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komusō (虚無僧 komusō?, Hiragana こむそう; also romanized komusou orkomuso) was a Japanese mendicant monk of the Fuke school of ZenBuddhism, during the Edo period of 1600-1868.[1] Komusō were characterised by the straw basket (a sedge or reed hood named a tengai) worn on the head, manifesting the absence of specific ego.[2] They are also known for playing solo pieces on the shakuhachi (a type of Japanese bamboo flute). These pieces, called honkyoku (“original pieces”) were played during a meditative practice called suizen, for alms, as a method of attaining enlightenment, and as a healing modality. The Japanese government introduced reforms after the Edo period, abolishing the Fuke sect. Records of the musical repertoire survived, and are being revived in the 21st century.

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