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Cultural Performance: Shinobue Flute

Shinobue is a Japanese side-blown bamboo flute that has a high-pitched sound. Traditionally shinobue is an important part of the music of festivals, folk songs, Shinto ritual, and theater performances of kabuki and Noh.

About the Artists

Yumi Torimaru, founder and director of the local taiko group “TAKOHACHI,” started learning bamboo flute soon after taking up taiko drumming 15 years ago. Yumi has been mostly learning festival flute songs accompanying taiko drums, and also composed many original flute ensemble songs. She recently received a special award from ‘the Internet Shinobue Contest 2018’ and performed her original composition in Tokyo, Japan.

In Tokyo she met Satoko, winner of second prize in the shinobue contest. The two have been good friends since the 2018 concert, and Satoko is now joining Yumi to introduce this beautiful instrument to audiences at Portland Japanese Garden.

Satoko is from Miyazaki, Japan. She has played at numerous of events with many different units or a solo. In addition to shinobue, she has learned nohkan and ryuteki (other types of flutes). In May, she won fourth place at the ‘All Japan Shinobue Championship.’