If one wishes to study formal shakuhachi with a shakuhachi teacher, then a full Jiari flute is need. This is the standard 1.8 length pitched in D ( A=440-444hz). Teachers in America usually only teach on 1.8 flutes. This is mostly because the Japanese Gakyoku or Sankyoku court music with Koto and Shamisen is based on the D pitch. Root end or non root is OK. As long as the flute is pitched properly with a tuned bore. If the beginner does not want to learn Japanese court music but would rather to play the shakuhachi for meditation only, then any shakuhachi is fine (as long as it’s in tune).
What Goes into a YUNG 1.8?
Each 1.8 that I make, from student to professional level, starts with shaping the internal bore profile to specific measurements. Each maker has his own. Mine was given to me from Kinya Sogawa. There are two main types of traditional shakuhachi makers in Japan, those who shape the bore only by measurements and those who combine shaping to measurements but allowing for flexibility for a unique sound. I’m of the latter type. Making a 1.8 is much more than gauges and measurements, it means letting the flute reveal itself like a piece of art work. This is why it takes a year to produce a high quality hand made shakuhachi that plays at a professional level.
YUNG Professional models take time to make. There is no other way to make shakuhachi in the traditional way I studied in Japan. During the tuning process, I play every piece of shakuhachi music I know so that I would have confidence in knowing the flute can handle the intense shakuhachi blowing techniques at a professional concert level. Obviously, these flutes can not be made unless the maker understands shakuhachi music. My shakuhachi lessons are my most valued tools in making shakuhachi.If you can not wait for one year for a commission, you can purchase one of my refurbished Japanese 1.8s. They are the best bargains in the world. These flutes play perfectly well for any shakuhachi application yet are a fraction of the cost. Because of my Low Impact approach to repairs, I can keep the cost affordable to new comers. If you can wait a year, I suggest the commission option because you will get the finest modern shakuhachi I can make.