History & Culture

進化した津軽笛 Developed Tsugaru Flutes

By    K.yamuchi



August is the season of Nebuta (lantern) Festival that colors Tsugaru region (called “Neputa” Festival in Hirosaki).

Supporting the competition of the light weave by the heroic Nebuta lantern are jumping dancers and musicians. Drums, flutes and small tumblings playfully act. What is used for a musical accompaniment is “Tsugaru-bue (Tsugaru flute)”. There are roughly four kinds of Tsuyu flutes.


There are Aomori Neputa flute, Hirosaki Neputa flute, Mountain pilgrimage music for climbing, Mountain pilgrimage music for return.

Length and timbre are individually different. The longest one is Mountain pilgrimage music for climbing,moutain pilgrimmage music for return,Aomori Nebuta flute.

Although the structure does not change, the evolution has begun to Tsugaru flutes which has long been familiar with Aomori residencial.

The article of Mountain Pilgrimage Tsugaru Flutes will be posted on September.

Traditional flute has taken advantage of the bamboo base, but the Tsugaru flute now has become very gorgeous.



笛工房 悠童の加藤さんの所には、オリジナルの笛を求めて津輕笛の愛好家がやってくる。一見津軽塗のように見えるが、塗は、漆ではなく、安全な塗料。下地つくりのため、布地を巻き、下塗りをしてから、模様を付けていく。津軽塗と同じような工程を辿る。

Tsugaru flute  “Fuekoubou Yudo“enthusiasts come to Mr. Kato at Tsugaru Flute Studio for seeking an original flute. It looks like Tsugaru paint at first glance though, the paint is not lacquer but safe materials. Wrap with the cloth for fabricating the base, apply basic paint on it, and then add patterns. Follow steps similar to Tsugaru painting.

Many color swatches are available, but many people order unique designs.

His commitment is this that is not only the appearance, but also the timbre to finely adjust according to the user.
The finished flute is slightly different depending on the way the player blows, so it is said that it will be adjusted on the spot.

4年前に工房を開き、自身も「和洋構成ユニット jomon traditional 白神」で音楽活動をしている。

He opened the workshop four years ago and also performs music activities as “Japanese-Western composition unit: jomon traditional Shirakami”.

津輕笛は、もう、ねぶた囃子だけの笛ではなく、音楽的領域を広げ、外見もオリジナリティを主張し、立派な楽器になった。Tsugaru flutes are no longer just a flute for Nebuta music, but also expands the musical domain and insisted on the originarily of the appearance. It has become a fine instrument.







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