Call for Papers

The Shakuhachi Symposium Executive Committee is now accepting proposals for individual paper presentations, round table discussions and poster + digital poster presentations for the 2025 Symposium in Texas, USA.

Set in one of the vibrant university campus of Texas A&M University, which has the largest student population in the USA of more than 74,000 students and is one of the USA's leading research institutions, and two days before the World Shakuhachi Festival, the symposium provides a stimulating environment for intellectual exchange on a wide range of topics and themes pertaining to research on shakuhachi.

The Shakuhachi Symposium will embody an interdisciplinary approach, and we thus invite proposals from and across all fields of scholarly inquiry, including ethnomusicology, performance research, anthropology, art history, sociology, Japanese studies, study of acoustics, history etc. We hope that this broad approach to shakuhachi research will help to develop new perspectives in the study of the instrument, the music and the people engaging with the shakuhachi in some way or other.

The shakuhachi has a fascinating history, reaching back to Tang Dynasty China when it was, among other things, an instrument of court music that later arrived in Japan via Korea. Over the centuries in Japan, the construction of the shakuhachi was modified, and during the 18th century, the instrument of the mendicating komusō monks. There remains much to be explored and analyzed of the shakuhachi history as well as research on its use from the 20th century till today. Today, the shakuhachi is the Japanese instrument which enjoys the greatest international success, alongside the Japanese drumming ensemble taiko. The shakuhachi has not only crossed geographical and cultural borders as, for example, an instrument played by immigrants in Latin America and some parts of the USA but has also been the subject of cultural exchange since the 1960s, with hundreds of shakuhachi aficionados gathering at festivals and workshops across the globe and a substantial number of compositions created by both Japanese and non-Japanese composers. We seek to encourage research on the many ways in which shakuhachi music is represented and claimed and how it interacts with other musical genres and cultures, leading to a diverse and multifaceted spectrum of creative activity.


Keynote Speakers

We are pleased to welcome our two keynote speakers at the first Shakuhachi Symposium 2025:

1.     Henry Johnson, Jay Keister, Gunnar Jinmei Linder, Matt Gillan, Martha Fabrique

2.     Kosuge,



The following formats on any topic related to the shakuhachi, independent of academic discipline will be considered:

 1. Individual 20-minutes research papers followed by 10 minutes of questions

2. Roundtable discussions (minimum 3 persons - 60 minutes)

3. Poster and digital poster presentations

Areas of discussion may include, but are not limited to: 

•       The history of the shakuhachi and the komusō

•       Shakuhachi ryūha and lineages

•       Shakuhachi depicted in historical documents

•       Shakuhachi depicted on kabuki woodblock prints

•    Shakuhachi as a social connecting agent today across cultural and geographical borders

•       Shakuhachi and gender

•       Shakuhachi in composition and performance

•       Shakuhachi, identity, memory and value

•       Shakuhachi, instruments and their construction

•       Shakuhachi and place: local differences

•       Shakuhachi, internationalisation and globalisation

•       Komusō and their religious practice

•       Shakuhachi in movie soundtracks

•       Shakuhachi and community building

•       Shakuhachi as a tool for diversity, equity, and inclusion

Application procedure

Please submit an abstract for an individual paper presentation and poster presentation (300 words max) and round table presentation (400 words max), along with a very short biographical note (50 words or less) about the presenter.

Proposals should be submitted via email to by midnight (Central Standard Time (CST) on December 15th 2024.

We anticipate that results of the abstract selection process will be advised around January 15th 2025. Questions should be addressed to Kiku Day at 


 Dr. Kiku Day

 Dr. Martin Regan

 Dr. Gunnar Jinmei Linder

 Dr. Martha Fabrique

 Dr. Leo Cardoso

 Dr. Kim Kattari

 Dr. Will Connor

 Dr. Matthew Campbell