“Why are shakuhachi expensive?”
Authentic shakuhachi are expensive because they take a great deal of time and effort to make. The time and effort is greatly magnified when making quality jinashi shakuhachi, especially nobé or “whole” shakuahchi which do not have joints.
Harvesting root-end Japanese madake bamboo is also very hard work and it’s difficult to come by. Because bamboo is a natural material many flutes do not end up being suitable for sale. Of the shakuhachi that are functional even a smaller amount are of a higher quality.
In the case of jiari shakuhachi there are more choices regarding bamboo due to be able to adjust the length using joints and by being able to use a wider range of bore diameters since the bore is filled with plaster paste. However, a lot of work goes into jiari and usually fine tuning as well.