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These are questions regarding root rings/nodes:
1. Why do we see some root rings shaved? Is it not better to show all the rings?
2. What is the proper way of filing the root rings, close to the body or leave a good amount of "rootlets"
3. How many rings should be left/shown in the final flute? Does the number of rings have any effect on tone? on pricing?
4. When counting the nodes of a flute, do we include those nodes/rings congregating in the root?
5. In case some nodes are not clear if still part of the root or part of the regular culm above the root, should we count or not count these nodes/rings?
Roots were often shaved by the komuso when making their flutes simply because it means you can't break the roots off and makes the flute more durable. As for what you should do, it's a matter of taste. Sometimes it's nice to have roots to look at, sometimes it's nice to have a shaved root. One of the reasons for shaving off root rings besides preventing them from being damaged, is to give a flute the appearance of having 7 nodes (the ideal number for most flutes, though many flutes have extra root rings or, in the case of some long flutes, more above-ground rings). This isn't necessary, in fact I happen to think there's something nice about a lot of root rings, but most makers try and stick to the 7 node rule when producing flutes.