200+ Year Old Edo 1.8

Mid-Edo 1.8-ish, very likely a monk flute.  Probably well over 200 years old, given the incredible, dark, aged patina.  Length is 53.5cm but it is pitched at just a fraction above A-440.  It does have an inlay, barely visible due to the age and countless hours of playing.  There are no cracks in this flute and it has a beautiful sheen.  Old rattan wrapping around the root looks to be original.  Red urushi bore also appears original and unaltered, showing the usual wear for the age.

This is a petite instrument, at just under 30mm diameter below the utaguchi area, and may take a little bit of acclimation at first, depending on your skill level.  Once you become familiar with it, the rewards are many, and all notes voice cleanly into upper dai kan.  Like a lot of Edo flutes I have owned, it wants to be played in a slight meri position, softly, with a pinhole air-stream, and about a hair’s distance from the chin, or just touching it. With that approach, the tone is quite beautiful, very refined and classic Edo.  Tuning is good, overall, with a noticeably sharp chi that can be corrected for.

It is a beautiful instrument, with a vast, unknown history — if you appreciate the playable, nostalgic shakuhachi of the Edo period, this is a nice addition, with sweet tone.  Comes with newer Monty bag and adjustable leather ut cap.