I Made a Shakuhachi Flute out of a PVC Pipe

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?

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Christopher John Molitor is a designer and front-end developer living in Bothell, WA with his wife and two kids. He founded fullride.me and co-founded RIVYT.

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