THE SHAKUHACHI MANUAL FOR LEARNING, Revised Edition, by Christopher Yohmei Blasdel. Printed Matter Press, 2008, 202 pp. with many illustrations, musical notations, and an attached CD of practice exercises. ¥3,990 (paper)

The shakuhachi is a vertical bamboo flute with five finger holes and a notched mouthpiece. Originally imported from China in the late seventh century, it early assumed its Japanese province.

Due to its association with religion, in particular its mastery by Buddhist mendicants, the shakuhachi began, under the protection of the Tokugawa authorities, to take on a more clearly religious aspect.

Among the results has been a repertoire of spiritually oriented solo shakuhachi pieces and a unique attitude toward performance. This has been well defined by Ralph Samuelson, himself an adept: