In about three days, we will reach the Winter Solstice on December 21st.  It is the shortest day and longest night of the year.  In ancient thought, it was the time of the rebirth of the sun, because after that date, the days once more begin to grow longer and the daily arc of the sun moves higher and higher in the sky.

Bashō wrote:

Winter bleakness;
In a one-color world,
The sound of the wind.

In that verse, everything is white with snow and frost — a one-color world.
Perhaps you will think of that hokku when you listen to this austere wintry music.

First, this time by the noted kotoist Kimio Eto:

And then there is Miyata’s “Winter NIght,” played on shakuhachi:

2 thoughts on “MUSIC FOR WINTER

  1. Thanks for the hokku and music, especially the shakuhachi piece. I consider the winter solstice to be the beginning of a new year, so Happy New Year, the 21st! Here comes the yang!

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