Gyokusui Shakuhachi

By David (admin)

Gyokusui III 2.4 Shakuhachi

Gyokusui III 2.4 Shakuhachi

My wife and I recently returned from another terrific vacation in Japan, where thanks to our friends Jerry and Hiromi Schmick, we had the great fortune to meet Gyokusui III, the third generation shakuhachi maker of the Gyokusui family, and to buy an incredible shakuhachi from him.

I’ve written about the shakuhachi, a Japanese flute created by ex-samurai monks as a meditation device and musical instrument that could double as a weapon, at least twice previously. And as I’ve also written before, the more I practice it the more I realize how great it is as a compliment to self defense/martial arts training. Not only is it a great counter balance to hard and violent physical practice, a doorway into the optimal mental state for action, and a tool for both self expression and clearing the mind, but the traditional one-piece shakuhachi, as it was originally made, is also an amazing weapon that can be carried anywhere.

Although the shakuhachi was a one-piece instrument for centuries, the modern version being made by most Japanese makers today is made in two sections, with a joint in the middle of the flute. This makes it much smaller for transport but nearly useless as a weapon. Of course, the vast majority of shakuhachi players today don’t look at the flute as a weapon. Last year I visited Kitahara, a famous shakuhachi maker in Kyoto, and bought a modern two-piece flute from him. But as a self defense practitioner and teacher, the traditional one-piece version is even more appealing to me.

In addition to being a famous and highly respected maker, Gyokusui III makes shakuhachi both in the traditional and modern styles. The most common shakuhachi size is a 1.8, which is Click to see the original article