Lenzan Kudo

Lenzan Kudo

Shakuhachi player / composer

Lenzan Kudo

Lenzan graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1999 with a degree in Traditional Japanese Music. After graduating from the Graduate School of Music at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 2001, Lenzan moved to England, where he participated in the Japan Festival 2001 in U.K. (sponsored by the Japanese Embassy in the U.K.), appeared on BBC, and performed with orchestras in Europe. In Japan, Lenzan gave a guest performance at the Pacific Music Festival Sapporo (PMF) in 2004, and passed the NHK audition for traditional Japanese music. He has performed wide range of music from classical to contemporary, and has also been active in performing with various genres of music.

In recent years, Lenzan has made fuki-zen, the original performance of the shakuhachi, his life’s work and has been conveying the spirit and physicality of Zen through music.

In March 2020, he established LENZAN ART production, and has been working on a wide range of activities, including total production of performances, workshops on physicality and philosophy, and lectures on environmental activities that integrate the perspectives of Japanese culture and Zen. In March 2020, he will establish LENZAN ART production.

He studied shakuhachi under Shuzan Kaneko II, Takayama Kitahara II, Kunizan Yamamoto I (living national treasure), Dozan Fujiwara, and Atsuya Okuda. He is a member of the Kamakura Sankyoku Kyokai and a member of the shakuhachi ensemble “Fuga Takuyin”.

Recent Performance Activities

  • Speaker at ZEN2.0 (International Zen Conference at Kenchoji Temple, Kamakura) in 2017 and 2018.
  • Performed at the Shinjuku Gyoen “Chrysanthemum Garden Exhibition Light-up” and directed the performance (2019).
  • Collaboration in Ryuichi Sakamoto series – incomplete “Jiko” (2020)
  • Zen no Oto (2020-)

Other Activities

[Environmental conservation activities]

  • Lecture: “Considering the Environment from Japanese Culture” From the perspective of the Zen principle of “ku” (emptiness), I talk about the nature of human beings and the importance of focusing on the environment, while the current unbalanced capital economy is necessary (money is also important). I also talk about what we can do in our daily lives.

[Workshops and Retreats concerning physicality]

  • Workshop “Breathing and Shakuhachi- This workshop is designed to improve shallow breathing due to daily work and stress.  We teach you how to use your body and how to breathe using the shakuhachi. We will teach you how to use your body and how to breathe using the shakuhachi.
  • Retreat “Knowing the body and mind: feeling the five senses”- This is a program to make you aware of your body and mind, including “Breathing and Shakuhachi”. The program uses the perspectives of Eastern philosophy to approach physicality, emotions and breathing, perceiving space, the relationship between food and internal organs, and training the imagination.