The FEEL KIYOMIZUDERA project presents
a new perspective and a fresh interpretation
of prayer through a variety of experimental
expressions beyond convention.

18 June 2024



11 Jan. 2022

silk road

2021 Hondo

silk road / 祈りの道

Archived video of the project, silk road – a path of prayers

Dedicatory performance / Akira Uchida × Miu Sakamoto
内田輝 × 坂本美雨  奉納演奏

Dedicatory performance / Akira Uchida × Masae Nakai
内田輝 × 中井雅惠 奉納演奏

About project

The Great Renovation of the Kiyomizu-dera Temple that began in 2008 was completed in December 2020. The process included the rethatching work of the Main Hall’s hinoki bark roof and the replacement of the stage’s floorboards. Now, the temple buildings, as the holy grounds of Kannon, have been fully restored to their former splendor.

The renovation resulted in a pile of aging pillars that had long underpinned the stage and witnessed countless people pray. We at Kiyomizu-dera Temple have had a fervent desire to preserve this precious wood in some shape or form and hand it down to the next generation. Such passion propelled us to conceive the idea of this project.

Having met Akira Uchida, a musician and a tuner as well as a clavichord maker, we discovered the affinity of music and religion, as well as hearing many anecdotes about the clavichord. The clavichord is a small wooden piano-like keyboard instrument, invented in the 14th century in Europe. It is said this instrument is designed to produce such soft sounds that it evokes the silence of nature. The sounds of this tiny keyboard have continuously soothed people and led them to a profound state of spirituality. One old account writes that the music of the heavens can be heard as the clavichord sounds soften.

The imaginings inspired by the invisible sound will no doubt lead the ever-changing world -- both East and West -- to an even finer embodiment of prayers, reflecting philosophy and religious beliefs.

Akira Uchida will craft a clavichord from the used floorboards once forming the Kiyomizu-dera Temple’s Main Hall stage and with it will perform. With this project, titled “silk road - a path of prayers,” we will pray for world peace and offer a clavichord performance.



本堂を支えるという役目を終えた木材たちには、あまたの人々の祈りが込められてきました。それを何かのかたちで残し、伝えていけないだろうか、これが本プロジェクトのはじまりです。 音楽家であり、調律師でもあるクラヴィコード製作者の内田輝氏と出会い、音楽と宗教との親和性、 14世紀に発明されたクラヴィコードという西洋の木製鍵盤楽器の物語を知りました。



内田輝氏が清水寺の本堂舞台板からクラヴィコードを製作し、演奏するプロジェクトを「silk road(祈りの道)」と題し、世の平安を祈り、奉納します。


The mission of the instrument / 「楽器の使命」

One of the possibilities and missions that the instrument has is to embrace people’s perspective and hopes at different points in time and to elevate them into harmony to then be handed down to the next generation. The oldest surviving clavichord, held at a German museum, was crafted in 1543. This is proof that this keyboard instrument can last at least 450 years provided it has proper care. In 2021, the instrument was crafted from the used floorboards that had long underpinned the Kiyomizu stage which were repurposed after the restoration of the Main Hall. The life of this clavichord could possibly also span 450 years. Envisioning this clavichord sounding in harmony with the spirit of a musician in 2471 stirs my imagination and brings joy to my heart.

Eigen Onishi, the present assistant manager of the temple, one day told me an impressive story that after the Kiyomizu-dera Temple was destroyed by the Onin War (a civil war lasting from 1467 to 1477), Priest Gana, who led the reconstruction project, started with the rebuilding of a temple bell. This story reminds me of how much importance sounds have in Buddhism. When I was allowed to strike the temple bell that is rung out every day, I was encompassed by the resonance of its deep sound. I associated the lingering notes of the bell with the harmony of the sutras chanted by priests. Even though the sounds of the bell and sutras were invisible, their resonance and vibration could offer solace to people and help them find a silver lining amid the devastation.

Unlike the deep-toned temple bell, the clavichord, invented in the 14th century, produces softer sounds than the human voice. However, both the clavichord and the temple bell create solemn magnificence and awaken people’s senses. I hope that the audience will enjoy the harmony of the clavichord and our prayer for peace will be answered.

Akira Uchida
Summer of 2021

Special thanks to: Akira Uchida, Miu Sakamoto, Shoryu Hatoba, Kamisoe, Keikou Nishimura, Jurgen Lehl




2021年 夏 内田 輝



To unveil the completed clavichord and present the journey of this project, the exhibition, called “silk road - a path of prayers,” was held from August 9 (Monday) to 16 (Monday), 2021 at Kiyomizu-dera Temple’s Kyodo Hall.

クラヴィコードの完成とプロジェクトの報告を兼ね、2021年8月9日(月)から8月16日(月)までの期間、清水寺・経堂にて「silk road - 祈りの道」展を開催いたしました。



Akira Uchida / 内田 輝

After worked as a saxophonist for several years, learned piano tuning under Mr. Satoshi Yoshida. Planning and holding "Sound workshop" which is to introduce how to interact with various sounds from the viewpoint of sound turning.
While learning from Mr. Masahiro Adachi, instrumental producer, started to create Clavichord (keyboard instrument), invented in the 14th century.
"Making instruments, Tuning sounds, Being a musician"
This flow is essential for me to see the world.

サックス奏者として活動後、ピアノ調律を吉田哲氏に師事。音の調律から観る様々な音との対話方法を伝える『音のワークショップ』を開催。楽器製作家、安達正浩氏の教えのもと、14世紀に考案されたクラヴィコード (鍵盤楽器)を製作。自ら楽器を作り、音を調律し、音楽家であること。この流れを大事にして世界を観たいと思っている。

Feature : sax / piano / clavichord / piano tuning / instrumentmake

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