Online Workshop Series: Katsuya Yokoyama’s Shugyōjō (Training Notes)

The sixth and final workshop in the series will be held on October 18th 2020 (rescheduled from September 27th), with Kaoru Kakizakai teaching Sanya.

Teruo Furuya, Kazushi Matama, Kaoru Kakizakai, and Lindsay Dugan

Lindsay Dugan here, KSK shihan, and president of the Australian Shakuhachi Society. I’d like to invite everyone to participate in a series of six monthly online shakuhachi workshops, Katsuya Yokoyama’s Shugyōjō (Training Notes). KSK teachers Teruo Furuya, Kazushi Matama, and Kaoru Kakizakai will be sharing their extensive skills and knowledge with us, and I will be co-teaching and translating.

This series of six workshops is based on a chapter from Katsuya Yokoyama’s book Take to Ikiru (‘Life of Bamboo’). In this chapter, ‘Katsuya Shugyōjō (Katsuya’s Training Notes)’, which I’ve translated into English for these workshops, Yokoyama shares his thoughts on nine themes:

– Key to Improvement
– Accurate Pitch
– Images of Honkyoku, and Rhythm
– A Shortcut to Improvement
– The Subject of Ma
– How to Breathe
– Freedom with your Fingers
– Yuri (vibrato)
– Meri Notes – The Easy Method

Each month, several of these themes will be selected and discussed, and we will draw on our knowledge and experience as professional players, and students of Yokoyama.

Similar to shakuhachi festivals and workshops, for this series we will be learning honkyoku. For the first part of the workshop, I will introduce the themes of the day, the honkyoku piece, and some practical training methods. The guest teacher will then teach the second part of the workshop, taking us further into Yokoyama’s themes, and sharing their own thoughts and experiences.

This series is not just about learning how to play a honkyoku piece from beginning to end. Instead, the honkyoku will be a jumping-off point to learn about the themes that Yokoyama discusses in his book, and through this, we can focus more on the fundamental techniques, ideas, and philosophy that make honkyoku so profound. Everything you learn can be applied across a range of honkyoku. There will also be a little Q&A in each workshop. If you have any burning questions about shakuhachi and Yokoyama, there’ll be no better place to find answers.

This online series is an extension of monthly workshops that I have been running since 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. Towards the end of 2019, I began streaming the workshops live. The current crisis has necessitated the shift to an online-only environment for the foreseeable future. Private lessons, let alone shakuhachi gatherings and festivals, are not feasible in many countries. This is a perfect opportunity to regularly interact with professional shakuhachi players in a new lesson format, and to get some fresh insights, in English, into the practice and philosophy of Yokoyama.

As before, I’ll be running a workshop for beginners as well. Click here if you’re interested in finding out more about that.

We’ll be using Zoom, which is similar to Skype. I use a multi-camera setup, with one of the cameras focused only on my fingers. This opens up a whole new aspect to online lessons, because you can see exactly what is happening on the instrument. It really simplifies the process of explaining and understanding techniques in online lessons.

Each workshop session will run for 2.5 hours. The cost per session is $80 AUD for ASS members, and $100 for non-members (you can become a member at Each workshop is run individually, so you can dip in and out, but to get the full benefit of learning a complete honkyoku piece, attending both sessions taught by the one teacher is recommended. Login and setup information, and workshop materials, will be provided after registering.

Dates for the full series and the guest teacher for each month are:

April 26 and May 31 – Teruo Furuya (Tsuru no Sugomori)

June 21 and July 26 – Kazushi Matama (Daha)

August 23 and October 18th – Kaoru Kakizakai (Sanya, ‘mountain valley’ version)

Each month, we will run two individual session times. Depending on where you are located, you can choose the session that suits you best:

Session 1 – 10:00 am AEST (some US city times:
Session 2 – 6:00 pm AEST (some European city times:

To register, please visit the Australian Shakuhachi Society. We look forward to seeing you there!


Kaoru Kakizakai

Born 1950, Saitama, Japan. Kakizakai was one of the primary students of world- renowned shakuhachi player Katsuya Yokoyama. He graduated from the NHK Traditional Music Conservatory (NHK Hogaku Ginosha Ikuseikai).

Kakizakai is active internationally performing both traditional and contemporary repertoire, and regularly performs as a soloist for November Steps (1967), the quintessential work of critically acclaimed Japanese composer, Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996).

Kakizakai has been a regular invitee since the inception of the Australian Shakuhachi Festival in 1999, and also teaches and performs at other shakuhachi festivals in Europe, Asia, and America.

– Lecturer, Tokyo College of Music
– Full time Instructor, International Shakuhachi Kenshukan
– Instructor, NHK Culture Centre
– President of the International Shakuhachi Training Centre’s Chichibu and Nerima Schools

Lindsay Dugan

Lindsay lived for ten years in Japan, studying classical honkyoku with Katsuya Yokoyama and Kaoru Kakizakai, and Kinkoryū honkyoku and gaikyoku with Jūmei Tokumaru.

He holds Masters degrees in shakuhachi performance from Tokyo Geidai (Tokyo University of the Arts) and Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and is currently a PhD candidate at University of Melbourne (ethnomusicology), researching musical variation and interpretation in honkyoku performance. He is a shihan of the Chikushinkai/KSK.

Lindsay currently teaches and performs in Melbourne. He can be heard performing on Kaoru Kakizakai’s most recent album, Honkyoku 3.

2 thoughts on “Online Workshop Series: Katsuya Yokoyama’s Shugyōjō (Training Notes)

  1. Terry Wong

    Left it too late to take 1st two workshops but will take next two. Great idea to conduct these workshops on line. Thanks


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