Monday, October 12, 2009

Kumamoto Shakuhachi Festival

I've been working on the production of the first Kumamoto Shakuhachi Festival for the past year. Along with my shakuhachi student Naomi Yamaguchi, who has been indispensable in many of the official dealings, we are nearing completion of preparations.
The festival is intended to increase public awareness of the shakuhachi in Kumamoto with respect to its past, present and future. This will be accomplished primarily through a performance that will portray the chronology of the shakuhachi as told to a group of young children by their grandfather who was a practicing Komuso. Performances by leading players from the Kumamoto area and elsewhere, in each of the styles presented in the workshops during the day will be encorporated in the performance. Also, a new piece for 5 shakuhachi, string quartet, horns, percussion and keyboard by Kumamoto-based composer Keiko Ueda will be debuted.
The festival is also intended to allow players of a variety of schools to learn pieces from other schools. This is not commonly done otherwise.
The festival will have five different workshops, one each in Myoan ryu, Kinko ryu, Tozan ryu, modern classical and cross-genre. Each workshop will be taught by a leading proponent of that style from the Kumamoto area. There will also be a symposium paneled by leading teachers of a variety of styles discussing the future of shakuhachi in Kumamoto.
Finally, there will be an ongoing beginner's workshop put on by members of Wakanakai giving anybody a hands-on opportunity to try the shakuhachi. There will be various shakuhachi related services and vendors also present. Finally, there will be an open microphone for any players to present their talent.


  1. It sounds very interesting and I didn't know that there are a lot of gerne of Shakuhachi.

    Is Kumamoto famous for Shakuhachi?

  2. Hello. Nice to meet you.
    My name is Yuya Umemoto.
    "Advanced English" is very interesting.
    I didn`t know it that there was Shakuhachi festival in Kumamoto.
    I want to go to look this time.

  3. I thought that seemed to be formal
    But, the Shakuhachi Festival looks interesting.
    I want to know why you started playing Shakuhachi´∪`

  4. Hi Kazz, Yuya and Nagisa,
    Thanks for your comments.
    First of all, for you Kazz. Kumamoto is a center for kinko-ryu shakuhachi which is the style that I belong to. My teacher is probably the most famous teacher in Kyushu for that style.
    Yuya, I hope you come to the festival and try shakuhachi. Many people are surprised.
    Nagisa, that is the main problem in Japan. To many young people, the shakuhachi seems formal, and the traditional training of it is, but there are many people who play modern music on it. Please check out my web page at
    I have much of my music there that you can listen to, or you can go to my MySpace page and listen there at:

  5. I knew that Shakuhachi Festival was held in Kumamoto for the first time!
    When I hear the Shakuhachi, I recall the New Year:)