The first and only complete copy of a jinashi shakuhachi for sale
Handcrafted by me from my bamboo eco-composite material
Video of the Bell Shakuhachi 1.8 D
The Bell Shakuhachi 1.8 D
- My bamboo eco-composite material is lighter than ABS/100% plastic and it won’t crack or split from changes in weather like other shakuhachi
- One solid piece, so there’s no center joint or seams to worry about breaking or separating
- Free beginner’s shakuhachi course available to all
Click to enlarge
I can highly recommend the Bell Shakuhachi for any player starting out on the long and windy shakuhachi journey or for anyone who needs a sturdy shakuhachi to travel with or have lying around in the house so you can pick it up and play at when-ever you happen to pass by it without worrying about it cracking. I am really happy we now have this decent priced alternative to a bamboo shakuhachi!
I’m absolutely blown away by the Bell. It feels good through and through and plays amazingly well. I highly recommend the Bell to anyone. They will be amazed.
I often play outside in poor weather with extreme temperatures and I have had shakuhachi crack, damaged, or stolen in the past. So it’s also great to have a rugged, go anywhere, worry free shakuhachi that looks and feels like a jinashi shakuhachi.
I have a collection of shakuhachi from the most well known and respected makers in Japan and the US, both jinashi and jiari shakuhachi. The combination of look and feel, playability, tone, fullness of tone, and tuning on your Bell is unmatched, not to mention the price. It is an incredible instrument, as high quality as any top end shakuhachi. In fact, 3 weeks ago I played a new shakuhachi by one of the best Japanese makers that was for sale for more than $5,000, and from what I recall the tone of your Bell is on the same level as that one, but the tuning and playability of your Bell are even better.
I would highly, highly recommend your Bell to anyone who plays shakuhachi. For professionals, it not only makes the perfect all weather/environment travel flute due to being composite bamboo and not prone to cracking, but it plays and sounds absolutely amazing. Everyone should have one in their collection! For beginners, there is no better shakuhachi. Before today, a beginner would have to pay hundreds of dollars for a shakuhachi that could do only half of what your Bell can do, or thousands of dollars for one of a similar level of quality. Amazing work! I love it!
I am a Komuso in Osaka, Japan. Jerry in Nara let me borrow one of your Bell shakuhachi. I played it and liked it…a lot! I showed it to my Sensei who is VERY particular about Shakuhachi. He was impressed with your work. Not only the look but the sound. So much so he had me take my lesson for the day on the Bell shauhachi instead of mine. He said “This [The Bell] will help you learn more. You can improve with this flute. I recommend this flute [the Bell] for sessions with modern instruments as well as honkouku.”
Congrats on a job well done.
I received the Bell today and oh my God, it sounds incredible. I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy the experience of playing a Jinashi flute until I received the Bell. I have been playing a Jiari flute that was supplied to me by a shakuhachi teacher in San Diego, which sounds incredible, breathy, loud and powerful. But even though the Bell is the “cheaper” shakuhachi, it is more in-tune than the Jiari, it is easier to play, more enjoyable, and it is MINE. Not to mention that it is absolutely beautiful on the outside.
I can also play it at any volume I desire, and it has this natural, mystical sound that sucks me into the experience of playing it. I just have to say, it went above and beyond all expectations and I am so blessed to have this in my possession. You did an absolutely amazing job, and this Shakuhachi will be my new companion, and I have no doubt that it can last a lifetime. Thank you so much.
I received the Bell Shakuhachi. You have done a fine job! I love the aesthetic of the root end and the subtle coloration. The blowing is easy and the sound is true. You were right that I love the Ro! What I am happiest about is that you are perfecting the Bell, and making it available at an affordable price for your students… which makes it easy for both students to acquire a quality jinashi shakuhachi and makes it easier for you as teacher, knowing exactly what sound the Bell is capable of making. You have done a wonderful thing!
Your work for these past ten years to create a composite jinashi replica will make life much easier for shakuhachi students of the future. Thank you, again, Jon, for your dedication, your art, and your generosity of spirit. All the best.
“How should I care for my Bell shakuhachi?”
Like any shakuhachi, periodically clean the inside, swab after playing, and clean the outside, as needed. Avoid leaving the Bell in temperatures exceeding 120° F / 49° C. People generally clean shakuhachi with mild soap and/or distilled white vinegar. To clean the outside of the Bell shakuhachi, use a non-abrasive cloth such as a scrap of cotton fabric.
“How does it compare to bamboo?”
As seen above, my mold process copies every visible detail of bamboo. Whether or not bamboo affects the sound of a flute or possesses spiritual or mystical qualities has been, and will continue to be debated by practitioners. Personally, I no longer feel it’s ethical for me to take part in this discussion because I stand to make a profit with the Bell. With that said, I can only hope that the Bell shakuhachi will further this conversation. [For those interested in the science of flute acoustics google aerophones.]
I invented the Bell shakuhachi mainly because quality jinashi shakuhachi are rare and most shakuhachi, regardless of type, are far too expensive for many of us. The Bell shakuhachi is also the first to explore the realm of copying a jinashi shakuhachi which I hope furthers the ongoing dialogue about types of shakuhachi and the materials from which they are made. Ultimately, I wish for it to help the worldwide shakuhachi community to grow and to increase the interest in, and support of, jinashi and jimori shakuhachi.
“Why is it called the Bell shakuhachi?”
The name of the Bell shakuhachi comes from the honkyoku Reibo (鈴慕) which translates as “yearning for/missing the bell”. In this case, the bell is that of the monk Fuké (Puhua c. 770-840~60 AD). Legend has it, he would ring his bell in the village as a call to awakening, not unlike Diogenes of Sinope (c. 404-323 BCE) who would hold his lantern up to the faces of villagers in broad daylight in search of anthropon zito, a “human being”. Fuké’s bell has come to symbolize his teaching or “pointing”, enlightenment, or the nature of our consciousness. The Komuso monks expressed this in the saying ichi-on jobutsu, which means, “one sound, Buddahood”. Serendipitously, the shape of the root end of the shakuhachi also resembles a bell.
“How is the Bell made?”
I produce each Bell shakuhachi using molds of the the original “master” bamboo jinashi shakuhachi that I crafted. These molds are made by me, by hand, one at a time. I make each Bell shakuhachi by casting into these molds using my bamboo eco-composite material. The result is an unparalleled copy of bamboo. [3D printing and CNC machining cannot match this extremely high level of definition.]
“How is it different from plastic and wooden shakuhachi?”
The Bell shakuhachi is different from other “alternative material” shakuhachi in a number of ways. The most significant difference, in my opinion, is that the Bell shakuhachi is the first and only copy of a jinashi natural bamboo shakuhachi. Before the Bell, all other alternative material shakuhachi available for purchase were copies of jiari shakuhachi which have completely plastered smooth, man-made bores.
I also crafted the original jinashi shakuhachi “master” for the Bell shakuhachi with design aspects from studying antique jinashi and jimori shakuhachi. Additionally, I make the Bell shakuhachi from my bamboo eco-composite material which actually looks like bamboo, it’s lighter than 100% plastic shakuhachi and many wooden shakuhachi, and it’s arguably better for the environment. Most importantly, it won’t crack or split from changes in the weather like conventional bamboo and some wooden shakuhachi. Lastly, the Bell shakuhachi is cast in one solid piece, so there are no joints or seams to worry about breaking or separating.
“When did you copy your first jinashi shakuhachi inside and out?”
I began experimenting with copying bamboo jinashi shakuhachi back in 2007. In 2012 I was the first person to copy a jinashi shakuhachi inside and out. In 2013 I released the first iteration of the Bell shakuhachi for sale. I then decided to discontinue sales in order to make a more ideal bamboo “master” jinashi shakuhachi for the project, to perfect my process, and to develop my bamboo eco-composite material. In November of 2018, I finally released the current Bell shakuhachi. I hope to eventually offer more Bells which would be copies of different lengths/keys.
Countries the Bell shakuhachi calls home
Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, UK, USA.