WSF Organisers

The main organisers and the team of volunteers to make it all happen

European Shakuhachi Society (ESS)

The European Shakuhachi Society founding principle is to create a network and platform where shakuhachi players and afficionados can meet and share their common interest and also embrace the differences that exist both in the shakuhachi itself – the different styles, schools (ryūha) and genres – and also on the European continent itself, in culture and language. The ESS is an educational charity and was registered under the Charity Commission for England and Wales in 2008. (no. 1123060)

The ESS started its activities with the 1st Pan-European Shakuhachi Summer School, which was held 19-22 July 2006 in London. Thereafter, the ESS collaborated with various local shakuhachi groups in Europe to hold annual Summer Schools and seminars around Europe. In that way, depending on the host country, the Summer School takes on a different emphasis and flavour each year. All Summer Schools and seminars are open to anyone who has an interest in the shakuhachi, including complete beginners. Such events have been held in Alsace, France (2007), Leiden, Netherlands (2009), Prague, Czech Republic (2010), London, UK (2011), Barcelona, Spain (2013), Radolfzell, Germany (2014), Paris, France (2015), Barcelona, Spain (2016) and most recently in Vejle, Denmark in 2017.

Further activities include maintaining an ESS website, featuring for example European shakuhachi teacher and maker indexes, publishing newsletters and the ESS Journal with shakuhachi related articles and news, as well as operating the online ESS Forum where shakuhachi players, teachers and makers from all over Europe and beyond can meet virtually and exchange knowledge and information.

Membership of the ESS is open both to players of the shakuhachi and to non-players who are interested in the music of the shakuhachi in all its forms. Since the ESS sees itself as an umbrella organisation and is not affiliated with a particular school or aesthetic direction, its members represent a broad cross-section of styles and genres of shakuhachi.

For details on how to be come an ESS member please visit

Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshūkan (KSK)

The KSK is the Japan Affiliated Coordinating Body for WSF2018.

The Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshūkan (KSK) is a modern school of shakuhachi with roots in the traditions of Japanese music, founded by YOKOYAMA Katsuya (1934 – 2010) – one of the great shakuhachi performers of the 20th century.

YOKOYAMA created the KSK in 1988 and organised the first World Shakuhachi Festival in 1994 in Bisei, Japan; and both Yokoyama (up until his death) and the KSK have been central to the organisation of almost all subsequent World Shakuhachi Festivals. KSK Japan and its European sub-branch have committed to the organisation of a World Shakuhachi Festival in Europe. Due to its experience in this area and with previous World Shakuhachi Festivals, KSK is an ideal partner for the organisation of, and Japanese liaison for, the 2018 World Shakuhachi Festival in London.

Aomori Min'yō Kyōkai (Aomori Min'yō Association, Japan)

The Aomori Min‘yō Association is a non-profit organisation aiming at preserving the folk music culture of Aomori in northern Japan.