WSF History

Bisei 1994, Boulder 1998, Tokyo 2002, New York 2004, Sydney 2008, Kyoto 2012, London 2018

The World Shakuhachi Festival (WSF) is a four-day festival for shakuhachi aficionados from all over the world and is held on different continents approximately every four years.

The first World Festival was initiated by YOKOYAMA Katsuya (1934 – 2010) and was held in 1994 in Bisei, Okayama Prefecture, Japan. Subsequently the World Shakuhachi Festival took place in Boulder, USA (1998), Tokyo, Japan (2002), New York, USA (2004), Sydney, Australia (2008), Kyoto, Japan (2012).

The WSF2018 in London continues the tradition established in 1994 of gathering professional and amateur performers, scholars, and enthusiasts of the shakuhachi from around the globe for a festival in the style of an international musical congress. The festival has from its beginning been a rare opportunity in which most of the top players from diverse backgrounds, styles and guilds in shakuhachi, koto and shamisen get together and perform. The WSF has thus became an established event to listen to and learn from the leading players in the world

“It is profoundly enjoyable to surround yourself with shakuhachi players from rank beginners to full-time masters, representing so many locales and lineages, and to immerse yourself day and night in shakuhachi music and conversation.
Good musicians ALWAYS listen to and watch other musicians, ideally players who are better than themselves. Only at WSF events do you have the opportunity to hear so many live performances of such high quality all at once. AND, there are workshops and lectures, too!
I believe that there is no better way to motivate yourself to become a better shakuhachi player than by attending the WSF2018 in London.”
Riley LEEOrganiser, WSF2008 Sydney, Australia
“The 2012 WSF was held in the most fascinating historical city Kyoto, Japan. It was a perfect fusion of traditional and modern, east and west, and young and young-at-heart. 600 players performed in four big concerts and many small concerts, and 3000 audience gathered.

Many workshops of variety topics inspired the Shakuhachi lovers’ hearts, and the beautiful exhibition of the precious antique flutes attracted the people to the dreamy ancient time.”

KURAHASHI Yodo IIOrganiser, WSF2012 Kyoto, Japan
World Shakuhachi Festival Kyoto 2012 – Nagatake Concert /国際尺八フェスティバル「名流コンサート」(京都府立文化芸術会館)
World Shakuhachi Festival Kyoto 2012 – Nagatake Concert /国際尺八フェスティバル「名流コンサート」(京都府立文化芸術会館)