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The International Shakuhachi Society

Dan Shinku


Dan Shinku
Born 1955

Shakuhachi & Maker

Born in Tokyo Japan in 1955, Dan Sinku has studied music since he was 5 years old, a multi instrumentalist he studied Organ, Piano, Shinobue, Harmonica, Classical & Electric guitar, Recorder and Mandolin. In 1972, he first heard Free form Improvisation, in a live event his high-school classmate planned. In 1973 he Studied under a jazz guitarist, Kazumi Watanabe at Syoubi Academy of Music. From1975 to 1981, he served as a lecturer of the guitar as well as Music and Jazz theory in the Jazz course at Muse Academy of Music. He then in1978 entered the late-Takayanagi Masayuki’s “Renjyuku” and pursues Improvised Music in the New Direction Unit. Dan Shinku then started the research and practice of Ethnic music and improvied music, doing performances that incorported Jazz and traditional Japanese music. In 1983 he formed the avant-garde improvisation unit “ Sol-Ambivalence”. After this he, started doing solo activities. Dan Shinku then carried out unprecedented performances and recordings with Synthesizer, Saxophone, Shinobue and Shakuhachi. It was then that heheard the incomparable record “Take-no-Hibiki” by the late Takahashi Kuzan. He was so fascinated by this music and it’s beauty that he stopped all other music activities.

Dan Shinku devoted himself to Fukeshu-Shakuhachi (the Fuke sect of Zen Shakuhachi ). he started the research of sound quality and mode through self-education. Groping in the dark he started making Ji-nashi Shakuhachi as well. From 1987 to 1988, he traveled on foot to Nepal and India to study Shakuhachi, after returning he studied Fukeshu-Shakuhachi formally under Fujiyoshi Etsuzan. From 1991 to 1994, he participated in the “ Space Sengawa Project”. While wearing a Komuso costume, Dan Shinku Played Classic solos incorporating as the main “Kokû” the essence of Fuke- music. He performed throughout Japan with Yoshida ôshû the Satsuma biwa player and Satuki Rino, the drama narrator. He then started the research of ancient occultism and the religion of the soul and also collected the texts of Yamataikoku and Himiko. He also at that time planned and Carried out lectures on the making of Fukeshu-Shakuhachi “Ji-nashi Nobekan” as well as playing Hitoyogiri. Since 1996, he has been performing Suizen at Temples and searching for Fukeshu-Shakuhachi music, its original form as the principle. At the same time, he takes a new direction from his original work, utilizing traditional music that of the Fukeshu-Shakuhachi and Avant-garde modern music. In 1998, Dan recorded the cd “Juki Onjyômandala-Kokû” . and posed to the world that the sound of Fukeshu-Shakuhachi should be further developed. He put forward the integrated indivisibility of Sui・Saku・Sou (Playing Shakuhachi・Making it ・the reconsideration and creation of Music by Onko-Chishin ). Every autumn, he goes on a 3000km trip from Tohoku to Kyusyu, Japan to find Bamboo, through the years he has gathered hundreds of pieces of bamboo.

 In the year 2003 Dan Shinku set up the only Ji-nashi Nobekan making studio in Kami-ongata, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo, Japan. Where he researches and makes Fukeshu-Shakuhachi〝Ji-nashi Nobekan”, Miyogiri, Hitoyogiri, Doushô-Shakuhachi, and Gagaku-Shakuhachi,etc. He recorded his 2nd Album, “Juki Onjyômandala - Reibo”. in 2008, then recorded his third Album, “Juki Onjyômandala - Mukaichi”. Dan Shinku is now working on a live space that players and audiences can become one with Zen thought. He is also writing on the theory of playing, making and creation as an expression. He continues to lecture to individuals and small groups on the making and playing of Shakuhachi , and, does Suizen-no-Kai at Zen temple “Ryusenji ” across the street from his Studio.

◇ Dan art project / the representative of Ji-nashi Nobekan studio.
◇ The member of Komusou research work.
◇ The member of The society for Research in Asiatic Music.

(special thanks goes to Yuki Ozaki for her translation)


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018