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#1 2009-05-05 03:07:57

Moran from Planet X
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From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1515
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Who are these jinashi shakuhachi makers?

Mejiro lists flutes by three makers: Shunko, Kokuryu, Shomei.

All three makers' products are referred to as "Myoan". They are listed in Mejiro's jinashi section.

Anyone here or across The Great Peaceful Pond have useful information on these makers and/or their flutes?

Last edited by Chris Moran (2009-05-05 03:11:43)


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." —Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#2 2009-05-05 04:16:14

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

Re: Who are these jinashi shakuhachi makers?

Hi Chris.

I can tell you a little about Kokuryūs flutes.
Kokuryūis not a 'professional' maker as such - he doesn't make a living of it. But he is a passionate maker and a very good maker in his own right. He is in some strange and interesting way a product of Mejiro as he began taking lessons there and also learned shakuhachi making with the teacher there ( can't remember the teacher's name of the top of my head).
However, his real interest for making is to make jinashi. He told me in an interview that his passion was to make mostly, but not only, long flutes - totally without ji. But they were to be blown and played as if it was a jinuri/jiari. He also aimed for a sound that was more jinuri-like than jinashi. However, he loved the challenge of trying to make that with just the bamboo as material.
He saw it as making jinashi for the people who were trained to play jinuri....
Here we may have an example of an attitude where the material is very important...
Kokuryu was very nice and open about his shakuhachi making - unlike some other makers. He laughs a lot and is just very nice to be around. His passion about shakuhachi came across strongly and it was comfortable to be around him and this passion for shakuhachi. Not much of an ego attached to it.
I thought his flutes were brilliant. The ones I tried were well balanced and played well. They are pretty wide-bored (most of the ones I saw) and have a flared bottom hole.
Personally I might not quite understand why one should try to make a jinashi that sounds like a jinuri.... but that was his aim, and he is good at it and the flutes are good - so I have great respect for him!
I measured and x-rayed some of his flutes during my fieldwork stay in Japan.


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

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#3 2009-05-05 21:50:23

Moran from Planet X
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From: Here to There
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Re: Who are these jinashi shakuhachi makers?

Thanks, Kiku. I appreciate artists who can define their philosophy without diminishing the works of others in the process. They walk their talk and establish what an old teacher of mine once termed a 'natural authority' -- with no need to justify their trajectory. Ken is like that too.


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." —Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#4 2009-05-05 22:24:01

Tairaku 太楽
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From: Tasmania
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Re: Who are these jinashi shakuhachi makers?

Kiku Day wrote:

Personally I might not quite understand why one should try to make a jinashi that sounds like a jinuri...

Neptune does that.

Is Kokuryu's sound more or less "jinuri" than Shugetsu's?


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

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#5 2009-05-06 06:33:34

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

Re: Who are these jinashi shakuhachi makers?

Tairaku wrote:

Kiku Day wrote:

Personally I might not quite understand why one should try to make a jinashi that sounds like a jinuri...

Neptune does that.

Is Kokuryu's sound more or less "jinuri" than Shugetsu's?

Several makers do that today -making jinashi sound more jinuri-like...
I guess that is a tendency we will observe more and more when so many people trained on jinuri wants to play jinashi.
Personally I think it is great that people challenge different kind of flutes. I bought my first jinuri in 2003. It was a big challenge to play it.

It would be very hard for me to judge whether Kokuryu's flutes are more jinuri-like in sound that Shugetsu's. First of all - all the shakuhachi they produce vary. Secondly, I think the perception of what sounds like one or the other can be quite personal.
I did think that the flutes of these two makers were very different in character (bear in mind I have seen far more Shugetsu than Kokuryu). I believe without having a proof of it - that one big reason for the big difference is that Shugetsu leaves as much of the nodes as possible while Kokuryu files it all down. They both make the modern steep angled mouthpieces on their flutes...

Chris, I agree with what you say. Kokuryu was modest and nice, but had his own way and had no need of showing off - just like Ken, as you say! smile


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

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#6 2009-05-06 08:05:22

Jeff Cairns
teacher, performer,promoter of shakuhachi
From: Kumamoto, Japan
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 517
Website

Re: Who are these jinashi shakuhachi makers?

I have had a long term relationship with a professional maker who makes jinuri/jiari flutes exclusively.  The interesting point to me in light of these discussions is that he has never explained his sound in terms of 'type of instrument.'  It was always in terms of the type of music that would best be played by his instruments.  So when I hear of makers who make their instruments to reflect a sound that is typical of the sound that a certain type of instrument is expected to play, I'm intrigued but a bit mystified (I also know that the mystification is probably related to my experience.)  'I try to make a jinashi to sound like a jinuri.'  Why?  To prove that one is unnecessary?  To suggest that sound generation is related to something other than what has come to be expected in terms of construction methods and technique?  I, like Kiku, am not trying to debunk these makers and I certainly have respect for their talents and conviction when that is evident, but I am equally interested to know why.


shakuhachi flute
I step out into the wind
with holes in my bones

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#7 2009-05-06 14:11:52

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

Re: Who are these jinashi shakuhachi makers?

When asked, Kokuryu just answered that this was his interest and he enjoyed the challenge.
Also, I might suspect that more jinuri-like may just be words used as a vehicle to get the description of a certain type of sound across. In reality he might be after a certain jinashi sound, but it is indeed very difficult to express exactly what one hears - unless using conventional terms like jinuri-like.
I am only guessing here...
Perhaps this is also an example of 'things' not being cut in stone - but exist in the grey area most of us move within.


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

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#8 2009-05-06 15:56:07

Moran from Planet X
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From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1515
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Re: Who are these jinashi shakuhachi makers?

Kiku, does Kokuryu have any relationship to Nishimura Koku style flutes?

----------------------

So making a flute more jinuri-like or jiari-like, do you think this would be shorthand for describing a flute with

1. a more focused, as opposed to a more diffused sound ?
2. more volume/projection ?
3. modern tuning, hole placement and size ?
4. steeper (less angled, less perpendicular) utaguchi cut ?

p.s: Jeff, to veer slightly back to my original question, have you heard of Shunko or Shomei over yonder?

Last edited by Chris Moran (2009-05-06 16:07:18)


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." —Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#9 2009-05-06 17:13:14

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

Re: Who are these jinashi shakuhachi makers?

Hi Chris.

Kokuryu doesn't have any relationship with Nishimura Koku's group or that style of flute making. According to what he told me in the interview the person teaching shakuhachi making at Mejiro is his only teacher.

You your suggestions regarding what jinuri-like jinashi might involve are probably pointing somewhat in the right direction...


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

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#10 2009-05-07 09:01:02

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

Re: Who are these jinashi shakuhachi makers?

I don't have a lot of detailed info on Shoumei, but I've heard he is similar to Kokuryu, but more into a breathy, less precise tone, if that makes any sense. I wrote a review on Izumi Takeo (http://shakuhachiforum.com/viewtopic.php?id=2185) and on that CD he is playing modern makers of jinashi/jimori flutes and he uses Shomei a few times on the CD. If you have the chance check out the cd, I quite like the shomei sound. Shimura Satoshi uses his flutes, especially for a few over 3 shaku. Shomei seems to specialize in extra long flutes, when he can get the bamboo that is. I'll ask around about him and his offiliation with the Myoan style.

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#11 2009-05-07 09:12:23

Jeff Cairns
teacher, performer,promoter of shakuhachi
From: Kumamoto, Japan
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 517
Website

Re: Who are these jinashi shakuhachi makers?

Sorry Chris, I haven't heard of them, but it seems that Josh has something of a finger on that pulse.  Hopefully he'll be able to expound a bit further as information comes in.
Thanks Kiku.  I appreciate your thoughts on the seeming disparity of Kokuryu's making approach.


shakuhachi flute
I step out into the wind
with holes in my bones

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#12 2009-05-07 20:32:31

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3200
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Re: Who are these jinashi shakuhachi makers?

Josh wrote:

. Shimura Satoshi uses his flutes, especially for a few over 3 shaku. Shomei seems to specialize in extra long flutes, when he can get the bamboo that is..

If that's the one Simura had in Sydney, I played it and liked it a lot. Good maker.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#13 2009-05-08 00:50:21

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

Re: Who are these jinashi shakuhachi makers?

Yeah, that's the one. I've played it too and quite like his flutes. Mejiro has alot of his shorter ones and can't say if they are the same flavor, but his long ones are quite nice, with a larger bore. From the mejiro pics some of the shorter ones may be more narrow, but I'm just guessing.

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