Shugetsu YAMAGUCHI―Profile

○Road to be a Shakuhachi Craftsman: Encounter with My Master
I started to learn to play Shakuhachi at Kinki University, Osaka, Japan.
I was fascinated with the instrument, and before too long,
I was eager to learn how to make the instrument.
After graduating, I got a job and my busy working days began.
However, it was very hard to give up my dream. In 6 months,
I quit the job, and asked Mr. Chikuzen TAMAI, one of the most notable
Shakuhachi Craftsmen, to have me as one of his pupils. At that time,
he had too many pupils to accept me. He told me to wait for a while.
I took his words, and spent more than one year doing part-time jobs.
Finally, I became his pupil.
Mr. TAMAI had lots of pupils and raised many Shakuhachi makers.
His contribution to Shakuhachi field is outstanding. In seven years of learning,
I got his permission to become independent, and since then,
I have been spending my days with Shakuhachi around me all the time.

○My Musical Masters
At the university, my master was Mr. Ichijyouzan NAKAGAWA. I learned how to play Shakuhachi by tozan-ryu. Now I am a grand master of Tozan-ryu.
After graduating, in order to become a Shakuhachi maker, I was eager to gain more knowledge on Shakuhachi from many angles.
I learned to play Shakuhachi from Mr. Houmei MATSUMURA, Mr. Tadashi TAJIMA,
Mr. Yoshio KURAHASHI and Mr. Katsuya YOKOYAMA.
They tought me the methods of Kinko-ryu and Wadatsumidou-doukyoku.

○My Activities with Shakuhachi
In 1998, I was asked to organize a workshop in the International Shakuhachi Festival in Boulder, Oregon, USA. I attended as one of the panelists for discussions for 2004 New York Shakuhachi Festival. My Ji-nashi Shakuhachi is now well known and has high reputation. It is very nice to know many people play my Shakuhachi.

○My Shakuhachi in CDs
Many Shakuhachi performers play my Shakuhachi in their CDs.
Here is the list of some performers blowing my Shakuhachi.

 Mr. Riley Lee
 Mr. Michael Chikuzen Gould
 Mrs. Debbie Danbrook
 Mr. Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin
 Mr. Brian Ritchie
 Mr. James Nyoraku Schlefer

 and many more.

○Shakuhachi in Shosoin
My home is in Nara. Nara was an ancient capital of Japan in the 8th century.
In Nara there is a treasure house called “Shosoin”. In Shosoin, many precious goods that one of the emperors of that age cherished have been kept. Among these goods, eight old Shakuhachis are also under its care.
Osaka University of Arts asked me to make replicas of the old Shakuhachis. These Shakuhachis are, needless to say, Ji-nashi, and made less sounds compared to those of our days. Imagining the ancient sounds, I crafted the replicas. It was a very unique experience for me. Every year, at regular periods, exhibitions of these treasures are held, and some of the ancient Shakuhachi are shown only at the exhibitions.