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date: 16 November 2019


  • Henry Johnson


Transverse flute of Japan. The name refers to its performance context: kagura (Shintō entertainment); bue/fue (flute). It is also known as chōteki (long flute), futobue (large flute), kamibue (god flute), shinteki (god flute), wabue (Japanese flute), and yamatobue (Japanese flute). The kagurabue is the longest of several similar flutes (e.g. ryūteki and komabue), and sounds a whole tone lower than the ryūteki and two tones lower than the komabue. It has six fingerholes in a bamboo tube wrapped (except for the areas immediately around the holes) with kaba, wire-like cherry tree bark, which is then lacquered. It is about 45.5 cm long with a diameter of about 1.8 cm. Red lacquer coats the bore and around each hole. The tube is balanced by inserting lead into the head, the end of which is plugged with wood and covered with green or blue decorative cloth. Beeswax seals the inside of that end. Some parts of the instrument have zoomorphic names, such as the ...

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