NHK's popular show BEGIN Japanology explores the shakuhachi
Japan has various traditional wind instruments. Among the most familiar of them is the shakuhachi, which is essentially a hollowed-out length of bamboo. The sounds of the shakuhachi - reminiscent of such natural sounds as the wind through the trees, birdsong and the chirping of insects - have captivated the hearts of music lovers the world over. But in modern Japan the number of shakuhachi players is decreasing, and ingenious efforts are being made to keep the tradition going.