Wednesday, August 31, 2005


One week today, and I'll be on a plane on my way to Japan, to spend three months studying shakuhachi with Kakizakai Kaoru. I'll be living in Chichibu, kakizakai-sensei's hometown, in Saitama precfecture, about 100km east-north-east of Tokyo.

The shakuhachi is a traditional Japanese end-blown bamboo flute. The particular tradition that i am studying is the playing of Honkyoku, which are a type of piece intended as a zen meditation. In australia, I study the Chikuho lineage pieces with Riley Lee and Bronwyn Kirkpatrick, though ive been studying more Kinko school pieces with Bronwyn lately. Kakizakai-sensei teaches the Kinko pieces, and some of these are what i'll be working on during my time in Japan.

Right now, its like walking towards a fogbank, with no clue to what might lie inside. My imagined plan is to settle in, then start a regular schedule of lessons and daily practice. At this stage, i'm going to start by trying to practice for 6 hours a day, and i imagine having lessons every second day. How closely this will correspond to what actually happens is anyone's guess.