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Questionnaire for Hōgaku Journal
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2013-09-03, 14:13    Post subject: Questionnaire for Hōgaku Journal Reply with quote

PublicitéSupprimer les publicités ?
Hōgaku Journal is the biggest traditional music magazine in Japan.
Tanaka Takafumi, the chief editor, who is himself a shakuhachi player, enthusiast and a person with a great knowledge of shakuhachi was a guest at the recent Prague Shakuhachi Festival. He gave me a questionnaire to hand to non-Japanese players. The answers I collect from people are to go into the featured article in the November edition of Hōgaku Journal.

Please help me getting enough answers to make this a survey by answering Tanaka's questions by posting the answers here or downloading the file and send the answers to me: kikuday@gmail.com

The questionnaire: http://www.sendspace.com/file/66fcra


1. Where did you encounter the shakuhachi?


2. What was it about the shakuhachi that you liked?


3. How did you get hold of a shakuhachi instrument?


4. How are you learning/practicing?


5. What aspects are difficult when learning the shakuhachi?


6. What was valuable for you at this festival/Summer School?


7. What kind of music would you like to perform on the shakuhachi?


8. How do you see the future of the shakuhachi when you think about that the numbers of shakuhachi players in Japan are decreasing fast?


9. Would you like to go to Japan?


10. What do you expect to experience in Japan?
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2013-09-03, 14:25    Post subject: Questionnaire for Hōgaku Journal Reply with quote

I think it would be fun if people answer here as well...........
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Regan Van Veen
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PostPosted: 2013-09-03, 15:44    Post subject: Questionnaire for Hōgaku Journal Reply with quote

1. Where did you encounter the shakuhachi?
I saw the piece done on the television show called The Collectors, which showcased Brian Ritchie's Shakuhachi collection. This was the first time that I had a name to put to the sound which had always intrigued me.


2. What was it about the shakuhachi that you liked?
The challenge and of course the tonal quality. Not only does the Shakuhachi sound great, but the control required to play gives a great feeling of satisfaction when you can hear the result of all the hard work.


3. How did you get hold of a shakuhachi instrument?
I bought my first Shakuhachi from Jem Klein, originally an apprentice with Monty Levinson in California, USA. The Shakuhachi itself was one of Jem's basic "meditation" models, and has a surprisingly good sound and tuning for the price. It is also incredibly light, which was great for a beginner who tends to tense quite a bit when playing before getting comfortable with the weight of a heavier flute.


4. How are you learning/practicing?
I first started learning with Graham Ranft in Canberra, Australia. After about 1 year of learning I moved to Sydney and I am currently studying with Riley Lee there. I generally get a lesson every fortnight, scheduling permitting and Riley is a highly experienced and patient teacher.


5. What aspects are difficult when learning the shakuhachi?
Learning the patience to practise the same thing over and over again while trying to control your face in a very precise way is a fantastic challenge. Also, coming from a western music background, learning not to rely so much on the notation, as what is notated is not always what you play.


6. What was valuable for you at this festival/Summer School?
I was not present at the recent festival in Prague, although I wish very much that I had been able to attend.


7. What kind of music would you like to perform on the shakuhachi?
I would like to become proficient enough to be able to play anything I like on the Shakuhachi, though I do particularly enjoy the Chikuho Honkyoku and folk songs which I have learned thus far. Some day I would like to play some contemporary compositions of my own.


8. How do you see the future of the shakuhachi when you think about that the numbers of shakuhachi players in Japan are decreasing fast?
I see the decrease of players in Japan as more of a spread to the rest of the world. In this case I see the future of the Shakuhachi as being more globally recognised and appreciated than before, now that more people are teaching and performing around the world instead of just in Japan. It makes the Shakuhachi much more accessible to many more people.


9. Would you like to go to Japan?
As much as I would like to visit any country. I do have a trip to Japan in mind for the future, and I would like to further my Shakuhachi experience on such a trip.


10. What do you expect to experience in Japan?
Much confusion as I try to get by on my high school Japanese.
But in all honesty it would simply be an honour to experience such a prolific culture first hand.
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Janpanam
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PostPosted: 2013-09-03, 17:17    Post subject: Questionnaire for Hōgaku Journal Reply with quote

If it helps

1. Found a book in the Japanese Department of Library by accident.
2. The straightforwardness and purity in design. The history. Later the sound.
3. First ebay, than selfmade, at least I bought one in a Shop in Hamburg
4. Alone, supported by this forum and same books. Sometimes I listen to good players.
Its very inspiring. ( On the other hand I don't like to see people play ( uTube.... ). Don't know why, funny )
5. Practising only outdoors: Snow, Rain. Background noises. Pedestrians. Dogs
And: Nobody to talk about achievements, problems, make musik with.
6. Didn't participate
7. My Music, opus 1- 32
8. I guess the number of shakuhachi players with traditional background will decrease.
9. Yes
10. Silence

Have a nice day
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Plume Blanche
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PostPosted: 2013-09-03, 20:07    Post subject: Questionnaire for Hōgaku Journal Reply with quote

1. Where did you encounter the shakuhachi?
On Youtube. I was looking for the "Mononoke Hime" melody and I saw the video of Rodrigo Rodriguez.
It was the beginning of the road for me.

2. What was it about the shakuhachi that you liked?
It’s outstanding voice. That looks like nothing else. And which involves something old, buried at the bottom of us.

3. How did you get hold of a shakuhachi instrument?
Having no idea of what was in reality this instrument, I started by buying a Yuu.

4. How are you learning/practicing?
I learn alone, playing. I look and I listen to the videos of the other, and I listen to CDs.
I am doing exercises with books, or I play as I feel it, or while I listen to the music of others.

5. What aspects are difficult when learning the shakuhachi?
Everything. Make a sound that is beautiful, make sounds that are fair to each other. Modulate the sound to make it interesting, make the effects that fall at the right time.
Do not make false notes. Breathe at the right time. Do not be discouraged.
Not to say there is none and never happen. Having humility while persuading that this isn't so bad, and that we must continue.

6. What was valuable for you at this festival/Summer School?
I have not participated.

7. What kind of music would you like to perform on the shakuhachi?
Everything. Honkyoku, Blues, Jazz, folk music and one day be able to play Ave Maria.

8. How do you see the future of the shakuhachi when you think about that the numbers of shakuhachi players in Japan are decreasing fast?
It may be that another path should open. Elsewhere. The most beautiful things disappear one by one on our planet. Other things appear.
Ensure that they become beautiful. Shakuhachi music also.
I think that before the Shakuhachi was only played by Japanese people, today it can be discovered and appreciated all over the world.
There are perhaps today more people who play this instrument that it did before. It may be different, but this is.

9. Would you like to go to Japan?
The modern Japan does not attempt to me. But make a retreat with a master of Shakuhachi, yes.

10. What do you expect to experience in Japan?
Find a way of being and thinking different. The point of view of traditional Japanese Art fascinates me.
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Eugene
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PostPosted: 2013-09-03, 21:48    Post subject: Questionnaire for Hōgaku Journal Reply with quote

1. Where did you encounter the shakuhachi?
I was introduced to the shakuhachi by a musician friend who does not play the instrument, but who was considering learning it at the time. As such, my first conscious exposure to the shakuhachi was on YouTube.

2. What was it about the shakuhachi that you liked?
Initially, the sound, then its simplicity and the fact that it was traditionally made of bamboo. Unlike the koto, I did not know anyone who played it, so I found it unusual and hence interesting.

3. How did you get hold of a shakuhachi instrument?
I bought it online from a shakuhachi teacher in the US who obtained his supply from some makers in Japan.

4. How are you learning/practicing?
As I live in Singapore, I am learning via fortnightly Skype from a teacher in the US.

5. What aspects are difficult when learning the shakuhachi?
As a beginner, being consistent about my embouchure is difficult. I find it confusing to decide which fingering to use, and having to navigate scores in which the notes to be played may be different from the notation.

6. What was valuable for you at this festival/Summer School?
I did not participate at the festival/summer school.

7. What kind of music would you like to perform on the shakuhachi?
I am attracted to various kinds of music that I have heard played on the shakuhachi, so if I were to perform, I would not have a specific prefence for kind, but perhaps for certain pieces that appeal to me more than the rest.

8. How do you see the future of the shakuhachi when you think about that the numbers of shakuhachi players in Japan are decreasing fast?
I imagine that shakuhachi will survive at an international level, and that there will still be a remnant in Japan as surely some Japanese will be interested in their traditional arts, much like how I see the formation of Chinese orchestras in schools in Singapore.

9. Would you like to go to Japan?
Yes. I have visited Japan recently on holiday.

10. What do you expect to experience in Japan?
Culture shock Smile
I am not sure what this question is asking, but I expect to experience the culture and history of places that I visit as expressed in the people, music, food, buildings and such, so Japan is no different in this respect. I have not visited Japan with shakuhachi as the focus, and probably will not do so unless there is another international shakuhachi festival in Japan, so I certainly don't expect a particular shakuhachi experience in Japan.
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2013-09-04, 10:21    Post subject: Questionnaire for Hōgaku Journal Reply with quote

This is cool! Keep'en coming!
Thanks guys!!!
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2013-09-04, 16:09    Post subject: Questionnaire for Hōgaku Journal Reply with quote

1. Where did you encounter the shakuhachi?

I first tried to play it at a shop in San Francisco Japan Town, but couldn't get a sound.


2. What was it about the shakuhachi that you liked?

I was curious about it because of the Buddhist connection.


3. How did you get hold of a shakuhachi instrument?

I first bought one at a flute convention in Times Square NYC. Since then I've bought many from a lot of different people.


4. How are you learning/practicing?

I have a Jun Shihan from James Nyoraku Schlefer and a Shihan from Kurahashi Yodo ll but currently I am not studying with anyone. I teach myself.


5. What aspects are difficult when learning the shakuhachi?

I didn't find it difficult to learn. But of course playing in tune and stamina are always fluctuating depending upon the conditions.


6. What was valuable for you at this festival/Summer School?

Did not attend.


7. What kind of music would you like to perform on the shakuhachi?

I play Kinko and Myoan honkyoku, Kinko sankyoku, minyo, jazz and improvised music.


8. How do you see the future of the shakuhachi when you think about that the numbers of shakuhachi players in Japan are decreasing fast?

It is a matter for concern that the senior players are passing on and not being replaced by equally accomplished players. Styles are dying out in Japan and only limited styles are being transmitted to the West and other parts of the world.


9. Would you like to go to Japan?

I always enjoy going there.


10. What do you expect to experience in Japan?

I would like to go there for an extended time to study at some point in my life.
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2013-09-04, 18:39    Post subject: Questionnaire for Hōgaku Journal Reply with quote

1. Where did you encounter the shakuhachi?
Somebody brought me an LP while I was rehearsing for the entrance examination to the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen. It was shakuhachi and I immediately thought I rather play that flute than this!


2. What was it about the shakuhachi that you liked?
The timbre!


3. How did you get hold of a shakuhachi instrument?
I went to Japan and a street seller helped me get hold of a shakuhachi cheaply. It was jinashi! Smile


4. How are you learning/practicing?
I studied with Okuda Atsuya for 11 years, now I enjoy studying other schools, genres on shakuhachi


5. What aspects are difficult when learning the shakuhachi?
Making it sound really like honkyoku


6. What was valuable for you at this festival/Summer School?
The variety of genres, the social aspects of meeting other shakuhachi aficionados


7. What kind of music would you like to perform on the shakuhachi?
honkyoku, new music and improv and much more


8. How do you see the future of the shakuhachi when you think about that the numbers of shakuhachi players in Japan are decreasing fast?
I am sure the shakuhachi will become more trendy - like the tsugaru jamisen in Japan. Outside of Japan it seems to thrive... but I wonder how it will keep on going if Japan really went down...


9. Would you like to go to Japan?
Been there


10. What do you expect to experience in Japan?
confusion! Smile
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J. Danza
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PostPosted: 2013-09-05, 14:34    Post subject: Questionnaire for Hōgaku Journal Reply with quote

1. Where did you encounter the shakuhachi?
I was living in Washington DC (around 1978) and picked up, randomly, an album called Music for Zen Meditation (I liked the cover) The first note that Yamamoto played had me hooked.

2. What was it about the shakuhachi that you liked?
It was like nothing I had heard before and it seemed to me like a voice from Spirit calling me Home.


3. How did you get hold of a shakuhachi instrument?
As soon as the record finished playing I called the Japanese consulate to ask them what the heck is a Shakuhachi... they very kindly referred me to a couple of teachers living in the area and a music store that imported from Japan. I started taking lessons with a cheap home made 2.4 that I picked up at the store while they brought one from Japan (which I still own!). In a few months I had a Tom Deaver in my hands, which is the only flute I played for a good fifteen years (I have since sold it to a student, but I still play a Deaver as one of my two main instruments)


4. How are you learning/practicing?
Practicing at least an hour a day, sometimes many more... After studying for many years from different teachers and living in Japan three years, the occasional visit to a Shakuhachi camp or festival (just came back from Boulder and it was fantastic!) fuels my practice for many months... I also teach it (which is a great way to keep learning!)...


5. What aspects are difficult when learning the shakuhachi?
It may very well be the most challenging wind instrument ever... I've had professional wind instrument players dying of frustration, totally unable to get a decent sound out of it. I think one of the most challenging aspects for the student are all the subtle variations between schools, particularly if you want to learn more than one style... but no matter where you look at it from, it's an ever humbling path.


6. What was valuable for you at this festival/Summer School?
n/a

7. What kind of music would you like to perform on the shakuhachi?
Anything and everything, but my main loves are improvisation and Honkyoku. The important element for me personally, is not to lose the "Shakuhachiness" of the music... things like Indian Raga or Celtic Music on the Shakuhachi don't interest me at all (of course this is totally subjective, personal, and flexible :-)


8. How do you see the future of the shakuhachi when you think about that the numbers of shakuhachi players in Japan are decreasing fast?
Well, that is not my experience. In Kyoto there were scores of wonderful young players and on Festivals and camps there are countless people of all ages and gender passionately starting their path.
Where does this idea come from?
I don't think there's any problem with the future of the instrument.


9. Would you like to go to Japan?
Always...


10. What do you expect to experience in Japan?
learn, learn, learn... there's nothing like experiencing an instrument in it's own "turf", while enjoying the culture, the language, food, etc, that are the foundation of the music.
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Perry Yung
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PostPosted: 2013-09-06, 15:26    Post subject: Questionnaire for Hōgaku Journal Reply with quote

1. Where did you encounter the shakuhachi?
Yukio Tsuji was playing from orchestra pit while I was on stage performing as an actor in the experimental opera Oedipus the King.

2. What was it about the shakuhachi that you liked?
The total focus and attention required.

3. How did you get hold of a shakuhachi instrument?
I made one.

4. How are you learning/practicing?
I study with different teachers of different styles and also teach.

5. What aspects are difficult when learning the shakuhachi?
Getting the ideal tone color in combination with the pitch for the Meri notes.

6. What was valuable for you at this festival/Summer School?
Didn't attend but knowing it was happening was inspirational.

7. What kind of music would you like to perform on the shakuhachi?
I perform Dokyoku, Myoan and Kinko Honkyoku mostly but also original and improvisational music.

8. How do you see the future of the shakuhachi when you think about that the numbers of shakuhachi players in Japan are decreasing fast?
The future of any music and art is where it is encouraged to grow in both traditional and creative spaces. I see this happening in Japan and in many international, cosmopolitan cities.

9. Would you like to go to Japan?
I always look forward to my next trip.


10. What do you expect to experience in Japan?
A dynamic and rich culture deeply rooted in the past while always looking to the future.
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Jam
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PostPosted: 2013-09-22, 23:04    Post subject: Questionnaire for Hōgaku Journal Reply with quote

1. Where did you encounter the shakuhachi?
The first time I saw the word "Shakuhachi" was on my old Casio keyboard in my early teens. The sound on that made it come across a little like panpipes...
Fast forward about 8 years and I was a student at a Japanese university. My family came to visit for my 21st, and I took them to Kyoto. We found a flea market there and spent a good while looking at various things. I remember very vividly an elderly chap trying to sell my dad some shunga prints, saying "Bill Clinton likes!" over and over again. I found a stall with some odds and ends and this odd looking bit of wood with some holes in it. I asked what it was, and when they said "It's a shakuhachi" the little LCD screen from my teens popped into my head, and they said "try and play it". I spent about 5 minutes hyperventilating into a bamboo tube and decided I'd buy it, I wasn't going to be beaten! 5,000 yen later and that was that!

2. What was it about the shakuhachi that you liked?
It later transpired that the dean of my university in Fukuoka was a Tozan Shihan and he agreed to give me lessons. It turned out that the flute was home-made, completely out of tune and impossible to play (despite Perry Yung's fantastic efforts years later!), so he gave me a plastic one to practice on. I loved the challenge, but more than that, how it sounds when it's played properly. Yamaguchi Goro's sound in particular has been a huge impact on my playing, and as a Kinko player that is the sound I aspire towards.

3. How did you get hold of a shakuhachi instrument?
Flea Market in Kyoto, then a plastic one, then an average one from Yamaguchi prefecture, and then finally an Ichijo 1.8 and 1.6 through my teacher Ito Inmei in Aichi.

4. How are you learning/practicing?
I'm very lucky indeed to live close to Michael Soumei Coxall, and I have been taking lessons from him for some years now. I absolutely love the Kinko style of playing and I couldn't be happier.

5. What aspects are difficult when learning the shakuhachi?
Initially I found the breathing aspect a little challenging, as I was bad asthmatic. My asthma is almost completely gone and I put that down to martial arts and shakuhachi. I think the most difficult part of shakuhachi is getting a clear/consistent tone, and the tiny subtleties that occur in honkyoku, tailing off notes or slight bends/changes in pitch.

6. What was valuable for you at this festival/Summer School?
I've never been to the Prague summer schools, but I'll definitely be there for the WSF!

7. What kind of music would you like to perform on the shakuhachi?
I get the most enjoyment out of Kinko Honkyoku and Sankyoku, as these are the pieces I have been most exposed to. I enjoy shinkyoku too, and the exposure I've had to Tozan/KSK/Chikuho has been great, and I enjoy those styles when played by good players, I am always drawn back to Kinko.

8. How do you see the future of the shakuhachi when you think about that the numbers of shakuhachi players in Japan are decreasing fast?
I know many young Japanese shakuhachi players, and I'm sure there are a few at Geidai at the moment. A lot of my shakuhachi playing friends were retirement age, but that's not a problem, they're just the ones with the most time to play! I don't think it's a crisis at the moment, and the fact that Hogaku Journal are asking this kind of question tells me that not all is lost!

9. Would you like to go to Japan?
I always want to go back. Japan holds a special place in my heart.

10. What do you expect to experience in Japan?
Going back to see friends/teachers. I sometimes miss sitting in seiza on tatami, playing for hours and then having my teacher in stitches because I can't feel my legs and I roll about like a daruma.
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2013-09-23, 11:09    Post subject: Questionnaire for Hōgaku Journal Reply with quote

THANKS, guys! I am about to collect the answers in the next few days, so if any others would like to answer, please do it now! Smile
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garyc
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PostPosted: 2013-09-23, 22:36    Post subject: Questionnaire for Hōgaku Journal Reply with quote

1. Where did you encounter the shakuhachi? On the web looking for flute designs to build for my daughter, once I heard the sound of this flute in the hands of skilled players via YouTube and I was hooked on trying to find those sounds myself.

2. What was it about the shakuhachi that you liked?
Many things, the elegant simplicity of design with hidden complexities of timbre and tone seemingly only limited by the players skills. The joy of crafting jinashi flutes and finding the voice within the bamboo. Also the international community that has developed around it, with it tension, harmony, and growth that results.

3. How did you get hold of a shakuhachi instrument?
Made a PVC from a web design then move to making them from $2 store bamboo poles, its just escalated from there, learning techniques, discovering sources of materials ….. border line obsession.


4. How are you learning/practicing? On my own, it is a struggle but has it rewards, I listen to recordings and videos( old and new ) emulating and decoding the honkyoku pieces to try and understand the tradition. Then just listening to what my jinaste bamboo flutes can tell me and free myself to explore.

5. What aspects are difficult when learning the shakuhachi? Breathing and maintaining a good sound though the range and under varying conditions. The shakuhachi is a difficult master to satisfy. I’ve gotten playing tips from a variety of sources which have caused breakthroughs in my playing, so I recognize it is my choice too struggle. Someday I would like to find a jinaste player/s to help guide me when I loose my way.


6. What was valuable for you at this festival/Summer School? Did not attend


7. What kind of music would you like to perform on the shakuhachi? Honkyoku which respects the tradition but evolves in the present, improv’s with natural sounds and environments, one of Riley’s duets.


8. How do you see the future of the shakuhachi when you think about that the numbers of shakuhachi players in Japan are decreasing fast? Japanese players have a great responsibility and challenge to try and preserve their tradition, clearly there is a generation of players who’s knowledge and life style are disappearing . That Japan no longer exist for them nor those of us outside Japan. So “shakuhachi “ and the ecosystem around it will evolve in Japan. Hopefully what shakuhachi is becoming in a world wide sense, we all can nurture, grow and preserve, including new interpretations of the tradition, it seems to me to be the natural order of things. Hopefully the international Shakuhachi community and it popularity can provide a bit of cultural banking.

9. Would you like to go to Japan? I’ve been to Japan, but on business, I would like to go and try and get a better sense or feel of the Japan when the flute evolved, not sure it still exist.


10. What do you expect to experience in Japan? Modern Japan…., for me frantic calm and crowded isolation, with pockets of natural and man-made beauty which are inspiring and unique.

Cheers Gary
Austin Texas
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Daniel Ryudo
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PostPosted: 2013-09-26, 18:28    Post subject: Questionnaire for Hōgaku Journal Reply with quote

1. Where did you encounter the shakuhachi? At a minshuku in Kyoto in 1986. Another guest there had several flutes and took me looking for shakuhachi at some antique shops in Gion.

2. What was it about the shakuhachi that you liked? Initially it was the simple and attractive design of the instrument and the fact that it was made of bamboo. Later I learned about the history of the instrument and its connection with the komuso and Buddhism and was hooked.

3. I was introduced to a shakuhachi teacher in the town where I live and he gave me a pvc pipe instrument. After about a year I bought my first bamboo flute, a used instrument from a koto shop in town. At that time there were several shops selling Japanese traditional instruments in my town; now there are none.

4. How are you learning/practicing? I've been learning with a shakuhachi master (a good amateur player) of a Kinko school in the town where I live for the last couple of decades, generally attending a lesson once a week. For the last year I've also been taking a monthly group lesson with a master of a myoan style of playing. I've also attended various workshops and festivals over the years.

5. What aspects are difficult when learning the shakuhachi? I had difficulty with meri initially and continue to have difficulty with the timing of sankoku pieces as the timing in my head often seems to be running differently from that of people I am playing with. Also the various ornamentation techniques preceding or following notes and the kind of expressiveness appropriate for a particular piece.

6. What was valuable for you at this festival/summer school? I didn't attend.

7. What kind of music would you like to be able to play on the shakuhachi? Honkyoku, sankyoku, myoan pieces, improvisational, at times certain modern pieces.

8. How do you see the future of the shakuhachi when you think about that the numbers of shakuhachi players in Japan are decreasing fast? I've noticed the decrease in the town where I live as the local association of shakuhachi, koto, and shamisen players has gone from over 300 players to about 90 players in the last couple of decades. The shakuhachi will continue and the music will continue as players seem to be increasing in other parts of the world even while the numbers of players decline in Japan. I hope that more young people in Japan will discover the instrument and keep it going here as well!

9. Would you like to go to Japan? I live in Japan. I'd like to visit Europe and see how the shakuhachi is evolving over there.

10. What do you expect to experience in Japan? A continuing mix of the modern and traditional. Concrete and rice fields. Earth tremors. Gappei.
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PostPosted: Today at 01:19    Post subject: Questionnaire for Hōgaku Journal

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