Shakuhachi, or the end blown Japanese flute, is an instrument with a remarkable range of expression and a very extensive library of traditional repertoire written specifically for it. Historically, shakuhachi is associated with komuso monk's Zen practice. It was used as a spiritual tool. In modern times, much of the repertoire from this period has been passed down through generations to be performed by many individuals, both Eastern and Western, for the same purpose of zen practice. The shakuhachi is also commonly used to interpret traditional Japanese folk songs. There are many individuals who take up the instrument to simply enjoy relaxing improvisations on it. Western melodies can be played using the shakuhachi, they are often used as teaching devices or just for fun, however it is the relaxing sounds of traditional honkyoku and improvisations that appeal to most players and listeners.

For more detailed information about the shakuhachi, visit some of the websites belonging to shakuhachi teachers and shakuhachi makers. Much of the information on their websites are the result of many years of intensive study.