lauri teivonen

The komusō (literally “priest of nothingness” or “monk of emptiness”) were a group of Zen Buddhist mendicant monks who wandered the roads of Edo period Japan. They would play elaborate tunes on their bamboo flutes as they begged for alms, their faces (and thus, their ego) completely concealed by a distinctive hood woven from straws or reeds. Unsurprisingly, many were recruited as spies or were actually ninja or ronin in disguise, and eventually their temples and their schools were abolished for meddling in material affairs instead of spiritual ones.