Small Hands and Holding Shakuhachi

First, observe the video below of an amazing young shakuhachi player that goes by MiaoMiao on Bilibili. Despite obviously being a small child, MiaoMiao is able to play a standard sized shakuhachi.

Naturally, it’s ideal to play shakuhachi of a size that best fits your body! However, sometimes you simply may wish to play shakuhachi that are a bit large for you, or you may not be able to acquire an ideally sized shakuhachi. Generally, 2.0 (60~cm) and longer shakuhachi will feel large for most people.

My student with small hands

Pictured below is my student who exhibits excellent technique holding a 1.8 length shakuhachi despite her very small hands. Notice that her fingers are natural and straight while holding her shakuhachi; not arched or contorted. Her wrists are neutral thanks to her arms being slightly flared out. She covers some holes, not with the tips, but further down the finger for improved ergonomics.

Also note that she has her pinky/little fingers up and free, not curled under her shakuhachi. If she were to curl her pinkies under the shakuhachi it would inhibit good meri technique, and finger movements in general. People often incorrectly place their pinky/little fingers under the shakuhachi to try and help steady or support it. With proper posture and form, such unnatural and cumbersome use of the pinky fingers is not needed.