By Wand Agency
Sagari Ha (Falling leaves)
The Japanese characters used to depict this title are "sagaru" . ("fallen" or "falling") and "ha" ("leaves"). The song is easily recognizable because of the sasabuki blowing technique used frequently by the Nezasa sect of shakuhachi. Sasa are the leaves of the small bamboo bushes or thickets. The technique aims to imitate the sound of the leaves rustling against one another as the wind blows through the thicket. Sagariha was played along with another song, Sagari no Kyoku, during the parade procession of the Gion Matsuri in Kyoto. "Sagaru" is also the word used during the Edo Period (1603-1867) to indicate movement away from the capital (Tokyo) and also used to indicate the direction away from a shrine. Since shrines were often built on hilltops, one would be going downhill (sagaru) when exiting the shrine. The words "sagaru" ("down" or "south") and "agaru" ("up" or "north") are peculiar to Kyoto vocabulary and suggests the origin of this song.