The shakuhachi in the photo above is one shaku and a few millimeters in length with the lowest note at B. It plays an octave higher than a 2.1, and is 86mm in circumference.
Even though it is a pon-nuki (or ji-nashi, made without plastering the bore with ji) the balance is very good and the instrument plays well all the way up to ura-hi (hi with the thumb-hole open). The utaguchi (mouthpiece) insert is in Kinya-style, based on a style predating both Kinko and Tozan styles, combining design and function in a way that protects and enhances the beauty of bamboo. I was so happy with this 1.2 that I had to use ivory for the utaguchi insert. See the photo below.
The original bamboo stalk was dead at the top when I found it in a grove somewhere on the Kanto plane, (No, I'm not about to say where.) The shape was really interesting, but the diameter was so small I didn't know what I could use the bamboo for. So instead of digging the root out of the ground, I used a saw to cut the bamboo as close to the root as possible.
|Quite a curve. Obiviously I did not straighten the bamboo.|
|Juxtaposed with a 1.8.
It's barely wider than a broom handle.
The red object is an antique-style utaguchi cap, called a "pepper" because of the resemblance. A rather stylish name, don't you think?
|This is the Kinya-style utaguchi insert.
I rarely use ivory, but it is renowned for its strength and resilience.
|The node for a branch, still intact.
Shakuhachi makers usually discard this kind of bamboo.
|I etch the signature with a hot electric
This is tense work, as you have to get it right the first time. Because they are hand-done, each signature is slightly different.
|A branch node here, too.
The bore has a light wash of lacquer.
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