The Shakuhachi

Roots and Routes

Author: Henry Johnson
The shakuhachi is a traditional Japanese end-blown bamboo flute with a long history in a wide array of social, cultural, and geographic spheres. This book unravels some of the roots and routes connected with the shakuhachi, and discusses instrument types, construction process, social transmission, and performance practice. From the use of the instrument in court music from at least the eighth century, to the modern era that sees international shakuhachi festivals and workshops the world over, the instrument has been recontextualized in various social and cultural spheres. This book depicts and explains some of these contexts and transformations, and documents some of the many ways the shakuhachi has traveled to, within, and beyond its traditional cultural home.

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Henry Johnson is Professor at the University of Otago, New Zealand. His research interests are in the field of ethnomusicology, particularly the performing arts of Asia and its diasporas. His books include The Koto; Performing Japan; and The Shamisen.
Readership will include scholars and students of ethnomusicology, musical instruments, and Japanese studies.