鳳 Zhuang Zhenfeng
The table of contents of his Qinxue Xinsheng 琴學心聲 (1664; XII.1) is now moved. (Return)
7. 永福寺 Yongfu Si (Return)
水戶 Mito; 祗園寺 Gion Temple.
Today it is known for its Zen gardens. Shin-Etsu was brought to Mito by 德川光囧 (? last character should have 方 on bottom) Mitsukuni, Lord of Mito. (Not 御津 Mito, which is a different place.) (Return)
Tablature brought to Japan by Shin-Etsu 朱舜水 (1600 - 1682)
He would have had tablature for individual pieces and these were presumably hand-copied by or for his students. The compilations all seem to date from after his death. (Return)
Zhu Shunshui 朱舜水 (1600 - 1682)
Zhu Shunshui was a scholar brought to Mito by Mitsukuni in 1665. He evidently brought with him several qins as well as qin handbooks, but it is not known whether he himself actually played. (Return)