Christopher Yohmei Blasdel is an established senior shakuhachi performer and researcher and one of the few shakuhachi specialists known and highly regarded throughout Japan, the Americas, Europe, Australia, and Asia. He resided in Japan for 45 years and presently lives in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

Upon arrival in Japan as an undergraduate in 1972, Christopher Yohmei began studies of shakuhachi with Goro Yamaguchi;  one of Japan’s highly revered Living National Treasures. He became the first of only two non-Japanese accredited by Yamaguchi with a shihan license and performing name (1983). Yohmei studied with Yamaguchi until the master’s death in 1999, and now he is one of the few performers in the Shakuhachi world capable of transmitting the elegant, highly refined Kinko honkyoku techniques characterized by Yamaguchi’s performance style.

In order to better understand sankyoku ensemble techniques, Christopher also studied koto, shamisen, and gagaku while at the Tokyo University of the Fine Arts, where he received his MFA in ethnomusicology (1982). In addition to having a strong command of the classical shakuhachi repertory, Yohmei also performs and teaches contemporary and improvisational music and has taught many courses on the performing arts internationally.



Kiku DAY (PhD, London; MFA, Mills; BA, London) is an ethnomusicologist and shakuhachi player and is an external lecturer at the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus, Denmark where she teaches ethnomusicology.

She grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark with her Japanese and American parents. She gave up her studies in classical Western flute to study the Zensabō honkyoku repertoire with master Okuda Atsuya in Tokyo for 11 years and has dedicated her life since her return to Europe to the potential use and creation of a contemporary repertoire for jinashi shakuhachi. Several composers from different parts of the world have written for her including Takahashi Yuji, Roxanna Panufnik, Frank Denyer, Vytautas Germanavicius, Hara Yumi and Mogens Christensen. She has performed with performers such as Fred Frith, Joanna MacGregor, Mats Gustafsson and Joëlle Léandre, and as a soloist with the Odense Symphony Orchestra playing Takemitsu Toru’s November Steps and Panufnik’s Wild Ways with the Nonsuch Choir.

Currently, Kiku is continuing with her research and publishes on regional shakuhachi traditions, shakuhachi communities online and spirituality in shakuhachi playing. She lives at a meditation centre in Denmark and explores the connection between meditation and shakuhachi playing. She is a founding member of the European Shakuhachi Society and was the chair of the World Shakuhachi Festival 2018 Executive Committee.