Of the shakuhachi I have made myself, this 2.9 is one of my favourites. I think I made it is 1996, so I must have harvested it in 94 or 95. I was on a bamboo harvesting trip with my teacher Okuda Atsuya. I remember going into the bamboo forest on my own. I felt immersed in this intense green colour with the sound of my steps on the leaves on the path and the sound of the wind in the bamboo enveloping me like a soft blanket. I wanted to follow the path to the right – but the something made me look to the left. It was a bamboo that was trying to draw my attention. I literally felt it was calling me saying: “Take me! Take me!” So I harvested it. I wanted to ask Murai about how much of the root end I should cut off, but he was surrounded by people asking him questions, so I cut it where I thought I should. Later Murai said I should have kept one more row of roots. Then the bamboo would have been a 3.0 and have 7 nodes…. I have apologised to the bamboo many times. It paid the price for my impatience. It never-the-less has a deep soft sound. The wall of the bamboo is very thick, so it doesn’t have a huge voice. It is rather a bit introvert and deep. It always whispers back to me the honkyoku, I with humble respect play on it. I played it so much, it quickly got marking of my hours of playing on its skin. My 2.9 and I have been on a journey together for 27 years now! And we continue to explore each other and the unlimited possibilities of sounds in this universe. Love shakuhachi
This shakuhachi is my first 1.8. I got it in 2003. Murai Eigoro made it for me when I began playing contemporary music. At that time I had played shakuhachi for 14 years but never on a 1.8. It is a good 1.8 jinashi (real length 1.7 in order to tune it to D) but has never been able to play daikan, so when daikan was necessary, I changed to my Kinshu flute I got from Brian Ritchie. 3 weeks ago the Murai 1.8 could suddenly play daikan! Not just a little bit of it but like basically…. everything! I had tested it now and then over the years. But I never expected such a radical change after 20 years. What a journey we have been on together – the murai 1.8 and I – and still are on. Love shakuhachi!
Collage of the players, who participated in the 12-hour World Shakuhachi Day online meeting. A few might be missing. I apologise for that. What a great and diverse day it was! Next year on October 8, 2024, we are planning a 24-hour online meeting on World Shakuhachi Day.
I have for more than 30 years only had newly made jinashi shakuhachi and the jinashi made by myself. It has been very interesting to include in my collection 2 Edo-period shakuhachi (the two in the middle), the 2.5 Sakurai Muteki (my all time favourite) and the flute in the front from Dainihon chikudō gakkan by Kaneyasu Dōdō (this is mostly a research interest). I herewith declare, that I have enough flutes for the rest of my life.Thank you with gratitude to Genshin Naoyuki Sakai, Eric Genpu Strong, Riley Lee and Itamar Foguel, and Trần Cao – those involved in enabling me to get these flutes!
I only had a few belongings left. But now with no more room on my own, I pulled the last bit out. The luggage is my long no-fingerhole bamboo flutes + shakuhachi, my duvet, wintercoats, blankets + shamisen.
Like last year, we had again a 12-hour online shakuhachi gathering. We all played 108 robuki at 10:08 JST and 22:08 JSP – phraming the 12 hours and Tanaka Takafumi’s talk on “shakuhachi of the world” and the about 70 people, who played 10 minutes for the community and for world peace. We certainly connected very well together. We have a wonderful community!
The first WSMD went really well – with all the glitches there will always be. The new up-coming teachers did a great job and they (hopefully) got constructive feedback and an experience they can build on in the future.
This past few days, a student, friend and shakuhachi colleague of mine visit me with his wife. It was such a great time! All the way from NYC!