WSMD (World Shakuhachi Mentoring Day)

On 1st of October 2023, a group of shakuhachi players have planned to host the first World Shakuhachi Mentoring Day. This is a day where advanced students have the chance to try to teach group lessons online and receive constructive feedback from experienced teachers and also the students. The inspiration came from World Shakuhachi Day – in the spirit of sharing.

The Zoom link is:
Meeting ID: 858 5487 4675
Passcode: 345123

Dear shakuhachi enthusiasts,

Dear shakuhachi enthusiasts,

The World Shakuhachi Day (WSD) has always been based on the spirit of sharing our love for this wonderful instrument’ and, inspired by this same ‘sharing spirit’, a further online event will take place on October 1st, 2023, one week before the WSD, to provide an opportunity for more advanced players to share their knowledge with others through a series of one-day online lessons offered free of charge.

This so-called World Shakuhachi Mentoring Day (WSMD) is designed to assist advanced students, who are on their way to becoming teachers in the near future. To help them in this, and in particular to gain experience in remote teaching, which cannot be avoided in a post-pandemic world, this event will enable the apprentice teachers the chance to design a lesson on a piece in collaboration with their main teacher and deliver it online to participants who register in advance.

This will also provide the opportunity for participants to take part in lessons and learn new pieces and special techniques in a variety of styles.

For this to happen, we need your help !

Your registration as attendees is what will make this event possible. After each session, there will be a question/comment time slot when you can ask questions and also give feedback to the apprentice teachers on how you perceived the lessons: of course, with kindness and constructiveness. 

A panel of established teachers will also provide feedback in a mentoring process similar to that involved between MA and PhD students in universities.

In the same spirit as the World Shakuhachi Day, all the apprentice teachers, the main teachers, panelists, and the organisers offer their services free of charge.

All you need to do is to register and you will then receive an email with the Zoom connection information and access to the teaching materials and get a free day of classes by aspiring practitioners and performers. 

All lessons will be in English.

Registering address: 

Deadline for registration: 29th September, 2023

The WSMD team : 

Michael Coxall, Kiku Day, Christophe Gaston, Jim Franklin, Jean-François Lagrost, Horacio Curti and Gunnar Linder

Schedule:  (All times are CEST – Central European Summer Time)

9:00 – 9:10      Opening

9:10 – 10:10    Trần Cao teaching  (Daha – Zensabo) – Intermediate level

10:10 – 10:30  Questions and comments

10:30 – 10:40  Break

10:40 – 11:40  Nikita Chasovnikov teaching   (Seikaiha – Tozan-ryū honkyoku) – Intermediate level

11:40 – 12:00  Questions and comments

12:00 – 13:00 LUNCH BREAK — 

13:00 – 14:00  Ramon Humet  (Autumn Wind – own composition) – Beginner level

14:00 – 14:20  Questions and comments

14:20 – 14:30  Break

14:30 – 15:30  Lokesha Haber teaching  (Hi Fu Mi Hachigaeshi – Kinko-ryū Chikumeisha honkyoku) – Beginner level

15:30 – 15:50  Questions and comments

15:50 – 16:00  Break

16:00 – 17:00  Panel discussion (Panelists only)

17:00 – 18:00  Panel feedback to apprentice teachers

Trần Cao

Trần Cao is a flute player from Vietnam whose background is in pharmacy but who, in 2021, decided to pursue a career as a musician. 
Cao has been studying Vietnamese flute for many years and is now a second-year student at Hanoi College of Arts, dedicating his life to music. His other passion is the shakuhachi which he encountered many years ago and was very impressed and drawn to the sound. However, buying a shakuhachi remained a dream due to the economic difference between Japan and Vietnam. Also, as there were no shakuhachi teachers in Vietnam it is necessary for a student there to find a teacher overseas, pay an overseas fee and need to speak either Japanese or English. Fortunately, Cao found Kiku Day and now studies under her and he is  dedicated to helping others and teaching shakuhachi in Vietnam. 

About the piece: Daha  (Zensabo honkyoku)
Daha is to some extent a programmatic piece depicting the pounding of the waves on the seashore. The ‘da’ in the title means to strike, and ‘ha’ means wave and often translated as ‘Pounding Wave’. 
There are many interpretations of this piece which are related to Buddhist philosophy, where the objective is to transcend the natural state. The piece goes through rough and powerful, and lighter and more cheerful sections, which can be understood as how life and nature is ever-changing and as a representation of the important concept of impermanence.
Daha is a honkyoku that has some level of difficulty as it introduces some new techniques such as kororo and komibuki. Therefore, this piece is suitable for intermediate to advanced students who are able to:
– read the music notation 
– play in both otsu and kan
– play meri notes.

Nikita Chasovnikov

Nikita Suikan (水寛) Chasovnikov was born in Kaliningrad and now lives and works in Saint-Petersburg as a marine architect and has been playing and making shakuhachi from different materials including wood and plastic for the past 15 years. Currently, he is studying shakuhachi with Jean-François Suizan Lagrost in Shin Tozan ryu and passed his jun shihan exam last year
Nikita takes part in festivals held by the Japanese Consulate in Saint-Petersburg and in Moscow and is active in promoting an interest in shakuhachi in Russia through giving many lectures and concerts. He also frequently plays with koto and with a violin ensemble.

About the piece:   ‘Seikaiha’ (Tozan Ryu honkyoku )
This piece was written by Nakao Tozan in 1904 and consists of four parts, the first two being free solo parts and the last two parts being duets. It is said to have been written with emotional and patriotic feelings after the fall of Lüshun Port in Dalian. The first part depicts the mighty sea waves, hence the name of piece “Seikaiha” – ripple pattern (waves) on the sea’s surface.
To follow the lesson students are expected to be able to play in both otsu and kan registers. It is written in Tozan ryu notation.

Ramon Humet

Ramon Humet (b. Barcelona, Spain), is a composer and shakuhachi player. He began his shakuhachi studies with Horacio Curti, with whom he studied for over 10 years, and currently studies with Kakizakai Kaoru. He has written and premiered several compositions for shakuhachi, of which “Desert” stands out, a concerto for shakuhachi and symphony orchestra premiered by Horacio Curti and the National Orchestra of Spain. Together with the pianist Sílvia Vidal, he forms a duo offering meditative concerts and sound baths. They maintain the YouTube channel So Silent.

About the piece: This workshop is aimed at beginners with very little shakuhachi experience who are able to play the basic notes (Ro, Tsu, Re, Chi, Ri) in the low register (Otsu). We will study one or two very easy pieces but which already have all the elements of honkyoku, and which will allow us to enter into the serene and meditative practice of the Zen tradition through shakuhachi.

Lokesha Haber 

Lokesha Haber has studied the Kinko ryu repertoire in the style of Yamaguchi Goro (Chikumeisha) with Gunnar Jinmei Linder since 2010 and has recently completed ‘Chuden’ level of the Chikumeisha Branch which includes different Ikuta and jiuta sankyoku pieces.

About the piece: Hi Fu Mi Hachigaeshi (Kinko-ryū chikumeisha honkyoku) beginner level
Hi Fu Mi Hachigaeshi consists of two pieces: ‘Hi Fu Mi Hachigaeshi’ which means ‘one, two, three’ and is the introductory part and ‘Hachigaeshi’ which means ‘return the bowl’. The piece is from the Edo period and was played by komuso monks in return for alms received begging or on pilgrimages. It is regarded as a threshold piece where the player has to show their ‘intention of learning’, earning the right to enter the world of shakuhachi and, if completed, will likely continue with the shakuhachi.

Hi Fu Mi Hachigaeshi is a beginner level piece for players who have the ability to produce both otsu and kan sounds on their shakuhachi, and for those who would like to have an introduction to Kinko-ryu honkyoku..