“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. Harvesting root-end Japanese madake bamboo is very hard work and it’s difficult to come by. Out of 200+ pieces of root-end bamboo I harvested only 10 were the right dimensions for one-piece 1.8 “D” jinashi shakuhachi. 6 out of the 10 did not meet my standards and of the remaining 4 only 2 were truly exceptional. It often takes many growing seasons for more 1.8 size stalks to grow, if any do at all. Once they sprout they must mature over a span of at least 4 years before they are safe to harvest. After harvesting they have to cure for at least 1 year. This makes it virtually impossible to meet even a meager demand for quality root end 1.8 “D” jinashi.
This reality was the main reason I decided to look into having one of my 1.8 “D” jinashi shakuhachi copied so that replicas could be made. I made the first ever copy of a jinashi shakuhachi back in 2013 using an instrument I made. However, there were many things to work out with the process and I also wanted a more ideal flute to copy. I made such a flute in 2016 and have since been working with a 3D modeling expert and artist who is scanning it inside and out. I hope to have this shakuhachi available in the near future.