An invitation to the 14th ISFP by artistic director, Marek Kimei Matvija

Every two years Prague welcomes top shakuhachi players from Japan and around the world. Five days of workshops, focused study groups, lectures and concerts bring together traditional and new music for Japanese instruments.

From Kyoto Myoanji to Prague
The special guest of ISFP 2023 is the 42nd kansu, main player, of the Kyoto Myoanji temple Genshin Seian. Kyoto Myoanji temple is one of the few places in Japan where spiritual shakuhachi playing is practised to this day. In two study groups open to five students only, Genshin will teach Takiochi no Kyoku and a special, very rare Myoanji version of Shika no Tone. In a dedicated concert ZEN: Sound and Silence (June 2nd), Genshin will perform the core pieces from his temple’s tradition.

New sounds for the shakuhachi
The shakuhachi festival in Prague has a long successful tradition of presenting and commissioning new music from Czech and international composers. The ISFP 2023 will be adorned by a new piece for shakuhachi and orchestra by Jan Jonáš Starý (performed by Akihito Obama and the BERG Orchestra, June 5th). Another unquestionable highlight will be the European premiere of Dai Fujikura’s Shakuhachi Five, which the ISFP had co-commissioned together with the Japanese all-star ensemble Shakuhachi 5 and James Schlefer (June 4th).
Jazz and improvised music are also represented at the festival in various forms from conventional to more outgoing. The festival aims to give spotlight to famous veterans as well as to the up and coming creative youngbloods that will shape the shakuhachi world in the years to come. If you want to share your music, you can apply to perform in one of three festival’s Curated Open Mic concerts.

Learning & Understanding
It is a rule of the festival that the main guests teach as well as perform. The main guests of the ISFP 2023 are Kinya Sogawa, Naoko Kikuchi, Genshin Seian, Akihito Obama, John Kaizan Neptune, Ichiro Seki and Jean-François Suizan Lagrost (more to be confirmed). Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to learn from these world class players.
Furthermore, the festival features a symposium on June 1st focusing on the topic of Music and Altered States of Consciousness (see the Open Call at Academics, composers, therapists and performers will present their research and experiences.

The Music faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (HAMU), is our festival center and official partner of the festival. All courses will, thus, take place in HAMU`s renaissance palace in the historical Prague city center. The evening program of the festival will show you some of Prague’s most beautiful concert venues, in ancient churches and modern architectural jewels.

Beyond the festival: shakuhachi making workshops
Three days before the festival and three days after the festival, you will have the outstanding opportunity to build your own shakuhachi under the guidance of professional shakuhachi makers, Kinya Sogawa and John Kaizan Neptune (respectively), at NEIRO Studio in Prague. Each workshop is open to six participants, bamboo and tools are provided.

May 29 – 31 Shakuhachi Making Workshop with John Kaizan Neptune (
June 1 Symposium Music and Altered States of Consciousness & Opening concert of ISFP 2023 (
June 2 – 5 ISFP 2023, teaching and concerts (
June 6 – 8 Shakuhachi Making Workshop with Kinya Sogawa (

Don’t miss this unique event. The following International Shakuhachi Festival Prague will happen in June, 2025.