Kenji Ikegami Shakuhachi

In 2021 I purchased this 2.7.6 jinashi shakuhachi from Kenji Ikegami. This is one of the only shakuhachi I've purchased without having played it first, but after hearing a recording of it and being unable to go to Tokyo to try it due to the COVID situation, I took the chance. I'm glad I did. The tone is stunning, with a deep and complex harmonic range. The pitch is perfect. And the playability is amazing. It's also a jinashi in the purest sense, with only the thinnest coat of urushi in the bore, perfectly done. Truly a masterpiece. You can see more of Kenji Ikegami's work, and purchase his shakuhachi, on his website: Ikegami Jinashi Shakuhachi.

Kenji Ikegami Shakuhachi Front Kenji Ikegami Shakuhachi Back Kenji Ikegami Shakuhachi 3 Kenji Ikegami Shakuhachi 4 Kenji Ikegami Shakuhachi 5

Jon Kypros Shakuhachi

Jon Kypros, my shakuhachi teacher, makes incredible shakuhachi in the traditional jinashi style. This is my wide bore 2.7 made by Jon. The tone and playability are amazing, especially for such a monster flute. I can't recommend his flutes highly enough. They're outstanding. Here are a few pictures:

Jon Kypros 2.7 Shakuhachi Jon Kypros 2.7 Shakuhachi Blowing Edge Jon Kypros 2.7 Shakuhachi Root End Jon Kypros 2.7 Shakuhachi Root End

Jon's 1.8 Bell Shakuhachi

Jon spent more than 10 years experimenting with and learning to make a perfect copy of a shakuhachi. The flute below is the result, his 1.8 (standard size) Bell Shakuhachi, a bamboo composite copy of a traditional one piece jinashi shakuhachi that he made. He sells them on his website here. You can see my review on his website, but I'll also mention here that this flute is nothing short of amazing. It's incredibly easy to play (for a shakuhachi!), perfectly in tune, and the tone is outstanding. Jon made these flutes so his students would have an affordable alternative to a one-off bamboo shakuhachi, since quality shakuhachi usually start around $2,000. I highly recommend his Bell to anyone who plays or is interested in shakuhachi. It's not only a great option for beginners but also a flute that any professional shakuhachi player will love. It's also nearly indestructible and won't crack due to temperature or humidity changes like a 100% bamboo flute.

1.8 Bell Shakuhachi 1.8 Bell Shakuhachi Root End 1.8 Bell Shakuhachi Blowing Edge

Ryouichi Oota Shakuhachi

Ryouichi Oota is a Komuso monk, shakuhachi player, and maker from Osaka. He makes amazing jinashi shakuhachi with unique and beautiful binding. I met Oota-san in 2018 when invited to practice with the Osaka Society for the Study of Classical Shakuhachi (Koten Shakuhachi Kenkyƫ Kai), and was fortunate to be able to purchase an awesome wide bore 2.5 shakuhachi made by him. Their group uses the 2.5 as their standard size.

Myself and Ryouichi Oota Ryouichi Oota 2.5 Shakuhachi Ryouichi Oota 2.5 Shakuhachi Ryouichi Oota 2.5 Shakuhachi

Gyokusui Shakuhachi

The Gyokusui family has been making shakuhachi in Osaka for three generations. Gyokusui III currently makes both jinash and jiari flutes, both one piece and two piece. I purchased a beautiful 2.4 jinashi from him in 2016 (below). Here are a few pictures of his flutes, including my visit with him:

Myself and Gyokusui III Gyokusui 2.4 Shakuhachi Gyokusui 2.4 Shakuhachi Gyokusui 2.4 Shakuhachi Gyokusui's Place Gyokusui Shakuhachi

In 2018 I visited Gyokusui III again to purchase a jinashi 1.8, the standard sized shakuhachi:

Myself and Gyokusui III Gyokusui 1.8 Shakuhachi Gyokusui 1.8 Shakuhachi

Here are a couple of images of the Gyokusui's bamboo collection, much of which was harvested by his father and grandfather:

Gyokusui Bamboo Stock Gyokusui Bamboo Stock

Kitahara Shakuhachi

The Kitahara family has also been making shakuhachi for three generations, in Kyoto. Here are pictures of a 1.6 jiari I purchased from Kitahara in 2015, along with my visit with him:

Kitahara 1.6 Shakuhachi Kitahara 1.6 Shakuhachi Kitahara 1.6 Shakuhachi Myself and Kitahara

Ken LaCosse Shakuhachi

Ken LaCosse, a US based shakuhachi maker, makes beautiful one piece shakuhachi, both wide bore (Taimu) and traditional. Below is a 2.0 I bought from Ken that is coated in black urushi lacquer on the outside:

Ken LaCosse 2.0 Shakuhachi Ken LaCosse 2.0 Shakuhachi