Replacing utaguchi inlay

Here are some pictures detailing steps
to replace a kinko utaguchi inlay on a shakuhachi restored this month :

An other repair on a Myoan inlay made from deer antler :

Back to work !

I am back at the workshop with a lot to do. As may have notice, most of available shakuhachi were sold during summertime….that’s good !
I now need to make new shakuhachi (meditation, student, ji-nashi…) and have a nice ji-ari started in spring that Ihope to finish soon.
I also have few old shakuhachi to repair; some of them may be available next week…

Here are some pictures of thos vintage shakuhachi I’m working on :


Chikudo Ji-ari Shakuhachi

For the last two years, I’ve been studying the making of ji-ari thanks to all the restoration work on fine flutes I was entrusted with. My goal until now was to be able to produce good ji-ari shakuhachi with non-madake French bamboos.

Here are then the last two ji-ari that I made which I feel satisfied with the result and want to go on improving.

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A challenging shakuhachi repair…

This was the last (but not least !) of the shakuhachi brought back from London; it was entrusted to me by Jose Vargas a shakuhachi maker friend from Madrid. This repair was very challenging for me and a way to prove that even the worse splits can be repaired.

Here it is in the condition when I received it; it’s an old 2.6 kinko ji-ari very well crafted :

After a few days in warm humid atmosphere, the split was reduced from 6 to 2mm but not entirely closed. So I used hose clamps which enabled to close it some more before complete binding.

Finally, I couldn’t reduce the split less than a millimetre on its worse parts so I  infiltrated glue in it. Then I had to reshape the joint which was completely deformed and fill all the gaps in the bore with ji before complete lacquering with several layers of strong urushi.

It is very pleasing for me to be able to give its voice back to a nice shakuhachi; in a way I feel I’m honouring the maker’s work.

I hope that for a next badly cracked shakuhachi, I would be able to close completely the splits…


I was pleased this month to welcome
Bodhidharma in my workshop

sculpture bambou bodhidharma

I have been fascinated for a while by these Asian bamboo sculptures so I finally offered myself this present.
It is a beautiful Chinese sculpture (probably quite old in regard to its patina) made from a very impressive Moso bamboo root (Ph. Edeulis) representing the famous 6th century monk Bodhidharma (Daruma in Japanese) who initiated Chan Buddhism in China which became Zen in Japan.

Learn more about Bodhidharma history.

This inspiring artefact found naturally its place in my workshop and is now keeping an eye on my work !

Silver work

This month, I could make my first experiments on working with silver thanks to help and advices from Benjamin Boulay master jeweller in Figeac.

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Autumnal restorations

Over time, I have been working on restoring the shakuhachi given to me in London gathering.

Here are three of the nice shakuhachi that I was honoured to give their voice back !

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Next shakuhachi restoration at my workshop

I was back from London WSF with 5 shakuhachi to repair in my bags…

Some of these works are quite reasonable, other more delicate with traditional inlaid rattant bindings and one of them is really challenging…!

1 Tozan (unknown maker), 2 Tom Deaver – 1 old Kinko (Nampo Shozan) – another pretty old kinko 2.0

I indeed felt that there was a need in Europe for proper repairing services which motivated me in studying and practising those skills from last year;
And without any special advertisement in London, I already find myself with a lot of demands.

Within the next months, restoring works will represent half of my working time at the expense of my shakuhachi making but it is still a very good way for me to study more the Ji-ari flutes from different makers and periods.

Last restoring at the workshop

On the last weeks, I worked on restoring Alain’s flute.

It’s a Ji-ari nobekan 1.6 Tozan about 100 years old !
A flute he bought 20 years ago in an antique shop in Geneva; they found this flute in Kyoto.

I don’t have much informations on the maker Enzon Kyozon (supposedly writer of a book on Shakuhachi making); if anyone has information on that maker, please contact me.
I like his Hanko.

Here follows the details of the repairs I did on this Shakuhachi.

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