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Tsuyutoshi and Jinashi

 
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spiralofhope
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PostPosted: 2011-06-02, 00:37    Post subject: Tsuyutoshi and Jinashi Reply with quote

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I am unsure where to post this. As it is a maintenance and materials question, I thought perhaps this would be a good place.

To benefit beginners, the terminology:

  • Tsuyutoshi - A cleaning cloth to remove the humidity your breath leaves on the inner bore while playing.
  • Jinashi (jinashi nobekan) - One-piece flute without Ji filler, completely unlacquered and no mouthpiece inlay.


--

I own a Jinashi shakuhachi. Right from the first time I played it, I noticed that there are small hairs of bamboo on the inside. Is this normal?

Also, there was one significant-sized peel curling into the bore. By "cleaning" it a little more aggressively, I can no longer see it. Either I snapped it off or it's been flattened. I probably broke it off. It was extremely thin. I do know that while it was there my playing was terrible, but I am not a competent enough player to know if the sound of the flute has been altered when this strip vanished. Is that inner strip another quirk that I can expect with such a flute?

Also, with no Ji, is such a flute more susceptible to being damaged by regular cleaning?

Traditional Tsuyutoshi are silk. I like to deeply understand things beyond tradition. It seems to me like the "grip" of other Tsuyutoshi materials could damage the bore, more so if the flute is Jinashi. Can this be true?
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Itamar Foguel
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PostPosted: 2011-06-02, 02:12    Post subject: Tsuyutoshi and Jinashi Reply with quote

i dont think cleaning would damage a jinashi, i have a jinashi with tung oil finish inside and no problem cleaning it, about the strips, i dont really know didnt encounter it, only thing i can think of is that they were peeled by a maker who worked the inside but didnt gave it a finish, maybe working with a sharp tool or drill inside.
Was the flute made by a professional?

I dont think it will change the playing or tuning much (if its a small hair and not a big strip of bamboo that creates a a hole inside) if its removed.

hope it helps
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Glenn Shōyū Swann
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PostPosted: 2011-06-02, 02:27    Post subject: Tsuyutoshi and Jinashi Reply with quote

spiralofhope wrote:
I am unsure where to post this. As it is a maintenance and materials question, I thought perhaps this would be a good place.

To benefit beginners, the terminology:

  • Tsuyutoshi - A cleaning cloth to remove the humidity your breath leaves on the inner bore while playing.
  • Jinashi (jinashi nobekan) - One-piece flute without Ji filler, completely unlacquered and no mouthpiece inlay.


**just to be clear, a "jinashi" flute has no or very little filler, but may (or may not) have lacquer and/or mouthpiece inlay.***
--

I own a Jinashi shakuhachi. Right from the first time I played it, I noticed that there are small hairs of bamboo on the inside. Is this normal?

** pretty normal, if it is bare bamboo and hasn't been ultra-cleaned out**

Also, there was one significant-sized peel curling into the bore. By "cleaning" it a little more aggressively, I can no longer see it. Either I snapped it off or it's been flattened. I probably broke it off. It was extremely thin. I do know that while it was there my playing was terrible, but I am not a competent enough player to know if the sound of the flute has been altered when this strip vanished. Is that inner strip another quirk that I can expect with such a flute?

**a little splinter such as you mentioned shouldn't make a difference, especially if as it seems it was only vaguely attached to begin with. I would probably ream it out with a brush(like the kind used to clean refrigeration coils) if it were my flute**

Also, with no Ji, is such a flute more susceptible to being damaged by regular cleaning?

**definitely not. in fact, it will be more likely to grow mold if you don't clean it. just be careful not to knock the weight against the blowing edge as you lower it into the flute.***

Traditional Tsuyutoshi are silk. I like to deeply understand things beyond tradition. It seems to me like the "grip" of other Tsuyutoshi materials could damage the bore, more so if the flute is Jinashi. Can this be true?


****I've never had or known anyone with a silk tsuyutoshi.... pretty luxurious, IMHO. cotton or cotton/poly is fine. bamboo is tough stuff, lacquered bamboo even tougher.***
***whoops- kind of messed up the "Quote" function. my replies above are in asterisks *****
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2011-06-02, 08:56    Post subject: Tsuyutoshi and Jinashi Reply with quote

Hi Spiralofhope

As Glenn has already said.. both the hair and the little layer of skin is all normal and shows that the maker didn't clean the flute inside after finishing it. Usually I clean it with a bottle cleaner. The thin bamboo skin is used for some flutes such as dizi and taegum to vibrate over an open hole.

And now to something else:
As it sounds like your flute is very new and raw... then I'd advice you not to keep it too moist as it may grow mold inside. The jinashi flutes can do this while young and still a bit "green". Not that it has the colour green, but I have seen flutes made by bamboo that hasn't dried completely and if they get locked up in a plastic bag or kept with a moisturising device.... it can do this. In case you notice mold, then clean the inside out with a bottle cleaner. Add some teatree or lavender oil inside. This will only be a phase and will disappear.
Perhaps your flute will not develop mold at all... but just as a precaution! Smile
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spiralofhope
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PostPosted: 2011-06-02, 10:44    Post subject: Tsuyutoshi and Jinashi Reply with quote

Thanks for your responses.

Itamar,
Yes this flute was professionally created, but it was intended to be a very raw flute so there is no inner finish. The large flake that I mentioned does seem to reveal that the bore had a sharp tool used in it.

The tiny hairs that I see are disappearing the more I play and clean it. I'm glad that they shouldn't change the sound.

Glenn,
Thanks for correcting me on the meaning of "jinashi".

You said that bamboo is tough, but I worry that the cloth I use is not delicate enough. Because of the need to remove moisture, I have been using a "microfibre" cloth, which is a little tacky. It seems to grip a little bit. I have been worried about pulling too much on the surface of the bore.

Yes I'm very careful about my weight when I clean it.

Kiku,
Yes this flute is very raw. From what I have read here about how it is acting, I think I am its first owner.

I've been very careful to clean my flute and store it airtight within plastic. I can very easily notice any heat and moisture from my breath. Even after cleaning I can still sense a little of it. So I clean it (twice) and leave it alone for 5-10 minutes before putting it in plastic.

It is difficult to see down the bore, but I will inspect it as part of my routine. Mold would look like a darkened area or spots, yes?

If I do see mold and I want to clean it, what is "bottle cleaner"?

Quote:
The thin bamboo skin is used for some flutes such as dizi and taegum to vibrate over an open hole.


Some flutes actually have little flaps on the inside of the holes? Very interesting..
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Toby
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PostPosted: 2011-06-02, 14:48    Post subject: Tsuyutoshi and Jinashi Reply with quote

Most makers at least sand and smooth the inside and apply a coat of urushi to seal the bore. In any case, it is always advantageous to leave no sharp edges where the scepta are removed and endeavor to reduce the constriction at these points as much as possible. Generally speaking, the smoother the bore the better, to minimize acoustic losses at the walls. If the garibo (tool like a round rasp used to remove material from the bore) has left rough marks, or if the inside of the bore has not been at least minimally sanded it would not be a mistake to sand it smooth.
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2011-06-02, 17:15    Post subject: Tsuyutoshi and Jinashi Reply with quote

Jinashi shakuhachi is not so sensitive as you think. I mostly only play jinashi shakuhachi (with no filler (ji) at all inside) and when I improvise I use them as percussion instruments too - I mean hitting the chair or the floor with the shakuhachi... Silk or cotton would not be able to damage anything inside the bamboo, so not worries.

Yes, mold would be dark and also you can smell it.

A bottle cleaner looks like this and is meant to be used for cleaning bottles. You can buy them in supermarkets.

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Erin
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PostPosted: 2011-06-02, 18:32    Post subject: Tsuyutoshi and Jinashi Reply with quote

Spiralofhope (nice web handle, btw), in case you are curious about what Kiku was saying about a 'young' jinashi easily developing mold you might like to read blog post: http://ashakuhachijourney.blogspot.com/2011/05/tea-tree-oil.html
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Christopher Nickels
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PostPosted: 2011-10-28, 20:31    Post subject: Tsuyutoshi and Jinashi Reply with quote

A trick I use when I make longer jinashi with a lot of curvature is to use small rough pebbles poured into the bore and cup your hands over the ends and shake and turn the shak. Works great to smooth the bore and remove the inner membranes. It's very soothing to hear rainstick kind of sounds as you shake, and seeing all the loose stuff coming out of the fingerholes.

Also dryer vent brushes work great. You can get them at any hardware store cheap.

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hirsh
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PostPosted: 2011-11-28, 15:15    Post subject: Tsuyutoshi and Jinashi Reply with quote

For getting rid of inner membrane, I split a gardening stake and insert some steel wool with a couple of bindings above and below. It gets you round the bends.
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