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date: 22 November 2019


  • David W. Hughes


Japanese end-blown bamboo flute, closely related to the Shakuhachi. It is said to have been most popular among warriors of Satsuma, Kyūshū, during the late 16th century; nothing of its previous history is known. It survived until the late 19th century, but by the mid-20th century only one traditionally trained player remained; a group of enthusiasts in Kyūshū preserves his legacy. The extant historical repertory consists of three short solo pieces and four pieces with singer. The tempuku is a folk instrument of varying construction, about 30 cm long and 2.5 cm in diameter. It has five small holes (four in front, one in back) like the shakuhachi, but the shallow blowing edges resemble both the shakuhachi type, slanting outward, and the dongxiao (see Xiao) type, slanting inward (the latter was more common) though typically the edge is bevelled somewhat on both sides. The bamboo tube usually has three nodes, the bottom one only partially opened. A segment of ...

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