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#1 2005-10-24 22:43:06

kenbo
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From: Sydney but living in Kanazawa
Registered: 2005-10-24
Posts: 8

To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

I get confused when people talk about jiari and jinashi flutes.

This is how I understand it and please correct me where required:

A jinashi flute may still have the complete bore covered in lacquer but is lacking dabs of ji here and there to sweeten the sound as well as to tune the flute.

A jiari flute has lacquer as well as extra ji dabbed in the required places to completely tune the flute as well as make it sweet sounding.

So, what is a shakuhachi called where absolutely nothing has been applied to the bore...a hocchiku?

Regards,

Justin

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#2 2005-10-24 23:23:30

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

Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

Dear kenbo,

This is probably not the last word on this issue (what is 'ji-ari'?/what is 'ji-nashi'?), but it's probably about as close as we're going to get:


             http://communication.ucsd.edu/shaku/hochiku_shaku.html

This is a short and pithy article on the subject by the estimable Tom Deaver.

Best,
eB


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

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#3 2005-10-25 00:03:19

Tairaku 太楽
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From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
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Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

Tom's article is very nice not only for the information, but also because he uses such words and phrases as "usually" and "except for the exeptions" which acknowledges that there are no hard and fast rules.

An interesting point he makes is that some consider hocchiku to be at least 2.5 or 2.6 in length. So what are similar flutes which are 2.2 or 2.3? Jinashi shakuhachi?

Watazumi coined the term "hocchiku" to describe the shakuhachi he made and played. He did this either for philosophical reasons or as a marketing tool to differentiate himself from other players or both. Similarly Nishimura Koku called his jinashi shakuhachi "kyotaku". Both "hocchiku" and "kyotaku" can also be called jinashi shakuhachi with no distortion.

I would propose the following nomenclature for describing the various shakuhachi:

1"Jiari"-shakuhachi which have bores completely filled with ji and the bore worked to a smooth finish. The maker of these shakuhachi intend to shape the bore to their preconceived bore profile. Then they are finished with urushi.

2. "Jinashi"-shakuhachi which have been made by subtraction. Rather than building up the bore, material is removed from the bore. Usually the bore walls and part of the nodes are at least somewhat visible. Not always. Sometimes the bore is worked smooth without adding ji. A layer of urushi may or may not coat the bore.

3."Semi-jinashi"-same as jinashi except that dabs of ji may be added for tuning purposes or to correct a flaw in the bamboo. Semi-jinashi is a term not yet in common usage, but it's catching on and sure solves a lot of these disputes.

4. "Hocchiku" and "Kyotaku". Jinashi shakuhachi associated with specific players and their schools.

5 "Other". Plastic, Wood, PVC, Mixed Materials, Cactus, etc.

Personally I think the word "Hocchiku" is being thrown around too promiscuously nowadays. People are describing any crude long flute this way. But besides the physical description of the things "real" hocchiku have some musical characteristics which probably take a lot of experience to identify. They are really made to play deep religious honkyoku. They have a "hollow" sound and are not made to project a lot of volume. I couldn't tell you what makes one long jinashi shakuhachi a hocchiku and another not, but when I play it I know.

Furthermore there is no consensus about some matters. One of the best "hocchiku" makers I know, for example, thinks the holes must all be in a straight line. But he does use putty to build up the utaguchi and coats the bore with a thin coat of urushi. Another fine "hocchiku" maker offsets his holes, but doesn't put any urushi in the bore.

Except for fundamentalists, most good shakuhachi players gravitate towards one kind of flute but are willing to make exceptions and just enjoy playing well made shakuhachi.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#4 2005-10-25 12:46:59

Mujitsu
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From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 867
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Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

Tairaku wrote:

3."Semi-jinashi"-same as jinashi except that dabs of ji may be added for tuning purposes or to correct a flaw in the bamboo. Semi-jinashi is a term not yet in common usage, but it's catching on and sure solves a lot of these disputes.

Brian,

"Semi-jinashi" is a welcome addition to the shakuhachi vocabulary. Currently, there is confusion in this grey area of shakuhachi.

For example, I'm aware of a sentiment among some that, for philosophical reasons, once a flute receives a dab of ji, it is no longer jinashi.

Taken literally, it is true that it is no longer "without ji." However, I think that the technique of adding dabs of ji is much closer to the jinashi stlye philosophically. Also, if successful, the tone color of this style of flute moves closer to a jinashi sound rather than away from it.

Therefore, I think the term "semi-jinashi" is more appropriate than "semi-jiari."

Tairaku wrote:

5 "Other". Plastic, Wood, PVC, Mixed Materials, Cactus, etc.

I'd also like to add "kelp" to this list!

Ken

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#5 2005-10-25 14:17:43

rpowers
Member
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 285

Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

Mujitsu wrote:

I'd also like to add "kelp" to this list!

Ken

Do the kelp flutes get worked in the shop, or do you play them on the beach and return them to the sea?

Rich


"Shut up 'n' play . . . " -- Frank Zappa
"Gonna blow some . . ." -- Junior Walker
"It's not the flute." -- Riley Lee

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#6 2005-10-25 20:35:06

Mujitsu
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From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 867
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Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

Rich wrote:

Do the kelp flutes get worked in the shop, or do you play them on the beach and return them to the sea?

Rich,

The kelp shakuhachi are made on site with a Swiss army knife in about two minutes! Sometimes, I bring a 3/8" forstner bit along for fancy holes. The bores are tapered nicely and can sound pretty good. Kids and dogs love to see and hear these being made and played. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, these flutes last a few days, then shrivel up, or wash out to sea, never to be played again. I may be reaching here, but they could possibly be an alternative to the well established "Toilet Paper" shakuhachi.

Ken

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#7 2005-10-25 23:03:38

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

Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

Mujitsu wrote:

Tairaku wrote:

3."Semi-jinashi"-same as jinashi except that dabs of ji may be added for tuning purposes or to correct a flaw in the bamboo. Semi-jinashi is a term not yet in common usage, but it's catching on and sure solves a lot of these disputes.

Brian,

"Semi-jinashi" is a welcome addition to the shakuhachi vocabulary. Currently, there is confusion in this grey area of shakuhachi.

For example, I'm aware of a sentiment among some that, for philosophical reasons, once a flute receives a dab of ji, it is no longer jinashi.

Taken literally, it is true that it is no longer "without ji." However, I think that the technique of adding dabs of ji is much closer to the jinashi stlye philosophically. Also, if successful, the tone color of this style of flute moves closer to a jinashi sound rather than away from it.

Therefore, I think the term "semi-jinashi" is more appropriate than "semi-jiari."

Tairaku wrote:

5 "Other". Plastic, Wood, PVC, Mixed Materials, Cactus, etc.

I'd also like to add "kelp" to this list!

Ken

There is a certain gray, or overlapping area here; I think that two of the distinquish characteristics of hochiku are 1) no inlay in the utaguchi and 2) no ikagaeshi (breath return) in the blowing end. The latter means that the inside diameter of the blowing end is usually pretty big (or huge, in some cases) and this can make it pretty tricky to get a Ro otsu going.

Also, consider many of John Neptune's 'semi-jinashi' or 'semi-jiari' long flutes: He is such a good player that, when building this type of flute, he can determine where to put sizeable blobs of material, often epoxy, to get the best performance (in a non-hochiku sense) out of it, then he'll paint the entire bore with black epoxy or urushi. The bores sometimes look like a bunch of large earthworms went in there and became petrified...

eB


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

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#8 2005-10-26 00:26:52

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
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Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

edosan

Ken[/quote wrote:


There is a certain gray, or overlapping area here; I think that two of the distinquish characteristics of hochiku are 1) no inlay in the utaguchi and 2) no ikagaeshi (breath return) in the blowing end. The latter means that the inside diameter of the blowing end is usually pretty big (or huge, in some cases) and this can make it pretty tricky to get a Ro otsu going.

Also, consider many of John Neptune's 'semi-jinashi' or 'semi-jiari' long flutes: He is such a good player that, when building this type of flute, he can determine where to put sizeable blobs of material, often epoxy, to get the best performance (in a non-hochiku sense) out of it, then he'll paint the entire bore with black epoxy or urushi. The bores sometimes look like a bunch of large earthworms went in there and became petrified...

eB

Thanks Ed,

One of the best hocchiku makers I know uses ikagaeshi, sometimes from synthetic sources. No inlay in the utaguchi.

John Neptune's long flutes are a perfect example of the fact that not every long jinashi shakuhachi should be called "hocchiku". His are great shakuhachi in the jiari tradition, except that he has figured out how to make them without using ji. I love them, just performed on one tonight (2.5). But they don't musically sound like hocchiku. They are a more "musical" sound.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#9 2005-10-26 11:17:40

Mujitsu
Administrator/Flutemaker
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 867
Website

Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

Ed wrote:

There is a certain gray, or overlapping area here; I think that two of the distinquish characteristics of hochiku are 1) no inlay in the utaguchi and 2) no ikagaeshi (breath return) in the blowing end. The latter means that the inside diameter of the blowing end is usually pretty big (or huge, in some cases) and this can make it pretty tricky to get a Ro otsu going.

Also, consider many of John Neptune's 'semi-jinashi' or 'semi-jiari' long flutes: He is such a good player that, when building this type of flute, he can determine where to put sizeable blobs of material, often epoxy, to get the best performance (in a non-hochiku sense) out of it, then he'll paint the entire bore with black epoxy or urushi. The bores sometimes look like a bunch of large earthworms went in there and became petrified...

eB

Good point Ed. I think your examples reveal some of the many ways to go within the jinashi style, or for that matter, any style. There are so many possibilities when mixing physics with a makers intent. It's healthy to be reminded of that.

Ken

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#10 2005-11-25 00:01:28

saille
Member
From: Long Beach, CA
Registered: 2005-11-03
Posts: 16

Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

I have a question regarding jiari/jinashi, which maybe pulls this thread off-track a bit . . . but starting a new thread altogether feels too severe!  As I surf around on-line I find a fair bit of material on the distinctive tone qualities of old or antique flutes . . . but when I look at pictures of such flutes, for example here: http://www.zenflute.com/gallery.html I see that many of these flutes are not ji-nashi.  Assuming that playing over the years can indeed change the sound of a ji-nashi instrument--something that makes sense to me, because of a background with violins--I wonder whether this can possibly happen when the bore is coated in ji paste?  To a lesser extent, I wonder whether the process is not obstructed by sealing with urushi, or any other substance, as well?  The idea of the molecular structure of bamboo, or in the case of a violin, wood, changing and loosening in response to tonal vibration makes sense.  But how can this happen if some other, I assume rigid, substance is in the way?  I suppose part of my question is: what exactly is ji paste?  Is it, like bamboo and wood, pliant in nature?  If not, how else might the tonal qualities of old jiari-style flutes be accounted for?  Or are these tonal qualities characteristic of old ji-nashi flutes only?

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#11 2005-11-25 19:13:08

Tairaku 太楽
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From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
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Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

saille wrote:

I have a question regarding jiari/jinashi, which maybe pulls this thread off-track a bit . . . but starting a new thread altogether feels too severe!  As I surf around on-line I find a fair bit of material on the distinctive tone qualities of old or antique flutes . . . but when I look at pictures of such flutes, for example here: http://www.zenflute.com/gallery.html I see that many of these flutes are not ji-nashi.  Assuming that playing over the years can indeed change the sound of a ji-nashi instrument--something that makes sense to me, because of a background with violins--I wonder whether this can possibly happen when the bore is coated in ji paste?  To a lesser extent, I wonder whether the process is not obstructed by sealing with urushi, or any other substance, as well?  The idea of the molecular structure of bamboo, or in the case of a violin, wood, changing and loosening in response to tonal vibration makes sense.  But how can this happen if some other, I assume rigid, substance is in the way?  I suppose part of my question is: what exactly is ji paste?  Is it, like bamboo and wood, pliant in nature?  If not, how else might the tonal qualities of old jiari-style flutes be accounted for?  Or are these tonal qualities characteristic of old ji-nashi flutes only?

Lot's of questions here, but briefly.... Old flutes sound different than modern ones for many reasons, some are physical, some not.

First, the bamboo itself is different. Periodically the entire crop of Madake dies off and the new generation starts. Growing conditions are different so the crop has different characteristics.

In the past Japan was more rural in nature. The makers had easier access to more bamboo. It can be assumed that more, better bamboo was available to the makers of the past. Today most makers get their bamboo from brokers who pick the bamboo and sell it to the urban based maker.

Shakuhachi were made differently in the past than they are now. It's too complicated to go into the details here, but bore profiles, hole dimensions, thickness of the bamboo, they are all different on Edo period flutes for example.

Edo period flutes in particular and old flutes in general are played differently than modern ones. If not, it is difficult to get a tone at all in some cases and in all cases the optimal tone of the shakuhachi can not be obtained.

The bamboo of older shakuhachi sometimes takes on a "petrified" aspect and becomes more dense over time than modern shakuhachi.

Even when ji ari flutes came into currency in the late 1890's, the makers were informed by the previous jinashi flutes and retained some of that aesthetic. Frequently they used only small amounts of ji in construction.

All instruments benefit from playing. A flute that has been played a lot mellows and settles in tone over the decades. This is why instruments in museums are played periodically by the curators. Instruments want to be played.

When an old flute is re-lacquered it becomes brighter in tone. Maybe we can assume that somehow the lacquer also mellows over time along with the bamboo.

The question of nature versus nurture (or materials versus craft) is unresolved. Some makers of plastic or wood shakuhachi maintain that it is the empty space in the bore that makes the tone and sound, not the materials surrounding that space. I don't agree with that at all. Luckily there is no way to quantify such things as the age of bamboo, mojo of the maker, healing nature of bamboo versus other materials etc. The more we play these things, the more the mysterious it gets. Each one is unique and that's what makes it more interesting than playing a mass produced saxophone or electronic keyboard.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#12 2005-11-27 17:18:55

saille
Member
From: Long Beach, CA
Registered: 2005-11-03
Posts: 16

Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

--Many things to think about Tairaku, thank you.  The idea of modern madake having different characteristics than that of earlier centuries makes sense, from a perspective of microevolution, environmental change, etc.  I wonder whether some of the bamboo now used is actually cultivated, or biologically manipulated, as opposed to being simply "found".  If so, it seems likely that over time subtle variations might start to be lost.

I think I understand you to mean that some of the post-Edo flutes labelled ji-ari might nonetheless be closer to ji-nashi than to full-out modern ji-ari (in which case, my question about how the sound vibration could have penetrated the ji to mellow the bamboo would be moot).

Tairaku wrote:

The bamboo of older shakuhachi sometimes takes on a "petrified" aspect and becomes more dense over time than modern shakuhachi.

Now that is a bizarre concept!  I wonder whether the tone of a flute in this condition would actually brighten, as opposed to becoming more mellow . . .

Last edited by saille (2005-11-27 17:19:39)

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#13 2005-11-28 19:00:50

kyoreiflutes
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From: Seattle, WA
Registered: 2005-10-27
Posts: 364
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Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

Interesting...since, through petrification, the Bamboo gets harder and denser, wouldn't that then make the flute sound brighter? Of course, the Bamboo isn't really petrified, but it can feel or look like it. Perhaps the simple fact that it's not petrified tells us that Urishi doesn't "stay" on top, but maybe sinks slowly into the bamboo, or perhaps simply evaporates over time. Could this be true?

-E


"The Universe does not play favorites, and is not fair by its very Nature; Humans, however, are uniquely capable of making the world they live in fair to all."    - D.E. Lloyd

"Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee."    -John Donne

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#14 2005-11-28 23:17:05

Moran from Planet X
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From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1521
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Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

kyoreiflutes wrote:

Interesting...since, through petrification, the Bamboo gets harder and denser, wouldn't that then make the flute sound brighter?

Best info I have ever found to stimulate my imagination about what makes good flute wood is related to Stadivarius violins. Water mineralization, weather patterns, oils, varnishes:

http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/science/12 … secret.ap/
http://www.mirabilis.ca/archives/001398.html
http://pr.caltech.edu/periodicals/EandS … emona.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/saturday_revi … 86,00.html

And with flutes the contact between the body and its products (moisture, oil, saliva, acids) makes it all the more complex. Think of all that air and moisture that's passed through a flute. Some of the best shakuhachi I have heard are almost black with hand and body oils and who knows what else. My teacher's flute is a hundred or more years old and is deep purplish brown. It has an almost marble-like resonance to its sound, but it is not really "brighter".

Here's an interesting quote from the Guardian article on Strads: Many violin makers swear by oil-based varnishes; Nagyvary asserts that their instruments would be better off bare*. "First the oil penetrates deep into the wood. Then it dries and becomes gummy. That dampens down the vibrations."

I wonder _which_ vibrations it dampen? And does it really "dampen down" or just change the quality of the vibrations?

*(Reminding me of John Lennon's Epiphone guitar which he stripped all the lacquer from.)

Last edited by Chris Moran (2005-11-29 22:30:12)


"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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#15 2005-11-29 22:28:36

Moran from Planet X
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From: Here to There
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Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

Tairaku wrote:

Some makers of plastic or wood shakuhachi maintain that it is the empty space in the bore that makes the tone and sound, not the materials surrounding that space.  I don't agree with that at all.

I can't buy that either. I like many flutes made from "non-traditional" materials for a variety of reasons, but to deny their differences defies science and logic.

Aren't certain physical properties such as surface smoothness/roughness, thickness and density of material, cellular and fiberous alignment pretty difficult to ignore in acoustics? Line a dining room with pourous ("acoustical") tiling and line another dining room with marble for instance.

I think it might be pretty hard to tell the difference between a  true bamboo shakuhachi lacquered with urushi and the same profile painted with commercial lacquer -- or the difference between a flute spot tuned with epoxy and one spot tuned with ji. But my guess is that any greater differences could be pretty noticeable (such as full jiari with traditional ji and full jiari with epoxy resin).

The difference between raw bamboo and thinly lacquered bamboo can be quite remarkable. It has been in my experience.

ABS resin has a different alignment of fibers than bamboo. PVC is very different in makeup from bamboo. Wood fibers and bamboo fibers line up very differently and resonate differently. A maple flute sounds (and feels) very different from that same exact bore profile made from walnut or rosewood or cocuswood -- not to mention bamboo.

Some of the the differences may be subtle, but ignoring subtlety is like ignoring art.

I'm a bit skeptical about over-mystifying the concept of the "empty space of the bore."  Trying to separate the empty bore from the form of the flute itself is contraindicated in logic ... both East and West.

But speaking of 'empty bore' ... I think I'll sign off for now.  Cheers!

Last edited by Chris Moran (2005-11-30 01:25:34)


"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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#16 2005-11-30 13:08:18

Mujitsu
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From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 867
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Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

Chris Moran wrote:

Tairaku wrote:

Some makers of plastic or wood shakuhachi maintain that it is the empty space in the bore that makes the tone and sound, not the materials surrounding that space.  I don't agree with that at all.

I can't buy that either. I like many flutes made from "non-traditional" materials for a variety of reasons, but to deny their differences defies science and logic.

This is always an interesting subject. Here are some thoughts from a makers perspective.

I think the "emptiness" view stems from modern, jiari shakuhachi theory. By filling the bore with a hard substance, the variable of the material is more or less consistently stable from flute to flute. (Not completely, but much more than jinashi shakuhachi) Then, the tone is formed by finding the right amount of nothing inside. This approach yields a high number of flutes with relatively similar sounds.

Ultimately, the material still matters. A hard surface will reflect sound. However, I can understand how the scientific approach of stabilizing the material supports this modern view.

Conversely, the jinashi shakuhachi approach relies directly on the material. Bamboo density, softness and vibration have a tremendous influence on tone color. It is the "material" itself that is manipulated to form the tone. The modern view does not apply here.

In my understanding, the "form vs. emptiness" views are mostly efforts to define and explain one's particular approach to flutemaking.

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#17 2006-08-12 03:58:31

Justin
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From: Japan
Registered: 2006-08-12
Posts: 540
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Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

ys
Sorry I know this is a really old thread, but I just came across it while searching on the net for something else! I thought I may just suggest a modification to Brian's definition.

Tairaku wrote:

I would propose the following nomenclature for describing the various shakuhachi:

1"Jiari"-shakuhachi which have bores completely filled with ji and the bore worked to a smooth finish. The maker of these shakuhachi intend to shape the bore to their preconceived bore profile. Then they are finished with urushi.

.

I guess that that may be the case for most, or I suspect nearly all, modern ji-ari makers. However, I believe the older way of ji-ari making was not with any preconceived bore profile. I might suggest this as being the "original", or first stage (historically) of ji-ari making, and my guess is that it comes, methodically, perhaps closer to the "semi-jinashi" approach. Somewhere along the line it seems makers started measuring the bores and then attempting to recreate that preconceived profile. However, I know even now at least one great maker who uses no measurement. Also I believe Yamaguchi Shiro, for example, did not measure his bores. This will it seems result in every shakuhachi being very different in sound.
Best wishes
Justin

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#18 2007-05-07 13:09:30

shinkage ryu
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From: Virginia
Registered: 2007-04-11
Posts: 19

Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

I realize that Koku Nishimura named his flute the Kyotaku.  But I have also understood that kyotaku comes to represent a specific length of flute starting at around 2.6 in length.  Koku Nishimura also played Kinko ryu honkyoku, did'nt he?  I have trouble understanding what the difference is between Kyotaku and Shakuhachi, but from what I have heard on recording, the kyotaku always has a much lower and more mellow tone than the shakuhachi.


“What sort of person are you, really, inside and what lies concealed there?”—the shakuhachi will undoubtedly supply the answer"
       
              (taken from: "Take No Kokoro" by by Kurahashi Yodo Sensei)

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#19 2007-05-07 21:34:08

-Prem
Member
From: The Big Apple
Registered: 2007-03-27
Posts: 73

Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

Kyotaku is just the name given to the shakuhachi that Koku Nishimura played. I do not believe it depends on the length, although it is said that Koku Nishimura liked the length 2.6. From recordings and contact with his students I believe they also love the 3.0+ Kyotaku!  For detailed information regarding Kyotaku in all its GLORY! check out: http://www.tilopa.de/english_kyotaku.htm

Koku Nishimura and Kyotaku is NOT Kinko style. It is an offshoot of Myoan or some might say more akin to the original Fuke style; depends on who you ask. Opinions are a plenty!

-Prem

Last edited by -Prem (2007-05-07 21:37:47)

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#20 2007-05-07 22:09:21

dstone
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From: Vancouver, Canada
Registered: 2006-01-11
Posts: 552
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Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

shinkage ryu wrote:

I have trouble understanding what the difference is between Kyotaku and Shakuhachi

Shinkage, you'll also run into the term "hocchiku" here once in a while.  Read what Tom Deaver has to say about hochiku vs. shakuhachi -- I think it will be helpful.  If you substituted "kyotaku" for "hochiku", you wouldn't be too far off.  These approaches to flute making and playing are closer to each other than they are to modern shakuhachi.

Edit: Oops, just noticed Ed posted that link a while back in this thread.

shinkage ryu wrote:

from what I have heard on recording, the kyotaku always has a much lower and more mellow tone than the shakuhachi.

Yes, that's simply because kyotaku are both chokan (long, which lowers pitch) and wide jinashikan (which mellows the timbre, among other things).  "Shakuhachi" with those qualities would also be low and mellow.

-Darren.

Last edited by dstone (2007-05-07 23:37:08)


When it is rainy, I am in the rain. When it is windy, I am in the wind.  - Mitsuo Aida

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#21 2007-08-11 19:03:18

BrianP
Member
From: Ocala, FL
Registered: 2006-11-03
Posts: 289
Website

Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

Speaking of the material flutes are made from, what are the main differences makers find tonally and density wise between Chinese madake and Japanese madake?  Is one type better for a specific flute style?  i.e. Chinese are better for jinashi than jiari...

Thanks,

BrianP


The Florida Shakuhachi Camp
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#22 2007-08-11 20:33:58

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

Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

No significant difference between comparable pieces (ie, similar size, wall thickness and density) between Chinese and Japanese madake.

Japanese madake is often at a premium because it's 'Japanese', and because a lot of it has a very pleasing blonde color. Some of the Chinese does too, but it's often brown and/or more mottled.

Your mileage may differ, but this is my experience.

eB


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
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#23 2007-08-12 08:08:24

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

Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

Could someone in the know post the kanji/Chinese for 'madake'? I'm on the hunt for bamboo here in Taiwan and I'm not sure how to say it in Chinese...

Thanks,

Zakarius


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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#24 2007-08-12 11:54:14

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

Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

A couple of notes pertaining to sections of this thread.

The Chinese madake I have encountered is not generally as good as the Japanese stuff.

And Kiku has informed me there is a Japanese word for "semi-jinashi" which is "ji mori" and wishes we would start using it around here! smile


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

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#25 2007-08-12 20:53:31

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

Re: To Ji or not to Ji that is the question.

Hi Zakarius.

The Japanese kanji for madake is: 真竹
Whether they would use the same characters for it in Chinese, I don't know.
Good luck!

Yes, there are terms here that could perhaps end some of the confusion. I will try to post a new topic on ji-nashi terms (have been writing on it for a while now).

Kiku


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

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