Japan trip 1/2 : Tokyo

During this one month trip in Japan, I had several goals focused on shakuhachi and bamboo. I fulfilled all those missions and came back home rich with meetings, experiences and contacts, well fed to dedicate myself to my art.

On the first week in Tokyo, I had a very busy program quite exhausting with the tiredness and jet lag !

3 days of workshop with the shakuhachi maker Takahashi Toyomi whom I met in London WSF2018. He is student of Miura Ryuho one of the best renowned maker these days.
Thanks to him, I could solve several technical problems accumulated in my years of making shakuhachi by myself. He taught me in particular the making of the brazed silver rings for the joints which I had already experimented since a while. It is a meticulous and time consuming task…

This stay at Takahashi sensei’s workshop was very cheering for me as his feedbacks on my work and the quality of my instruments were very positive.


On my birthday, I was lucky to find myself in a small bar in Waseda area were happened the monthly “strange instrument party”… a nice time of laughs and improvised music as a birthday present (Thanks to Mutsumi !)

I spent most of that week in Kichijoji where I was praying daily Benzaiten goddess (of arts, musique and knowledge) in its dedicated temple in Inokashira park. I have to say that I felt very well guided thanks to her during this study trip.
In this same park, I met Fura-san, “dharma bum” (cf. Jack Kerouac), author, compositor and street musician with whom I shared music and spiritulity; he had led me to Kataha-san dedicated in komuso shakuhachi, mastering Myoan, Futaiken and Kimpu-ryu styles and living nearby. We had a short but interesting time to share our passion about shakuhachi.
The day before leaving to Kyushu, after a big shopping time in Mejiro shakuhachi (specialised shop in Tokyo), I went for shakuhachi lessons to Dr Mizuno Kohmei’s house in Kokubunji. He is the headmaster of chikumeisha branch.

Then I flew to Oita-ken a northern Kyushu prefecture famous for its Onsen (hot springs) and bamboo crafts. The plane was pretty small and flying at lower altitude, I was lucky on that sunshiny day to fly over mount Fuji admiring it’s crater; a very good sign for the rest of the journey…!