Here you will find information about shakuhachi playing techniques, fingering charts, terms etc…


Aburanuki: Heating over a charcoal fire, process by which oil and starch are removed from the newly harvested bamboo.

Hotchiku (Jp: k. 法竹h. ほっちく, “bamboo of [the] dharma”; lit. “dharma bamboo”), sometimes romanized as hocchiku or hochiku, is a Japanese end-blown aerophone, crafted from root sections of bamboo. After cleaning and sanding, the heavy root end of the bamboo stalk reveals many small circular knots where the roots formerly joined the stalk. The same part of the bamboo plant is also used to produce the shakuhachi but, unlike the shakuhachi, the hotchiku’s inside (bore) and outside surfaces are left unlacquered, and an inlay is not used in the mouthpiece. The membranes at the nodes inside a hotchiku bore are generally left more intact than those of a shakuhachi, though older komuso shakuhachi also share this trait. Together, these characteristics make for a visibly and audibly raw and organic instrument. Hotchiku are sometimes referred to as jinashi nobekan.

ichi on jo butsu: the attainment of enlightenment through a single note

jinashi: without ji (a paste made of clay and lacquer, used to smooth the bore on modern shakuhachi)

A jinashi

suizen 吹禅: blowing Zen. The hotchiku is commonly used for suizen.

nobekan: one-piece” (hotchiku are not cut in two pieces for crafting or storage, unlike modern shakuhachi that are used as musical instruments).

utaguchi (歌口) : singing mouth(piece) or blowing edge.