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#1 2009-03-18 11:49:55

ABRAXAS
Member
Registered: 2009-01-17
Posts: 353

Hocchiku quality

Sincere question:

How do these issues surrounding quality of value and shakuhachi craftsmanship apply to the concept of the Hocchiku? Where the idea is to keep the flute as natural as possible.

And, what makes a $2000+ "hocchiku" different (or better) from one merely made by someone who knows how to craft one "in tune" from appropriate material?

Last edited by ABRAXAS (2009-03-18 11:50:52)


"Shakuhachi music stirs up both gods and demons." -- Ikkyu.

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#2 2009-03-18 12:28:41

ABRAXAS
Member
Registered: 2009-01-17
Posts: 353

Re: Hocchiku quality

Mujitsu wrote:

ABRAXAS wrote:

Sincere question:

How do these issues surrounding quality of value and shakuhachi craftsmanship apply to the concept of the Hocchiku? Where the idea is to keep the flute as natural as possible.

And, what makes a $2000+ "hocchiku" different (or better) from one merely made by someone who knows how to craft one "in tune" from appropriate material?

Good question.

Concerning quality, I think it's relative Jim. Just like jiari and smaller jinashi, there is a range of quality in hocchiku as well. Response, depth of tone, power, glow, etc. Hocchiku that play better are likely to cost more than those that don't play as well. The craftsmanship is hidden in the bore. Like any shakuhachi, it's not easy to make an exceptional one.

Ken

Thank You Ken,

In the back of my mind I'm assuming jiari requires more "craftsmanship", and on the extreme end on looking at something like "cast bore" shakuhachi, I see the point to some degree but at what point is it a fine-tuned but synthetic instrument concealed in a bamboo casing.


"Shakuhachi music stirs up both gods and demons." -- Ikkyu.

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#3 2009-03-18 12:34:09

Mujitsu
Administrator/Flutemaker
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 868
Website

Re: Hocchiku quality

ABRAXAS wrote:

Sincere question:

How do these issues surrounding quality of value and shakuhachi craftsmanship apply to the concept of the Hocchiku? Where the idea is to keep the flute as natural as possible.

And, what makes a $2000+ "hocchiku" different (or better) from one merely made by someone who knows how to craft one "in tune" from appropriate material?

Good question.

Concerning quality, I think it's relative Jim. Just like jiari and smaller jinashi, there is a range of quality in hocchiku as well. Response, depth of tone, power, glow, etc. Hocchiku that play better are likely to cost more than those that don't play as well. The craftsmanship is hidden in the bore. Like any shakuhachi, it's not easy to make an exceptional one.

Ken

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#4 2009-03-18 13:11:18

Mujitsu
Administrator/Flutemaker
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 868
Website

Re: Hocchiku quality

ABRAXAS wrote:

Thank You Ken,

In the back of my mind I'm assuming jiari requires more "craftsmanship", and on the extreme end on looking at something like "cast bore" shakuhachi, I see the point to some degree but at what point is it a fine-tuned but synthetic instrument concealed in a bamboo casing.

Yes, it's obvious visually that there is a lot of craftsmanship involved in jiari shakuahchi. Maybe "craftsmanship" is not the best word for the effort involved in hocchiku.

Shakuhachi of this style can be made quickly. However, they can also be laborious and tedious in their own way. That type of effort is often not visible.

Concerning the last question, who knows!!

Ken

(Sorry, I moved these posts to a new thread and mixed up the order)

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#5 2009-03-18 13:21:12

ABRAXAS
Member
Registered: 2009-01-17
Posts: 353

Re: Hocchiku quality

Ken, thanks for addressing my questions (and for moving them to a more appropriate forum).

By craftsmanship, I mean primarily what was going on inside the jiari flute bore to acheive a specific kind and degree of sound, pitch, tone, tuning, volume, etc. in contrast to the jinashi/hocchiku concept which, even with a degree of craftsmanship, seems to intentionally retain more of a "happy accident" factor.


"Shakuhachi music stirs up both gods and demons." -- Ikkyu.

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#6 2009-03-18 13:49:29

Taldaran
Member
From: Everett, Washington-USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 228

Re: Hocchiku quality

ABRAXAS wrote:

Ken, thanks for addressing my questions (and for moving them to a more appropriate forum).

By craftsmanship, I mean primarily what was going on inside the jiari flute bore to acheive a specific kind and degree of sound, pitch, tone, tuning, volume, etc. in contrast to the jinashi/hocchiku concept which, even with a degree of craftsmanship, seems to intentionally retain more of a "happy accident" factor.

I think that's perhaps why some of us prefer Ji-nashi flutes. When you get (or make one) that has warmth and soul and a truly individual voice, AND performs well, It makes it precious, and a true joy to play and a wonder to craft.


Christopher

“Whoever can see through all fear will always be safe.” Tao Te Ching

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#7 2009-03-18 14:14:45

purehappiness
Member
From: Connecticut USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 528

Re: Hocchiku quality

There is something about making your own flute. Especially, if it works right. smile


I was not conscious whether I was riding on the wind or the wind was riding on me.

Lieh-tzu

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#8 2009-03-18 14:25:32

ABRAXAS
Member
Registered: 2009-01-17
Posts: 353

Re: Hocchiku quality

purehappiness wrote:

There is something about making your own flute. Especially, if it works right. smile

And thats another thing!

I just got a hand-me-down that is a large 2.5 with a very wide bore made out of a nice root-end, but it has "issues" which I suspect may boil down to too much material of the walls between the nodes left intact with too narrow bore for the airway - in any event I'll probably be checking out a few shakuhachi manuals to pinpoint if that is the problem and if I should tinker with fixing it. That might be my first step in the direction of making simple no-frills flutes for myself.... maybe by the time I plant and grow bamboo in my yard wink


"Shakuhachi music stirs up both gods and demons." -- Ikkyu.

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#9 2009-03-18 15:49:37

purehappiness
Member
From: Connecticut USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 528

Re: Hocchiku quality

I need a shakuhachi manual. smile


I was not conscious whether I was riding on the wind or the wind was riding on me.

Lieh-tzu

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#10 2009-03-19 06:29:21

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
Website

Re: Hocchiku quality

It is equally difficult to make a fine jiari or jinashi shakuhachi. That's why neither is plentiful. The means of manufacture are different, but the attention to detail is similar.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#11 2009-03-19 07:15:33

Seth
Member
From: Scarsdale, NY
Registered: 2005-10-24
Posts: 270

Re: Hocchiku quality

Tairaku wrote:

It is equally difficult to make a fine jiari or jinashi shakuhachi. That's why neither is plentiful. The means of manufacture are different, but the attention to detail is similar.

I would suspect that making a good jinashi takes more skill and effort then making a good jiari.

Jinashi is created only by taking away material, while for a Jiari you can take away and add.

Jinashi s like sculpting in wood, which is horribly unforgiving. One bad chisel mark and its all over. 

While Jiari making is like sculpting in clay.  If you make a mistake. no sweat, you can just slop on a bit more paste and start over...

But I actually don't know what I am talking about as I have never made a shakuhachi.  Is the above true?

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#12 2009-03-19 09:03:23

Mujitsu
Administrator/Flutemaker
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 868
Website

Re: Hocchiku quality

Seth wrote:

I would suspect that making a good jinashi takes more skill and effort then making a good jiari.

Jinashi is created only by taking away material, while for a Jiari you can take away and add.

Jinashi s like sculpting in wood, which is horribly unforgiving. One bad chisel mark and its all over. 

While Jiari making is like sculpting in clay.  If you make a mistake. no sweat, you can just slop on a bit more paste and start over...

But I actually don't know what I am talking about as I have never made a shakuhachi.  Is the above true?

Seth,

Actually, there is sometimes addition involved in jinashi (ji-mori). Usually these are dabs of ji but sometimes can be more. It's also possible to add back if you take too much away. However, yes, the general approach is about removal.

It's difficult to say which is more difficult. I suppose it's possible to have a higher yield of decent shakuhachi using a jiari approach. However, to make a very good flute, both styles require unique effort.

Plastic, metal, bamboo, rubber, ji, glass, seaweed.... making a great shakuhachi is just plain hard!

Ken

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#13 2009-03-19 09:21:56

ABRAXAS
Member
Registered: 2009-01-17
Posts: 353

Re: Hocchiku quality

Yes, these are the kind of details I was interested int.


"Shakuhachi music stirs up both gods and demons." -- Ikkyu.

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#14 2009-03-19 11:04:19

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: Hocchiku quality

ABRAXAS wrote:

...in any event I'll probably be checking out a few shakuhachi manuals to pinpoint if that is the problem and if I should tinker with fixing it.

Please send it (them) around to the rest of us after you've located/acquired it (them).

Thanks in advance.


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#15 2009-03-19 11:28:28

ABRAXAS
Member
Registered: 2009-01-17
Posts: 353

Re: Hocchiku quality

edosan wrote:

ABRAXAS wrote:

...in any event I'll probably be checking out a few shakuhachi manuals to pinpoint if that is the problem and if I should tinker with fixing it.

Please send it (them) around to the rest of us after you've located/acquired it (them).

Thanks in advance.

Basically I was referring to the few "how to make a shakuhachi" manuals online and at Monty Levinson's site, etc. Are my expectations too high?

My technical knowledge about shakuhachi-making is hovering right around zero, so I'm approximately at the level of a medieval monk speculating about what makes lightening. wink


"Shakuhachi music stirs up both gods and demons." -- Ikkyu.

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#16 2009-03-19 11:38:31

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: Hocchiku quality

ABRAXAS wrote:

Basically I was referring to the few "how to make a shakuhachi" manuals online and at Monty Levinson's site, etc. Are my expectations too high?

My technical knowledge about shakuhachi-making is hovering right around zero, so I'm approximately at the level of a medieval monk speculating about what makes lightening. wink

I think it probably comes around to what appears to me to be Mujitsu's take on the matter, which is: "Make a hundred shakuhachi, and you'll get a bit closer to having a proper manual." I'm paraphrasing, of course smile.


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#17 2009-03-19 12:20:33

ABRAXAS
Member
Registered: 2009-01-17
Posts: 353

Re: Hocchiku quality

No doubt! .... why I was careful to say "tinker with it" wink

This is one area at least that I have no delusions of competence!


"Shakuhachi music stirs up both gods and demons." -- Ikkyu.

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#18 2009-03-19 14:16:53

Mujitsu
Administrator/Flutemaker
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 868
Website

Re: Hocchiku quality

ABRAXAS wrote:

No doubt! .... why I was careful to say "tinker with it" wink

This is one area at least that I have no delusions of competence!

The great thing about shakuhachi is that it's just a hollow stick with
holes. So, it's as simple as you want it to be. Of course the difficulty is
that it's a hollow stick with holes!

Ed - I like your paraphrasing more than my take!

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#19 2009-03-19 15:55:41

purehappiness
Member
From: Connecticut USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 528

Re: Hocchiku quality

I think everyone goes thru the phase of wanting to make your own flute. Eventually, you sober up, and realize how hard it is, and then you buy one. smile I know, I am there.


I was not conscious whether I was riding on the wind or the wind was riding on me.

Lieh-tzu

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#20 2009-03-19 17:48:26

Kiku Day
Shakuhachi player, teacher and ethnomusicologist
From: London, UK & Nørre Snede, DK
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 917
Website

Re: Hocchiku quality

Seth wrote:

I would suspect that making a good jinashi takes more skill and effort then making a good jiari.
Jinashi is created only by taking away material, while for a Jiari you can take away and add.
Jinashi s like sculpting in wood, which is horribly unforgiving. One bad chisel mark and its all over. 
While Jiari making is like sculpting in clay.  If you make a mistake. no sweat, you can just slop on a bit more paste and start over...
But I actually don't know what I am talking about as I have never made a shakuhachi.  Is the above true?

My favourite analogy is that jinashi making is like water colour painting and jinuri is like oil painting.
If you have one bad stroke with water colour painting the whole thing is ruined.
With oil painting you can redo it again and again...
But we all know that it requires just as amazing trained skills and artistry to make an oil painting as a water colour painting.
And I think that is just how it is with jinuri and jinashi making wink


I am a hole in a flute
that the Christ's breath moves through
listen to this music
Hafiz

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#21 2009-03-19 20:09:13

Taldaran
Member
From: Everett, Washington-USA
Registered: 2009-01-13
Posts: 228

Re: Hocchiku quality

Nice analogies, Kiku and Seth!

I have to admit though that my jinashi making is more akin to coloring with crayons.


Christopher

“Whoever can see through all fear will always be safe.” Tao Te Ching

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#22 2009-03-20 05:04:41

Josh
PhD
From: Grand Island, NY/Nara, Japan
Registered: 2005-11-14
Posts: 305
Website

Re: Hocchiku quality

Don't worry, your crayons are probably better than my finger painting wink

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#23 2009-03-30 11:38:47

chattemao
Member
Registered: 2009-01-19
Posts: 32

Re: Hocchiku quality

isn't  hochiku easy broken   >?


J' aime Dozan Fujiwara 藤原道山

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#24 2009-03-30 11:53:40

Zakarius
Member
From: Taichung, TAIWAN
Registered: 2006-04-12
Posts: 361

Re: Hocchiku quality

chattemao wrote:

isn't  hochiku easy broken   >?

Most quality jinashi/hocchiku are made from aged pieces of bamboo, so they're less liable to crack. Of course, when an instrument is well taken care of (played regularly and kept at appropriate humidity), it shouldn't have any problems.

Zak


塵も積もれば山となる -- "Chiri mo tsumoreba yama to naru." -- Piled-up specks of dust become a mountain.

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#25 2011-01-31 02:34:42

vinisha
Member
Registered: 2011-01-31
Posts: 1

Re: Hocchiku quality

Do you have sources for these?

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