Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Color of Aged Bamboo at 100, 50, 10, & 5 Years

The Saddest Shakuhachi in the World: Hiroshima Sweetheart

from top:

  • Tozan 1.8, origin Hiroshima, approximate age of bamboo: 100 years, stamp "Snowy Heron", condition received; after atomic bomb blast, full of dirt and mud, several cracks running the length of the flute to the bottom hole. Dimensions: 557 mm length, 21 mm I.D. utaguchi, 40mm O.D., 16 mm bell bore I.D. Cleaned and bound, some minor cracks to ji sealed with lacquer. Full tozan-jiari sounds now more like a dark jinashi from hundreds of micro-pits in the ji. Still in tune! Good playability with ease between all 3 octaves. A flute the bomb could not destroy. Likewise, bamboo was the first plant to break earth with new growth at Ground Zero.

  • Myoan 1.8 with Tozan inlay, jinashi, stamp "Light Dragon", approximate age of bamboo: 50 years, 538 mm length, 21 mm I.D. utaguchi, 37 mm O.D., and 18mm bell bore I.D. Beautiful tone and playability through all three octaves.

  • Hochiku 2.1 with Kinko inlay, jinashi, approximate age of bamboo: 10 years, Perry Yung, 640 mm length, 24 mm I.D. utaguchi, 36 mm O.D., and 22 mm bell bore I.D. Beautiful dark hollow jinashi sound.
  • 2.4 with Kinko inlay, jinashi, Ken LaCosse, approximate age of bamboo 5 years, 720 mm length, 23mm I.D. utaguchi, 40mm outside diameter, 23 mm bell bore I.D. Beautiful dark hollow jinashi sound.

Note the changes in the color of the bamboo as it ages.