Long journey !

Next month, we are setting of for a one year long cycle tour
heading for Greece !

After ten years of intense family, professional and community life, as well as building and gardening works in our new land, a big break was needed.

My shakuhachi-making activity will of course be put on hold, but the instruments available in stock can be bought and will be sent by the friends who will be occupying our house.
All you have to do is contact me by e-mail and payment can only be made by bank transfer.
On the other hand, accessories (beginners’ manuals, bags) and bamboo for making instruments will not be available.

I will remain available by e-mail only.



Thomas – June 2023

20 years of flute making !

New videos with Max Brumberg

I share with pleasure those two new videos shot in spring 2022 with my friend Max Brumberg in the small roman church of St Flour in Le Pompidou in the Cévennes mountains.

Video and sound were shot by a Swiss team working for RTS on a documentary on Aulos for the program “passe moi les jumelles” ; Max did the editing.

First one : Louvres Aulos and 1.9 Shakuhachi

Second one : 1.8 Chikudo Shakuhachi & Fujara in A

You can visit Max’s website at :



Shakuhachi workshop in Figeac

Chikumeisha France autumn shakuhachi workshop
with Gunnar Jinmei Linder Kinko Chikumeisha Shihan

Also with Christophe Gaston (shakuhachi), Akari Sagara (koto,vocals)
and Guillaume Fiat (shamisen, vocals)

28 – 30 October 2022 in Figeac
(south-west France)

I am honoured to welcome in my home-town the 20th Chikumeisha shakuhachi workshop with my master Gunnar Jinmei Linder.

The program is rich : 3 days of teaching (Friday for beginners; Saturday and Sunday for intermediate and advance), 2 concerts in the peaceful and inspiring medieval town of Figeac.

Although I publish quite lately the advertisement on my website, registrations and detailed program are available on the Chikumeisha webpage :


Looking forward to meet you there !


SEIKADO shakuhachi workshop

I recently acquired two beautiful shakuhachi to restore both made in Kyoto’s SEIKADO workshop.
Here are some informations on the Kitahara family, shakuhachi makers for 4 generations !

SIKADO workshop is located in Kyoto

Founded in 1908 By Kozan Kitahara I in Osaka, Seikado workshop has been focused on trying to modernise shakuhachi making as an answer to growing requirements of musicians of that time in order to build up the shakuhachi to an optimal of acoustic qualities; that was the beginning of ji-ari shakuhachi.

Kozan Kitahara I 初代 北原篁山 (1883-?)

After IIWW, the workshop moved to Kyoto and Kozo Kitahara, the second generation had to recreate a number of specific tools lost during the war.
Kozan Kitahara II, an other son born in 1925 became an accomplished player in Tokyo where he founded in 1957 Yonin no Kai ensemble and recorded several albums.

Today, the 3rd and 4rth generation are working together in Kyoto’s workshop producing shakuhachi for many professional players world-widely.


The first of those two flutes I restored is now ready to find its new owner; the second one (older) will come soon…


Spring meditation with avian orchestra

I am very delighted these days by playing this long 3.0 Hochiku recently finished.
(which I’m not hurried to see leaving my workshop for someone else !)

Yesterday, I recorded this flute with my workshop’s window opened to wilderness;
Lucky I am to be in the woods
with birds symphony everyday
and the creek as a drone.


April Shakuhachi

I have work since the beginning of Springtime on 4 different shakuhachi :

 1.8 ji-ari – 2.1 ji-nashi – 2.2 Myoan style Ji-nashi – 3.0 Hochiku ji-nashi

I built each of this shakuhachi with a specific state of mind, searching for sounds based on very different criteria.
I feel satisfied with being more and more able to aim to one type of sound, and then select the good piece of bamboo and work it specifically to approach what I’m searching.

 — « How long does it takes you to build a flute ? »

 — « Several hours and over fifteen years ! »


A rare masterpiece : Miura Ryuho 3.0 ji-ari shakuhachi

I have been entrusted a master shakuhachi to repair :
a 3.0 ji-ari in 3 parts made by the famous Miura Ryuho.

Miura Ryuho is one of the most renown modern makers in Japan; he makes instruments for many of the greatest professional players. Born in 1952, he studied with both Yokoyama Ranpo (father) and Katsuya (son) and was assistant maker of Yokoyama Katsuya. He is famous for being one of the rare makers to be able to build very long ji-ari with an accurate bore design.
Takahashi Toyomi with whom I studied in 2019 in Tokyo is one of his students.

This shakuhachi is a piece of art !

Regarding the crafting, it is precise, aesthetic and perfectly mastered. This shakuhachi is dividing in 3 parts and utaguchi is made from mammoth ivory and gold. the rattan of the 2 joints is incredibly fine.
I am usually not fond of very long shakuhachi (cho-kan) and not very good at playing them.
But this one (about 1 meter !) is an exception.
The finger holes are placed very ergonomically giving a (relative) comfortable fingering especially the 5th hole for the thumb which is moved on the left avoiding excessive tension in the wrist.
As for the blowing, it is so surprising to feel the whole bamboo vibrating loudly with just a light stream of air…
The tone colour is rich, and tuning and balance perfect up to dai-kan.

So I tried, modestly and toughly, to play a Honkyoku with this great instrument : Hifumi Hachigaeshi no Shirabe.

Actually, I did meet this shakuhachi before in Lisbon ESS summerschool in 2019 and here it is in my workshop 2 years later !
The repair was only on one of the joints that got loose.

Thanks Klaus for entrusting this great shakuhachi to me !

The funny thing is that at the same time, Nicolas sent me another kind of long flute to repair :

A huge 3.0 Taimu from the regretted Ken Lacosse – Mujitsu (one of his last shakuhachi made). It’s a beast made in an incredibly thick wide bore piece of madake; typically the kind of flute I am unable to play !

Here it is on the workbench :

To get an idea of how it sounds, have a look at Cornelius Boots videos.

It is rare that I have so long shakuhachi with me at the workshop; and having two at the same time with so different approaches of shakuhachi making was a luck and, as always, an opportunity to learn a lot for me.


Beautiful documentary

I have been particularly touched by this documentary on a New-Zealander shakuhachi maker…

Kelvin Falconer is blind and makes shakuhachi with his homegrown bamboos since 2006.

Making a shakuhachi is definitely a meditative and sensitive experience,
to imagine crafting a shakuhachi with only touch and hear opens a deep new dimension…


Kaneyasu Dodo – 兼安洞童

I recently had the opportunity of restoring a beautiful shakuhachi made by the master Kaneyasu dodo probably in the 1930s.

Kaneyasu Dodo – 兼安洞童

Born in 1894 and died in 1981 (Shakuhachi gives long life !), he was a disciple of the great master Inoue Shigemi and is known for being the founder in 1928 of a kinko school where he taught both playing and making all his life long : Dainihon Chikudo Gakkan 大日本竹道学館.
This association is still existing in Japan nowadays.

The instrument I restored (actually for sale on the shakuhachi in stock page) is quite unique.
It is a 1.8 ji-ari shakuhachi made in a gorgeous thick piece of bamboo with several kinds of repairs.
My contribution to bring back this shakuhachi was to add 4 new rattan inlaid bindings and repair damages in the bore finished with a new lacquer.
Sealed with two different hanko, one of the maker and another one of the school.

This antique shakuhachi is now ready for a new life !