Japanese flute Shakuhachi is well known for listeners of world music, or japanese music too. There is also another association with this musical instrument, Zen Buddhism.
Origin of this flute, like most of japanese musical instruments is in China. Original Shakuhachi is made from bamboo, but nowadays We can found Shakuhachi made from another materials. If We compare ancestor of this japanese flute, japanese descendant is remaked very well. Interesting, that this flute was used by Zen monks of sect Fuke. It was used, as part of blowing meditation. Sometimes this musical instrument was used for begging for alms by those monks too. Sometimes monk uses this musical instrument, as a weapon.
After some political changes, Shakuhachi was played with japanese zither Koto, or Shamisen. Untill some centuries, Shakuhaki solo playing was again revived.
If I’ll haveto describe sound of this flute, It is very spiritual and unique. There is esence of Zen too. I can present this sound in typical japanese garden, also with some bird and water sounds too. So, here is demonstration of true Shakuhachi sound.
You can also meet with synthetic Shakuhachi, for example in some meditation (new age) compositions. It is best known in songs by Enigma, or this sound is found in song Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel.
Also, You can find Shakuhachi in some experimental Jazz genres.