Seibi Sato

• Shakuhachi Honkyoku
• Minyo
• Modern Compositions

Seibi Sato was born January 6, 1906 in Kokura City, Kyushu, Japan.

In 1919, he began studying Kinko-ryu honkyoku under Kudo Kazan and received his shihan (master teaching licence) two years later at the age of 15. In 1922, he studied voice and piano with Fujii Kyomi and continued his shakuhachi studies in 1925 with the renown master Yoshida Seifu from who whom he received a daishan in August, 1929. In 1930, he studied extensively with the great player and teacher Miura Kindo.

Sato-sensei’s life was completely devoted to shakuhachi in a wide variety of venues. In 1926, he formed a contemporary music group with Hiratao Tomihiro and three years later began  teaching shakuhachi at Tokyo Shokadai (Tokyo University of Commerce). Soon thereafter, he moved to Taiwan where, as a cultural ambassador, he lived and taught in Taipei, performing widely throughout in the Republic of China. While in Taiwan, Sato broadened his shakuhachi studies with Aoki Shingetsu upon recommendation by the great player Tani Kyochiku.

Returning to Japan some years later, Sato did extensive recording work at Polydor Recording Co. and radio broadcasting at Nihon Hoso Kyokai (NHK). He also headed two shakuhachi regional composers associations in the Osaka area. Much of his time and energy was spent running the publishing company Kinkosha that he establish as a source for the dissemination of shakuhachi honkyou, sankyoku and modern music that included many of his own compositions and arrangements.

Sato Seibi created a distinctive style of Kinko notation influenced by Kinko III, Ikeda Ishi, Yoshida Icho, Araki Kodo II (Chikuo), Araki Kodo III (Shinnosuke), Miura Kindo, and Mizuno Rodo. He consolidated and unified their unique systems for Kinko honkyoku.

Toward the end life, in spite of deteriorating health, Sato traveled to the United States in 1980 doing a ten-day concert tour on the East Coast of America. He passed away on October 25, 1983.

Shakuhachi Honkyoku Hifu

"Secret Pieces"

Sheet Music Set

4 Books / 16 Pieces

(Kinko Ryu Notation)

With Silk Brocade Padded Cover
Specifically Designed for Traditional Folded Scores

SS-H1/4. Available as individual books or complete set. Music Folder included with set at no additional charge.

Shakuhachi Honkyoku Zenshu

"Complete Collection"

Sheet Music Set

11 Books / 56 Pieces

(Kinko Ryu Notation)

Individual Books & Complete Set Available

Book 1
Hifumi Hachigaeshi no Shirabe
Takiotochi no Kyoku
Akita Sugagaki
Akita Sugagaki Duet
Koro Sugagaki

Book 2
Koro Sugagaki Duet
Kyushu Reibo
Shizu no Kyoku
Kyo Reibo
Mukaiji Reibo
Book 3
Koku Reibo
Koku Reibo Duet
Shin Kyorei Muefuke
Banshiki Jo
Shin no Kyorei
Kinsan Kyorei
Book 4
Yoshiya Reibo (Yoshino)
Yugure no Kyoku
Sakae Jishi
Book 5
Uchikae Kyorei
Igusa Reibo
Izu Reibo
Reibo Nagashi
Renbo Nagashi
Book 6
Tsuru no Sugomori
Sokaku Reibo
Sanya Sugagaki
Shimo Tsuke Kyorei
Meguro Jishi
Book 7
Ginryu Koku
Ginryu Koku Duet
Sayama Sugagaki
Sagariha no Kyoku
Mukaiji Reibo

   For 3 shakuhachi:
   • Akebono Choshi tuning (1.3’)
   • Hon Choshi tuning (1.8’)
• Kumoi Choshi tuning (2.3’)
• Akebono Choshi tuning (2.0’)
• Hon Choshi tuning (1.3’)
• Kumoi Choshi tuning (1.8’)
Book 8
Namima Reibo
Houshou Su
Akebono Shirabe
Kotobuki Shirabe
Koku Reibo

For 3 shakuhachi:
• Akebono Choshi tuning (1.3’)
• Hon Choshi tuning (1.8’)
• Kumoi Choshi tuning (2.3’)
• Akebono Choshi tuning (2.0’)
• Hon Choshi tuning (1.3’)
• Kumoi Choshi tuning (1.8’)
Book 9
Shika no Tone
Ashi no Shirabe
Kotoji no Kyoku
Kinuta Sugomori
Koro Sugagaki

For 3 shakuhachi:
• Akebono Choshi tuning (1.3’)
• Hon Choshi tuning (1.8’)
• Kumoi Choshi tuning (2.3’)
• Akebono Choshi tuning (2.0’)
• Hon Choshi tuning (1.3’)
• Kumoi Choshi tuning (1.8’)
Book 10
Akebono Sugagaki
Rafu Sugagaki
Rinritsu no Mai
Taihei Rau
Sakae Jishi
• Akebono Choshi tuning (1.3’)
• Hon Choshi tuning (1.8’)
• Kumoi Choshi tuning (2.3’)
• Akebono Choshi tuning (2.0’)
• Hon Choshi tuning (1.3’)
• Kumoi Choshi tuning (1.8’)

Book 11
Tsuki no Kyoku
Shigiri Sugomori
Unkai Ritsu
Somaku Sha
Shirabe Ekoh
Aizu no Takane
Yachiyo Sugomori


Shakuhachi Sheet Music Holders

With Silk Brocade Padded Covers
Specifically Designed for Traditional Folded Scores

AC-11. Music Folder design available stock on hand. Included with set at no additional charge.

Shakuhachi Minyo

Japanese Folk Music Collections

2 Books / 31 Pieces

(Kinko Ryu Notation)


Kusatsu Bushi
Itsuki no Komoriuta
Kushimoto Bushi
Hideko Bushi
Seki no Gohonmatsu
Yosakoi Bushi
Soran Bushi
Nambu Ushi Oi Uta
Oshima Bushi
Dontaku Bushi
Hakata Bushi
Kagoshima Ohara Bushi
Shiniso Bushi
Oedo Nihonbashi
Gion Kouta
Habuno Minato


Kiso Bushi
Hietsuki Bushi
Sado Okesa
Miyazu Bushi
Soma Bonuta
Akita Obako
Aizu Bandaisan
Awa Odori
Yamanaka Bushi
Yagi Bushi
Yoneyama Jinku
Noe Bushi
Fukagawa Bushi
Defune no Minato
Hoko Wo Osamete

Seibi Sato
Editions of Modern Shakuhachi Music

(Kinko Ryu & 5-Line Staff Notation)







Fukuda Rando


Tsubaki Sakumura
“Village Where Camellia Blooms”


Shakuhachi Solo with Piano Accompaniment.

Expresses sadness when returning to the abandoned village of his nanny at the time when camellias are in blow. Melancholy for lost youth.

Kinko &
5-Line Staff

Fukuda Rando


Tsukigusa no Yume
“Dream of Moon Grass”

(Katsuya Yokoyama DVD
performs this piece.)

Shakuhachi Solo with Piano Accompaniment.

Sweet melancholic memories of childhood.

Kinko & 5-Line Staff

Fukuda Rando


Miyama Higurashi
 “Deep Mountain Cicada”

Shakuhachi Solo.

Oiwake style expressing sounds of the forest cicada.


DVD of Yokoyama Katsuya & members of the Kokusai Shakuahchi Kenshukan performing these three pieces by Fukuda Rando

Yoshida Seifu



1.6’ or 1.8’ Shakuhachi & Koto.
5 Parts. 4 min.

Count Rubienski of Poland visited Japan. He was inspired by a statue of beautiful Greek girls. He asked Seifu to compose a piece of music for shakuhachi and koto based on this theme to be used in a dance and dedicated to the purity of youth and the gods of Athens.


Komori Uta

1.8’ Shakuhachi & Koto.
5 Parts. 3 1/2 min.

Longing for her husband, a young widow putting her baby to sleep.

Yoshida Seifu



1.6’ Shakuhachi & Koto.
4 Parts. 3 1/2 min.

Boatman’s song returning home at dusk. The rhythym of oars in  the calm sea is joined by the sound of seagulls flying overhead. 


“Mountain Road”

1.6’ Shakuhachi & Koto.
5 min.

A sketch of a horseman traveling on a mountain road in the autumn. Distant sound of temple gong contrasts with the horses hooves and a bell on its reins.

Yoshida Seifu


“Divine Music”

1.6’ or 1.8’ Shakuhachi & Percussion (drums, Gongs & Tsuzumi).
5 Parts. 5 minutes.

Inspired by ancient sacred music offered to the gods.


Yoshida Seifu


Shun Oka
“Celebration of Spring”

1.6’ Shakuhachi & Koto.
5 min.

Emerging from dark cold winter to the rebirth and beauty of spring.


Yoshida Seifu


Ban Shu
“Deep Autumn”

1.6’ Shakuhachi & Koto. 6 Parts.


Seifu experienced deep depression and spiritual angst associated with religious suffering. Scenes of nature in Autumn moved him and resonnated with his sadness.


Yoshida Seifu


“The Sea”

1.6’ Shakuhachi, Voice & Koto.

A seascape of the ocean depicting its calmness shattered by a passing violent storm. This sketch was inspired by a near-death experience Seifu went through in 1931 while in Los Angeles at the end of a year-long tour. During that time he became extremely ill, but eventually recovered. This composition reflects the ever-changing condition of life on all levels.


Yoshida Seifu



Ogawa no Hotori
“Stream Bank”

1.6’ Shakuhachi & Koto.
3 1/2 min.

Sketch a stream bank in the springtime.


Hatake no Tombo
“Dragonfly in the Field”

1.6’ Shakuhachi, Voice & Koto.

Lyrics by Noguchi Ujo
A cheerful sketch of a rural landscape.

Miyagi Michio


Haru no Umi
“Spring Sea”

1.6’ Shakuhachi & Koto.

Miyagi classic composition immensely popular and performed thoroughout the world. First performed in December, 1929.

Kinko & 5 Line Staff

Individual scores available.

Ordering Information

ArrowSeibi Sato Honkyoku Sheet Music
ArrowTai Hei Shakuhachi Homepage
ArrowMain Menu