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JSK – Buddhist Monks Chant

Powerful and heavenly Buddhist monks chant, echoing in layers, touching peoples’ souls to bring spiritual comfort


Jodo Shomyo Kensan no Kai (JSK) was set up by Buddhist monks of the Jodo sect from Kyoto in the aftermath of the Great East Japan earthquake of 2011. JSK has given many concerts across the whole of Japan with the aim of bringing spiritual comfort to those affected by the earthquake.

Shomyo is one of the oldest living form of vocal music, believed to have originated in India before travelling along the Silk Road eventually reaching Japan before the 6th Century.

Jodo Buddhism, is a branch of Pure Land Buddhism derived from the teachings of the Japanese ex-Tendai monk Hōnen. It was established in 1175 and is the most widely practiced branch of Buddhism in Japan, along with Jodo Shinshū.

JSK_2Musically JSK is adventurous, exploring the traditional Shomyo chant used in Buddhist ceremonies and combining it with other music genres such as Gagaku (ancient imperial court music) and Taiko drumming and beyond; but despite these combination the original Shomyo format and message is preserved.

Comprising young monks, JSK’s chanting is dynamic and operatic in its strength and power. The chant conveys the echoing, layered Shomyo message of encouraging people to be more tolerant and supportive towards each other.

Translated and edited by akiko yanagisawa