I recommend the Shakuhachi Yuu to anyone starting shakuhachi. It’s in tune, virtually indestructible, and inexpensive. But most importantly, it sounds really good. I am always relieved when a new student has a Yuu—I don’t have to worry about their instrument, just their playing!
What a surprising instrument is the Yuu Shakuhachi. Robust plastic, molded into the form of a bamboo root-end, it certainly looks the part. But the most pleasing aspect is the tremendous sound; so clear and responsive. I would have no hesitation in using the Shakuhachi Yuu in a performance at any level. It is a must for beginners, and at such a reasonable price, and as a “second” flute for experienced shakuhachi players, professionals and teachers.
Seven Hole Shakuhachi Yuu
‘Yuu’ – At Ease, Calm, Serene,
Composed, Victorious and Eternal
The shakuhachi flute is an ancient instrument; known and appreciated for its mystical sound and expressiveness. Originally, the shakuhachi was used as a spiritual tool to relax the mind and body. Today, the shakuhachi is used for this same meditative purpose and for playing a wide variety of modern music as well.
The seven-hole shakuhachi is a post-War innovation, made popular by the great composer of modern shakuhachi music Miyata Kohachiro. The instrument is increasingly used by players performing Western classical music, however, it offers no limitations to performance of traditional and modern Japanese music
The two extra holes, Tsu no Meri (E-flat) and U (B-flat), were added for this purpose. They facilitate fast runs common in modern compositions. These two extra holes also eliminate ergonomic gymnastics associated with the shakuhachi technique of meri-kari and partial holings on two very important notes.
Quite a few traditional players now use the seven-hole shakuhachi exclusively as it offers greater flexibility with no impediment whatsoever to the performance of traditional honkyoku (solo Zen music), sankyoku (chamber music) and gaikyoku (ensemble music).
The addition work necessary to create this Seven-Hole Shakuhachi Yuu was done by Monty Levenson, a master shakuhachi maker.
Listen to the Shakuhachi Yuu
Michael Chikuzen Gould very kindly allowed me to record him playing the Shakuhachi Yuu:
Shakuhachi Master Michael Chikuzen Gould improvising
on the Shakuhachi Yuu
Shakuhachi Master Michael Chikuzen Gould playing Kikko Genso Kyoku (Bellflower Fantasy) on the Shakuhachi Yuu
Shakuhachi Master Sugawara playing Shika No Tone
(Distant Call of the Deer) on the Shakuhachi Yuu
Shakuhachi beginner improvising on the Shakuhachi Yuu
Shakuhachi Yuu Beginner: Sunayama
Professional flute and shakuhachi player Geni Skendo plays the Shakuhachi Yuu on this jazz piece called Sugar,
from his forthcoming Stella CD
The Shakuhachi Yuu is a perfect student shakuhachi for beginning players who want to experience the shakuhachi without spending a lot of money. There are also many advanced shakuhachi players and teachers around the world who enjoy having a Yuu in their collection as well.
One of the best things about the ABS Resin Shakuhachi Yuu is that it does not require maintenance like bamboo! You can take this flute with you wherever you go—traveling to foreign countries, hiking, backpacking, to the beach or desert—all without the slightest fear of the instrument being damaged.
The Shakuhachi Yuu will withstand any weather conditions, you can even play it in your bath or in a hot tub under the stars! The Shakuhachi Yuu feels very similar to professional bamboo instruments in terms of its size, shape, and weight. It is extremely rugged in its construction and disassembles easily for travel.
Please do not let the fact that the Shakuhachi Yuu is made from ABS plastic resin fool you or turn you away from owning one. The Shakuhachi Yuu is an excellent instrument, endorsed by numerous teachers and players, and the Yuu performs as well as some of the more expensive professional bamboo shakuhachi!
Please consider purchasing a shakuhachi cleaning cloth (tsuyutoshi) along with your Shakuhachi Yuu. A good quality cleaning cloth is essential for keeping the bore of your shakuhachi free of moisture, dust and dirt. The cleaning cloth is actually an important part of your shakuhachi practice.
You may purchase the Shakuhachi Yuu with full confidence. If you are not completely satisfied within 3 days of receiving the Yuu, you may return it for a refund. The Shakuhachi Yuu must be returned in its original condition with the label still intact. The original cost of shipping and return shipping cost will not be included in the refund.
Your purchase supports Naljor Prison Dharma Service / SourcePoint Gloal Outreach, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We provide a collection of precious Buddhist dharma teachings and an excellent 28-page Resource Directory for Prisoners to men and women in prison throughout the U.S.A. In addition, we provide solar powered flashlights to villages in developing countries living without electricity or access to adequate lighting.