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#51 2007-09-07 16:46:46

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
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Re: Jinashi vs. Jiari

Chris Moran wrote:

Tairaku wrote:

... Then I switched allegiance to "Foghorn Ro", which is even more difficult to obtain.

Would you give us an example of "Foghorn Ro"?

Do you want a description or a recorded example?


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#52 2007-09-07 19:47:26

Moran from Planet X
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From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
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Re: Jinashi vs. Jiari

Well, both would be nice since you may be coining a term here. (There may even be a martini in this, somewhere, for you.)


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#53 2007-09-07 20:27:21

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
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Re: Jinashi vs. Jiari

Chris Moran wrote:

Well, both would be nice since you may be coining a term here. (There may even be a martini in this, somewhere, for you.)

In Tasmania we have a gin made with the native pepperberry rather than juniper.

http://www.larkdistillery.com.au/range.asp

And they are kosher!

I had a martini made from that last night, yummy.

The Seaweed Tube of Wonder had a nice foghorn ro.

http://shakuhachiforum.com/viewtopic.php?id=165

Or on "Taimu" there are good examples of foghorn ro on "Banshiki", "Echigomeianji Hachikaeshi", "Tairaku no Cho", and "Reibo"

On "Ryoanji", "Eko" has it big time.

Or just blow your Taimu 2.35 on ro for a while and you'll hear it!

Basically many of the people blowing ro are using a very tight embouchure in order to accentuate the higher harmonics of the shakuhachi and honk loudly.

Foghorn ro uses a looser (not flabby, but open) embouchure in order to accentuate the subharmonics. If you do foghorn ro properly you can feel the floor shake.

Of course it is nice to have both of these and variations in your bag of tricks.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#54 2007-09-08 13:00:10

Moran from Planet X
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From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
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Re: Jinashi vs. Jiari

Since martinis are hard to mail to Hobart:

http://www.chrismoran.com/juniperhanko-web.jpg

The seal says "caressing a juniper or plum tree".


"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I am all out of bubblegum." Rowdy Piper, They Live!

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#55 2007-09-13 00:03:08

chikuzen
Dai Shihan/Dokyoku
From: Cleveland Heights,OH 44118
Registered: 2005-10-24
Posts: 402
Website

Re: Jinashi vs. Jiari

Concerning the easy to play shakuhachi and as to the evaluation of if it's a good flute or not, I learned something from Yokoyama Ranpo and Taniguchi sensei that stands out in my mind that might shed some light on this. Yokoyama Ranpo sensei used Ji at times but never used tonoco. This is stuff that a lot of contemporary makers put in the urushi of Jiari to make it dry quicker. It's equivalent is airplane glue. The flutes can be made in 3 days. The sound at first is strong and the flute easier to pay because of this crap. So, because of this, most people playing think it's a "good" flute, just because it''s easy to play.  However, the "glue", the urushi and bamboo don't mix well and after 2 or 3 years of playing they have sort of a "divorce" and the sounds goes south quickly. People who chose to evaluate flutes in this simple manner will notice that they can't get the same sound out of the flute and go looking for another. They tend to not learn from their mistake and buy another flute of the same value because they chose to evaluate the flute themselves. So they spend another $3000. on a new flutes that honks well at first. This goes on for 4 or 5 flutes and they've spent $15000 on the same flute, again and again. If you're not careful, this is what you'll get. Easy doesn't mean anything. Yokoyama Ranpo told me that he made flutes for 50 years before he made a good one. He wasn't what I would call a slow learner or a slacker either. He was old school and obsessed. His later flutes were definitely great and the early ones a bit harsh. However, even amongst his late flutes the Ro kan was very hard to play and in some instances barely came out. This note had to be played more than any other, sort of squeezing out more and more, and in the end became one of the better sounds his flutes produced. This is why his son didn't play these flutes: short on patience. Do I do the work or does the flute do the work? If you're short on patience and have a way of thinking that can't deal with this you would evaluate a flute that barely played Ro kan as being not such a good flute and certainly not purchase it for the then going price of $6000.
       I still think a bit of humility is the best answer for making "progress" (something that's going in a healthy direction). Ask yourself, "how long have I been making shakuhachi" or "playing shakuhachi" and quietly go back back to work.


Michael Chikuzen Gould

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#56 2007-09-13 10:39:25

Seth
Member
From: Scarsdale, NY
Registered: 2005-10-24
Posts: 270

Re: Jinashi vs. Jiari

Chikuzen-

Very interesting.

So I understand that an educated buyer of shakuhachi should always ask the maker if they use tonoco or not.

Now that this is out in this forum it would not surprise me if tonoco free shakuhachi become the norm among the jiari makers in the next few years. 

Do you know how wide spread is the use of tonoco?  Are ALL modern jiari makers using this substance, or just some?

Seth

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#57 2007-09-13 11:13:55

nyokai
shihan
From: Portland, ME
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 613
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Re: Jinashi vs. Jiari

Michael's comments are wise.

Sometimes you meet a flute that at first seems perfect. You pick it up and it's easy to play, everything's in tune, it honks like a goose on crack, it's by a famous modern maker, and it's cosmetically beautiful, a super-model among flutes. You WANT it. It's lust-at-first-sight.

You play it for a while and you eventually discover that what you liked was simply that it immediately made you feel good about YOURSELF, about your own ability to play it -- the "wow, she's really going out with me" feeling. There are really not too many different colors in the sound, it doesn't teach you anything new, it's somewhat boring. And perhaps it has serious eating disorders. Oops, I mean perhaps it was made with tonoco and your Ro is not so great anymore.

Along comes a beat-up no name flute that's been around the block. It's cracked and been bound a few times. You have to make adjustments to get an in-tune re or an in-tune go no hi. The macho honk you've become so proud of isn't there right away. But there's something about the sound, something in the POTENTIAL of the sound that calls to your spirit -- and it's this potential you have to listen for. More important than being able to show off your current bag of tricks, this flute calls you into a deep relationship, an ongoing learning process that will result in real growth and real musicality. This is the flute you want to make babies with.

In my experience the first kind of [flute] relationship lasts a couple of years at best. The second lasts about 20.

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#58 2007-09-13 12:23:51

Zakarius
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From: Taichung, TAIWAN
Registered: 2006-04-12
Posts: 361

Re: Jinashi vs. Jiari

Great post, Nyokai.

Zakarius


塵も積もれば山となる -- "Chiri mo tsumoreba yama to naru." -- Piled-up specks of dust become a mountain.

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#59 2007-09-13 12:49:37

Mujitsu
Administrator/Flutemaker
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 884
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Re: Jinashi vs. Jiari

chikuzen wrote:

I still think a bit of humility is the best answer for making "progress" (something that's going in a healthy direction). Ask yourself, "how long have I been making shakuhachi" or "playing shakuhachi" and quietly go back back to work.

nyokai wrote:

In my experience the first kind of [flute] relationship lasts a couple of years at best. The second lasts about 20.

For anyone interested in expanding their understanding of shakuhachi,  I would recommend reading Michael and Phil's eloquent posts over and over.

If I might add, I think the concept they are talking about is not to be confused with playing a poorly made flute in order to "train" oneself like a jogger with ankle weights. These are deceptively high quality shakuhachi made by makers who have tuned into something - Like clues directly in front of our faces which can take years to notice.

Ken

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#60 2007-09-13 13:45:50

dstone
Member
From: Vancouver, Canada
Registered: 2006-01-11
Posts: 552
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Re: Jinashi vs. Jiari

This thread is brilliant.  Thank you everyone for distilling a bit of your flute-quality and flute-judging wisdom.  I'm on a long, slow shakuhachi path, and we all ultimately have to walk it alone, but these little morsels are tasty!

Ken, if I ever put a hanko on one of the flutes I make, I will seriously consider finding some stylish kanji for "ankle weight".  wink

-Darren.


When it is rainy, I am in the rain. When it is windy, I am in the wind.  - Mitsuo Aida

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#61 2007-09-13 14:07:54

-Prem
Member
From: The Big Apple
Registered: 2007-03-27
Posts: 73

Re: Jinashi vs. Jiari

Thanks for the great post Chikuzen!
-Prem

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#62 2007-09-13 23:19:40

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1061
Website

Re: Jinashi vs. Jiari

chikuzen wrote:

I still think a bit of humility is the best answer for making "progress" (something that's going in a healthy direction). Ask yourself, "how long have I been making shakuhachi" or "playing shakuhachi" and quietly go back back to work.

Thanks for sharing Michael,
I had this flute in my shop a few weeks ago. It's a giant Jinashi. The biggest I've ever seen of it's length - 1.87. Here it is next to a standard sized 1.8.

http://www.yungflutes.com/logphotos/giantpair.jpg

If I were to judge it according to Phil's list for a good instrument, it would probably rate low.

philipgelb wrote:

When looking at a flute, jinashi or jiari, i think a few things one should consider. And this is not different than when looking at any musical instrument.
-Pitch. Is it tuned? Do you have to make adjustments for ro tsu re chi ri?
-tone color. How does the flute sound? Does "u" sound like "u" or is it just a Ab (assuming this is a 1.8). Do kari notes sound "kari"? Do meri notes sound "meri".
- dynamics. can the flute handle a wide variety of breath attacks and sustains? Can it change air pressures. Can it accept a large amount of air as well as a small amount and can it handle dramatic, fast changes of pressure?
-advanced techniques. How does it deal with multiphonics, split tones, harmonics and other fun stuff.
-how does it feel in your hand? Is the size, width and weight comfortable to you?

Most players collaborate with their flute. This one had to be played on it's own terms. It challenged me to play outside of the box. Through this flute, I relearned how to listen. I've played a lot of shakuhachi. I like to fool myself in thinking I remember each one of them This one I'll most certainly never forget.

Back to the question, What is a Good Jinashi?  It's like good art. I'll know it when I play it.

Namaste, Perry


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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#63 2007-09-18 22:11:13

Justin
Shihan/Maker
From: Japan
Registered: 2006-08-12
Posts: 540
Website

Re: Jinashi vs. Jiari

chikuzen wrote:

Yokoyama Ranpo sensei used Ji at times but never used tonoco. This is stuff that a lot of contemporary makers put in the urushi of Jiari to make it dry quicker. It's equivalent is airplane glue. The flutes can be made in 3 days.

Hi Michael
I suspect you have your terms a little confused here. I do not know for sure but it would surprise me totally if Yokoyama Ranpo was not using tonoko. As far as I know, tonoko was even used in Edo period shakuhachi. It is the standard substance used in what is called in the shakuhachi world "ji". This was used to make ji even before so called "ji-ari" shakuhachi appeared, thus in the so-called "jinashi" of the Edo period we can still in many find ji added here and there, made with tonoko.

The change which took place with modern shakuhachi is that most makers add a modern substance, basically like plaster of Paris. That is what makes it faster. They add that to the tonoko. Some makers even use only plaster of Paris, without mixing it with tonoko and urushi. That might let you do it in 3 days. With only that plaster, it is very prone to cracking. Also it has been said by many people that the sound of shakuhachi with that plaster added to the mix (nearly all modern makers do this) changes the sound. I know of only 3 makers who do not use this plaster, and none of them know anyone else. They all say it makes the sound too "hard". One says like "metal". I myself don't understand well the difference of sound, but do not personally use that plaster. I think what is more likely that Ranpo might have said could be that he uses ONLY tonoko, and not that plaster.

Best wishes
Justin

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#64 2007-09-19 09:54:23

chikuzen
Dai Shihan/Dokyoku
From: Cleveland Heights,OH 44118
Registered: 2005-10-24
Posts: 402
Website

Re: Jinashi vs. Jiari

Justin,
  Thanks and sorry.  I was just corrected by my friends in Japan too. I should be more careful of relying on my memory before spitting out these terms. I haven't heard these words for 25 years except Ji nashi, jiari. Yes, the tonoco is a mineral or in other words, "JI" and the "glue" I'm referring to is the plaster or some equivalent. Ive been told that some makers will put a bit about the size of your little finger tip into the ji and urushi at times and this is what creates the cracking. Yes, this stuff feels awful and sounds gross. Rampo sensei's flutes were usually Ji nashi. His situation was a bit different in that if he made the flute from beginning to end, he would put 3 "yaki in" (burnt in name hankos) on it. If they had two or one, then his apprentices did some of the work. It's impossible to say how much. Other makers put different numbers of" Yaki in" on their flutes but, to the best of my knowledge, this usually refers to the quality or level of the flute. Of course, Rampo's only apprentice was Miura Ryuho, who  is a great maker now too, but he does use Ji. I played Miura's for 20 years and Rampo's also and they are very different. Miura's being very musical: in tune with great balance across the board. Rampo's vary more flute to flute and have some of qualities of great ji nashi flutes. The 2.4 I have is not great in volume and you may nopt chose to play it in public except in an intimate space but the sound quality and degree of bonding up with the flute are another world thing.


Michael Chikuzen Gould

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