About the ESS Dublin 2020 Summer School

The 2020 European Shakuhachi Society Summer School which will be held in Dublin is now open for registration.

Dates: July 30 (Thursday) to August 2 (Sunday), 2020

Venue: University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland


ESS Announcement (Covid-19)

The ESS is closely monitoring recent events relating to the novel corona virus (Covid-19) and will follow international and local recommendations and advice concerning our shakuhachi events across Europe. 

In light of the present situation, the deadline for Early Bird registration for the ESS 2020 Shakuhachi Summer School in Dublin in July has been extended until further notice and all planning and registration for the event is proceeding as normal. 

The primary concern of the ESS is the protection of the health and safety of all in our community and any information regarding possible future developments which may affect our shakuhachi events this year will be posted on the ESS and Dublin 2020 websites, the ESS Forum and Facebook page and in the ESS Newsletter. Participants already registered for any of our events will also be contacted individually should the need arise.

Saturday 1st August: Gala Concert

This concert will take place at St Ann’s Church, Dawson Street in the city centre. The venue has a history of Japanese music concerts, thanks to its resident organist and musical director, Charlie Marshall, who is also one of the finest performers of the Japanese biwa outside of Japan and a shakuhachi player. The concert will feature many of the teachers and some musicians of Irish traditional music.

Tickets are 15 euros (+administration fee) and are available from Eventbrite. Please note that participants of the summer school have free admission.

St Ann's Church

St Ann’s Church


Participants will have the opportunity to encounter lineages including Kinko, Tozan, Zensabo, KSK and Jin Nyodo lineage as well as a wide range of genres such as honkyoku, sankyoku, shinkyoku, contemporary and min’yō.

There will be limited places available on the ji-nashi shakuhachi making workshop led by José Seizan Vargas and Thomas Goulpeau during the first two days of the summer school. Please tick the box on the registration form to secure your place. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

A particular focus of this summer school will be an introduction to the deep heritage of Irish music. There will be classes in playing Irish music on shakuhachi as well as Irish instruments being featured in the concerts. We will also organise some evening entertainment which may involve tasting the famous black beverage, known locally as the ’Pint of Plain’.

There will be a dedicated space for participants to spend time in guided meditation and suizen.

Koto and shamisen will also be part of the program with professional players accompanying sankyoku and shinkyoku classes and performing in concerts.


Jin Rei

Jin Rei

This year we will have three special guests: Jin Rei, the grandson of Jin Nyodo, Yamaoka Yozan, a leading player and teacher from Brazil and Mizuno Kohmei, the Head of the Kinko-ryu Chikumeisha guild.

Akio Yamaska

Yamaoka Yozan


Mizuno Kohmei

Other teachers and performers will include: Kiku Day, Horacio Curti, David and Gina Barnes, Jean-François Lagrost, Michael Soumei Coxall, José Seizan Vargas, Thomas Goulpeau, Philip Suimei Horan, Keiko Kitamura and Gaho Takahashi.


In general, teaching will be offered at four levels:  beginners, elementary, intermediate and advanced.  For those who have never played the shakuhachi before and who want to discover this amazing instrument, there will also be a 4-day beginners’ course taught by experienced professional players. Shakuhachi will be available to borrow or buy.