Friday, October 30, 2009

The position of tongue in jinashi blowing

In continuation of my last post on Fujita.

When I met one of Fujita's students in Tokyo, I had a chance to play some of his self-made flutes. It was not easy to get sound out of them partly because I was not used to playing large bore flutes. But the main reason was, unlike modern jinashi makers, he did not narrow the space and control the shape of utaguchi bore using a piece of bamboo or applying tonoko with superglue. It was just a huge piece of bamboo. Then, he asked me "do you put your tongue under/behind the lower lip?" That was my first time to come across this blowing method. The function of this is to fill the space between the chin and the flute by pushing the tongue forward.

Fujita's student explains this in his website with pictures. The first picture demonstrates the embouchure in kinko and tozan styles. The third picture captures his jinashi blowing. He explains this way of blowing relaxes the body, release the tension, allows you to blow with least effort, and enjoy playing. it's good especially for older people who started playing myoan. This style is particularly good for making meri tones: It maintains the kari blowing position for meri and thus makes brighter, large-volumed sound even if it is meri. He indicates that he also learned this blowing technique from Okamoto Chikugai who was the president of Komuso Shakuhachi Study Group (komuken) and a mentor of many shakuhachi practitioners including Okuda Atsuya.

Shall we try this?

(Correction: This person Maeda Kogetsu was directly a student of Okamoto Chikugai. Whether he studied with Fujita Masaharu was doubtful. To be sure, they met a number of times with each other.)

1 comment:

  1. I developed this trick naturally from playing and making so many wide bore jinashi. I am happy to see others use it! Wonderful natural evolution.