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I will be posted to Japan for a 6 months internship and would like to take up a course there. I will be near Hiroshima. Do you have any idea if there are any shakuhachi schools near that area? I dont seem to be able to find it on the internet. Thanks!
Hi there. I lived and studied shakuhachi in Hiroshima for two years. Where are you based-east or west Hiroshima? Hiroshima seems to be mostly Tozan but you will find teachers who will teach other styles. I can recommend a good teacher just outside Hiroshima city, close to Miyajima.
You should check out Mende Ryuzan's website. He is a kinko ryu shihan under Yokoyama Katsyuya at the Kenshukan as well as a dai-shihan in tozan ryu. He's a really nice guy and he speaks English too. Here is his site:
Thanks for the replies. My workplace will be nearer to the east. My lodging is yet to be confirmed.
I have a few questions, actually. Are all the music scores in Japanese? I am actually quite worried about that. Will it also be necessary for students to purchase their own instruments and accessories? How much do they cost typically? Will they spoil easily due to climate changes (expansion and contraction)? Thanks.
Hey, these are good questions!
The scores are in Japanese, but in kana rather than kanji, so much fewer and simpler characters. And on top of that, not even all 47 of the katakana are used. In other words, you'll pick it up quickly; don't worry.
You'll need to get your own instrument (so you can practice at home), but you can get a cheap plastic flute (see yuu and pvc on this site) that'll also obviate your next question re: climate changes. However, if you do opt to get a bamboo flute, you can keep it in a vapor proof bag, which will allow it to lose and gain moisture very slowly, or not at all. Also, flutes that get too dry and crack can almost always be repaired. I think, however, that most of Japan stays fairly humid most of the year, and cracking shouldn't be an issue.