from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Japanese flute which is tuned to a pentatonic scale is end-blown like a recorder instead of being held transversely like the Western transverse flute, originally used by Zen Buddhist Monks of the 普化禅 (ふけぜん, fuke zen) sect in the practice of 吹禅 (すいぜん, suizen, "blowing meditation").


Borrowed from Japanese 尺八 (shakuhachi), from (shaku, an archaic measure of length approximately equal to 30 centimeters) + (hachi), meaning "eight". (Wiktionary)



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  • "The first concert shows the venue's variety: Ensemble East, a group that plays traditional Japanese instruments, performs works by such composers as Tadao Sawai, Michio Miyagi, and James Nyoraku Schleger (on shakuhachi)."
    The New Yorker, October 25, 2010, p 20

    October 27, 2010