The shakuhachi is considered the most important traditional wind instrument of Japan. As it is very similar to the Chinese tung-hsiao, it is generally thought to have come to Japan from China. However, its depiction in religious art of the 8th century indicates to us that this type of instrument has been used well over a thousand years.
The shakuhachi is capable of a wide variety of special effects and extended techniques that were standard by the 18th century, which in Western music is associated with the 20th century avante-garde.
These traditional Japanese shakuhachi melodies are about space, time and breath.