KSK North America

Welcome to the North American branch of the Kokusai ShakuhachiKenshukan, the International Shakuhachi Training Center, founded in Japan by Yokoyama Katsuya in 1988.

The North American branch of the Kenshukan, or KSK, is the product of a years’ long collaboration between the current co-directors of KSK-Japan – Matama Kazushi, FuruyaTeruo and Kakizakai Kaoru – and two of their students in the US – Matheus Ferreira (Denver, CO) and Patrick Johnson (Seattle, WA).

The North American branch of the Kenshukan (KSK-NA) was formed so that the Kenshukan headquartered in Japan could have a more active and visible presence in the US. Our hope is to continue the international effort begun by Yokoyama Katsuya to make his music available to students, teachers and audiences around the world by concentrating on its accessibility here in America. To this end, our more specific intentions are summarized in our Mission Statement:

The primary purpose of the North American branch of the International ShakuhachiKenshukan is to honor the legacy of Yokoyama Katsuya by maintaining and promoting the body of music he performed, and by keeping alive his style of interpreting and playing that music. The Kenshukan also aims to make resources available to students and performers in North America who are interested in playing and enjoying his music. This includes all of the available written materials, scores, CD’s and DVD’s that reflect his interpretation of KotenHonkyoku (classical Zen pieces) as well as contemporary repertoire. It also includes links to teachers and performers affiliated with KSK-NA.

So what drives our desire to attempt such an ambitious undertaking? Three things in particular:

• We recognize Yokoyama Sensei as having been an exceptionally gifted teacher, performer, and musical stylist whose interpretation of classical Honkyoku very much needs to be preserved for future generations

• We believe that the community of players who appreciate the contributions made by Yokoyama Sensei should have a ready means by which to come together and offer one another support, and that the KSK-NA facilitates meeting that goal

• We acknowledge that Yokoyama Sensei and his direct students have created a set of recorded materials and resources that should be made available to all players and students who would benefit from having access to them

You’ll find that we’ve pulled together a significant amount of information and basic resources, all with the following goals in mind:

• The KSK-NA aims to help build and support the community of teachers, players and performers who are interested in following the playing style of, and furthering the legacy of, Yokoyama Sensei

• We also seek to provide instruction in the Yokoyama style of playing to all interested students, first by making local teachers available, and second, by bringing teachers to the U.S. from Japan as frequently as possible

• Similarly, we aim to showcase the Yokoyama style of playing as often as possible by providing demonstrations and performances by local players in a range of cities and geographical areas; and by bringing head instructors over from Japan to perform in the U.S.

• And finally, we intend to collect and make available for sale all of the recorded resources and written resources produced by Yokoyama Sensei, as well as the resources produced by his senior students

So please have a look around and let us know what you think! We want this site to be a source of useful, accurate and accessible information that enhances your experience of studying, teaching or simply enjoying the music of Yokoyama and the KSK – on any level. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if there is any way we can improve the site to better meet your needs.