Jinashi Shakuhachi

What is a Jinashi Shakuhachi?

Jinashi shakuhachi is a Japanese-made flute crafted from bamboo. The jinashi shakuhachi features a more natural interior that sounds as good and sometimes better than the modern version of shakuhachi. The modern take on shakuhachi is known as the jiari shakushi. These flutes have a highly-articulated bore inside the bamboo, which is shaped and fine-tuned by hand. Jinashi flutes are only crafted in Japan by a handful of jinashi shakuhachi makers. In Japan, they refer to the jinashi flute as a tool for Zen meditation called Suizen / blowing meditation or  Honkyoku.

The hand-shaped bore of the jinashi shakuhachi gives the maker much more control over the flute’s tonal and acoustic quality. In Jiari shakuhachis, this process is done by applying small amounts of a natural paste created from stone powder and Japanese lacquer—called “ji”. In Jinashi shakuhachis, nothing is added to the inner bore. Material is sanded away to tune the flute, giving it a more natural tunnel color and a unique sound.

History of Jinashi Shakuhachi

During Japan’s Edo period (between the early 1600s and mid-1860s), the jinashi shakuhachi was the standard shakuhachi flute. A renowned Kinko Ryu Grand Master, Araki Chikuo, played the most vital role in the survival of the jinashi shakuhachi during the late Edo period into the Meiji period.

Araki Chikuo was also a komusō, a type of Buddhist monk. These particular monks often played the shakuhachi flute. Many regard Araki Chikuo as the greatest jinashi shakuhachi flute maker.

At Chikushin Shakuhachi, we always have a selection of jinashi shakuhachi for sale. You are welcome to browse through and order some of our hand crafted Japanese shakuhachi anytime.