Place: Kinsky Palace
The National Gallery in Prague, in cooperation with the International Shakuhachi Festival Prague (ISFP), presents artefacts linked with traditional Japanese music and the playing of the shakuhachi flute at its permanent exhibition in the Kinský Palace.
Examples of various types of shakuhachi flutes and their X-rays graced exhibition halls featuring Japanese painting and prints. In addition to contemporary Japanese woodcuts, the exhibition has a large present-day work of calligraphy by Vlastislav Matoušek, ethnomusicologist, musical composer and founder of the ISFP, and calligraphy master Izan Ogawa. Visitors can also view acoustic videos linked with the manufacture of the shakuhachi flute and manner in which it is played. The hall of Japanese decorative arts presents objects loaned by the ISFP that illustrate the life of Zen monks komusō who practice meditational playing of the shakuhachi flute – a monk’s garment, a meditation hood tengai and a dagger.
The shakuhachi is a flute of ancient origin – its earliest predecessor can be found among the instruments of ancient China. It was imported to Japan in the 8th century with the music of the Chinese court of the Tang dynasty (618–907 AC). Nine instruments dating from this period have survived (a copy of one is displayed at this exhibition). The flutes were straight, had six holes and, in addition to bamboo, were made of minerals or ivory.
In subsequent centuries, several variants existed in Japan, helping the shakuhachi develop into its current form. The prevalent version is linked with the Zen Buddhist sect Fuke and its monks komusō, and is therefore called fuke or komusō shakuhachi. Here, the shakuhachi is used in meditation by playing the flute called the fuke zen while the player’s face is covered by a hood tengai.
Metro A, B - Můstek
Tram 2, 17, 18 - Staroměstská
Tram 17 - Právnická fakulta
Bus 194 - Staroměstská