The Making Of: PVC Shakuhachi Flute

I love the sound of the traditional Japanese flute, the Shakuhachi. Not only does it sound cool, but it actually has a pretty interesting history. In ancient Japan, a law was passed that prevented Samurai warriors from carrying their swords. In order to protect themselves, they carried around the Shakuhachi flute, which was made out of a 21 inch piece of bamboo root (very strong).

After discovering that a good quality Shakuhachi flute runs around $700, I needed to find another way of acquiring one. I found these directions for making one out of PVC piping. Thinking this would be a fun little project, I decided to go for it.

I bought a 10 foot long PVC pipe and cut it into 5 pieces (leaving 4 usable to make the flute). I then followed the directions, which were more complicated then they initially seemed. It turned out pretty nice. I decided to skip the mouth piece instructions since it didn’t look cool. I prefer the look of one solid piece.

Here’s the finished product…


  1. john B says:

    [note from admin: the link below is a PDF document]

    another site you might want to try if you wuld like to make a bamboo shakuhachi is… -

  2. Misfire says:

    How does it sound without the mouth piece?

Leave a WordPress Reply


"I really wanted to create a non-Flash site that would still allow full screen and scaling images for my main portfolio. There were a few moments there I wasn’t sure it was going to work, but alas, Chris made it happen. He took care of every last tiny detail that I threw at him and cranked it all out in break-neck speed."

Tiffany Brown
Professional Photographer