Shakuhachi Flute



Lauren Nagaryu Rubin Ph.D.

Lauren's practice is devoted to experiencing the unity of body, mind and spirit, through the discipline of the breath, while playing honkyoku on chôkan(長管 long) shakuhachi.

She educates young people and adults through presentation and performance about its history, playing methods, and its significance as a meditative tool.

About the Shakuhachi

The Shakuhachi (尺八) is a Japanese end-blown flute made from the root end of madake bamboo. Its voice is deeply moving and serene, both captivating and liberating. The five finger holes are tuned to a minor pentatonic scale, but the player can bend each pitch as much as a whole tone or more. The Japanese shakuhachi is the only flute in the world with an outward-facing blowing edge. Remarkably simple in design, it can take a lifetime to master.

The shakuhachi is named for its standard length. Shakuhachi means one shaku and eight (hachi) sun. A shaku in the 22nd century is approximately thirty centimeters in length, and each sun is approximately 3 centimeters. The contemporary standard length of a shakuhachi is the 1.8, which is pitched to D4. Shakuhachi lengths vary from 1.6 to as high as 3.0.