In 1974, at the age of 29, Kozan Tanifuji began studying Tozan-ryu
shakuhachi under Kozan Takayama and then under Ginzan Suzuki. In
1991 he achieved the rank of daishihan or grandmaster, and on February
14, 2004 earned the title of shin-Tozanryu chikurinken, the highest
possible level in the world of shakuhachi.
Mr. Tanifuji belongs to a number of hogaku groups and performs many
styles of music including Honkyoku, Shinkyoku, Jiuta and Modern
hogaku. For 19 years, since 1977, he has instructed a junior high
school wind ensemble and performed shakuhachi in the piece Figuration
for Shakuhachi and Brass composed and conducted by Tetsunosuke
Kushida of Kyoto. He also conducted Dokan in 2001 and Nichiren
in 2002 composed by Michio Miyagi at the Kitami Art and Culture
Hall in Hokkaido, Japan.
Mr. Tanifuji has played the western-style
Boehm flute since 1961. In March 2003, he began working with the
shakuhachi headjoint for silver flute devised by Monty Levenson.
Kozan has wanted to have such an instrument for a long time and
named it Shakulute. During the past year, he has composed
several musical pieces for this new hybrid instrument. A CD of original
compositions for shakulute, biwa and koto is scheduled for release