IMPORTANT NOTICE! Health and sanitary regulations prohibit the exchange or return for credit of any mouth blown instrument. In addition, because of shipping problems in the past, we no long ship Shakuhachis outside the United States.
Shakuhachis, or Zen flutes, are possibly the simplest non-percussive instrument ever conceived. They have no keys or pads like a western flute, no reed like a clarinet or saxophone, no strings like a guitar or violin, no mechanisms inside like a piano or organ; it doesn't even have a mouthpiece like the recorder. They just have five finger holes - fewer than the penny whistle or almost any other wind instrument - and one end cut to form an angled blowing edge. Despite this simple construction, in the hands of a master musician shakuhachis can produce an inconceivably broad range of musical sounds - from pure, flute-like notes, to tones that are every bit as complex and expressive as the human voice.
The shakuhachi is not like a recorder: it has no mouthpiece as such, and simply blowing in one end won’t produce a sound. To play a note, your lips and mouth must become part of the instrument. It is this "oneness" of instrument and player that permits so much flexibility in pitch, tone, color, and loudness of playing.
Shakuhachis first came to Japan from China around the 12th century AD. Although they have long since disappeared from China, the instrument has rooted itself in over eight centuries of Japanese tradition, today playing a vital role in Japanese culture.