Sanya 3



The Kyotaku is a big ji-nashi shakuhachi. Though there are more shakuhachi-makers who make beautiful big ji-nashi shakuhachi, the name Kyotaku is mainly used for flutes built in the tradition of Koku Nishimura. In Western Europe is Thilo Burdach a well-known good Kyotaku maker.   

He also teaches the way of the Kyotaku as he was taught bij Koku Nishimura himself. Other makers of this kind of flute usually name them ji-nashi shakuhachi.

The name Kyotaku is an old name for the shakuhachi ( see also History ), which is not used much these days. Koku Nishimura started to name his shakuhachi Kyotaku again. the Kyotaku differs at some points from most other shakuhachi.

  • Kyotaku have a really big bore inside, which gives it a really deep, warm sound.

  • Kyotaku always have 7 nodes of bamboo, and the holes are divided in them always the same way.

  • Kyotaku is always made out of one piece.

  • The holes on Kyotaku do not have an offset, like in some other big shakuhachi. They are all placed on top and in the centerline of the instrument.

  • The gripping of the Kyotaku is different from how most people play their shakuhachi, though it is not uncommon to play other big shakuhachi the same way we play Kyotaku.

Even more than in other shakuhachi, the emphasis with Kyotaku is on the meditation aspect, or as we call it, the SUI-ZEN ( blowing zen ). As with all shakuhachi playing, the principle of ONE TONE – ONE BREATH is more important then getting a good result. In zen is the going of the way more important than arriving ( where-ever that may be).

As many people already know,  the shakuhachi was blown by monks of the Fuke sect to reach enlightenment,    ICHI ON JOBUTSU ( to reach enlightenment in a single tone).

The Kyotaku invites you even more than the common ji-ari shakuhachi to play in a more meditative way. The lips are much looser as in blowing common built ji-ari shakuhachi. Also because of its big bore, the sound resonates deep in the body, which has also an energetic aspect.

This way of blowing results in a very deep, beautiful and warm sound, which also brings rest to the people who listen to it. Also very important in these pieces is MA, the distance / silence between the notes.