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Following the Reverend Shuken Koike's indication, "Only if one has had the voice that won't become hoarse from giving many a long talk can he make his way as a preacher. 'One Voice, Two Tune, Three Man' as has long been said, in order to become a real preacher, Voice is of primary importance," the Reverend Shonen began his voice training.
"One Voice, Two Tune, Three Man" means that a preacher had to fulfill all three requirements, that is, having a fine voice and being with competence in using tunes and with a good figure (character), to be recognized as a select preacher. On the other hand, the requirements of eligibility for being acknowledged as a master of preaching that Eko (496-554) of the Liang Dynasty in China laid out in his "Kosoden" are four, namely, "Voice, Tongue, Flair, Erudition." Basically, what must be acquired and done are to have a full and melodious voice and a felicitous command of phrase apt for the situation and to quote from Buddhist scriptures, historical events and legendas extensively.
"...[If it was getting late, a lot of people would come, so, from about four in the morning when people were rarely around, for like two hours in competition with the roar of the waterfall falling into the plunge basin, well, there, while doing that, really in three days, well, I was no longer able to, in the least, say a word, no word whatever. For all that I had lost my voice, I went on doing, from and on about the fifth day, blood was coming out of my throat,] with my swollen and bulging throat, I became unable to take in even liquid food through. But, enduring pain, I kept doing, and then, in about one week, slowly I was finding my voice, and that voice is this voice of mine. Well, such a thing as 'tune,' this is something, no matter how closely an apprentice mimics his master, it will be nothing but a mere echo, imitation is imitation, we must work out on our own. All of them, and so, uh, my attendants, there are about twenty attendants in my retinue, but, all of them would stumble along the way and goof off, also, a cushy assignment of reading the sutras promises a higher offering..." (omit the rest)
Audio Video Material A2-1, A2-2, A2-3, A1, A3-3, S1, S2 and S3 :
The Reverend Shonen Sobue
I have selected several scenes as to the preacher of the Shin Buddhism in Japan, the Reverend Shonen Sobue, from an original two hours video Hi8 tape on which I recorded his edification and Fushidansekkyo delivered in the main hall of Yurin Temple (Yurinji), Nagoya, Japan in 1992, and I have made QuickTime Movie (.mov) files, RealPlayer Media (.rm) files and audio (.aif, .mp3) files.
- A2-1: About Tune [Cadence] (.mov, .rm, .aif, .mp3)
- A2-2: About his first preaching at the age of 8 (.mov, .rm, .aif, .mp3)
- A2-3: "Nothing is left if Amida Buddha is taken away from me." (.mov, .rm, .aif, .mp3)
- A1: About the frame of mind when he decided to be a "preacher" that shepherds the people (.mov, .rm, .aif, .mp3)
- A3-3: About the "beautiful voice," the narrative power and the tune (.mov, .rm, .aif, .mp3)
- S1: Fushidansekkyo from "Shinran Shonin den": Resting his head on a stone in the snow (.mov, .rm, .aif, .mp3)
- S2: Fushidansekkyo from "Shinran Shonin den": Refusing to receive his own son Zenran (.mov, .rm, .aif, .mp3)
- S3: Fushidansekkyo from "Shinran Shonin den": Mountain priest Bennen O my heart was changed forever (.mov, .rm, .aif, .mp3)
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