This blog is dedicated to the sublime instruments called nose flutes and which produce the most divine sound ever. We have chosen to discard all the native models from S. Pacific and Asia, for they need fingering to be played. We'll concentrate on "buccal cavity driven" nose flutes : the well patented and trademarked metal or plastic ones, plus, by a condemnable indulgence, some wooden craft or home-made productions.

Apr 16, 2016

New Nose Flutes by Master Katada - Part I

Our Japanese friends are very generous. Just after I received a bunch of great nose flutes from Mr. Sawada (check this post), the postman delivered a box full of beautiful hanabue and experimental nose flutes from Japan: gift of Mr. Kunio Katada!

You certainly remember Mr. Kunio Katada, a.k.a Ki_Kanban. In 2011, we published a post (check here) about his limitless creativity and skill in wood working and inlays. But also his work with metal, cardboard... (You can follow the nose flute section of his blog). Ki Kanban is also at the origin of the Adachi nose flute Fuppi (フッピ). Remember these creations:

So, we were really excited to receive another box full of nose flutes!

In there, there were three kind of flutes: the regular Katada-san production, simple yet very precise, declined in different exotic woods and sizes; one nose flute dedicated to hands free playing with a specific stand, and astonishing small and radical bamboo nose flutes, the Kunimaru's (くにまるの鼻笛).

1 - The regular Adachi nose flute

As said earlier, « regular » doesn't mean average or banal. This nose flute is regular because it is regularly crafted by Mr. Katada, because this flute is the accomplishment of many trials to get it perfect. The shape is a standard; this is not a « research and design » instrument, but a reliable one dedicated to anyone.

Ki_Kanban sent me two samples of the normal size, and two of the mini version.

A - Normal size Adachi

Both flutes are smooth, finely sanded and varnished with a satin finish. There is no angle and they fit in your hand like a light pebble. The light colored one is composed by Japanese Keyaki wood (Zelkova serrata), with the center piece in Lauan mahogany from Indonesia (Shorea laevis). The dark nose flute has a beautiful main shield in Sitan rosewood (Pterocarpus santalinus), and the air duct is made of Kokutan makassar ebony (Diospyros celebica), both from Indonesia. Only beautiful and precious woods.

As told before, the wood work is very precise, and whereas the global shape is smooth and rounded, the technical parts are sharp and accurate. The labium is incredibly thin, and is was possible only by the use of very hard woods. So, it is not surprising these nose flutes are very good and precise instruments. The mouth window is rather small (±3mm high) and these hanabue are mainly sharp oriented.

B - Mini size Adachi

Kunio Katada sent me also two mini Adachis. They were made on the same pattern and shape than the regular ones, but just a little bit smaller, to fit wee faces or children.

These little babies are as smooth and satiny as their big sisters, and were crafted with the same care and precision. They received the same « golden K » stamping.

2 - The hands free Adachi and its stand

Another gift from Master Katada is a nose flute he especially developed for hands free playing, with its dedicated holder.

A - The hands free Adachi

This nose flute is a size XL! We saw the normal and the mini models, this one is incontestably a fatty! Here too, the same care in the craft, but associated to a deep impression of sturdiness. This is the nose flute for the Special Forces, to play sweet melopoeias under the massive hail of Operation Cast Lead! Indeed, this instrument features a thick locking shield over the air way.

For sure, Master Katada wanted a very steady and sturdy locking system, and he succeded. The tenon is not only glued, but also nicely pegged to the body...

B - The stand

The stand looks like a regular mouth harp stand, but certainly it is not. Not only Kunio Katada shaped it himself, using a shirt hanger and a smartphone stand, but also the claw looks totally different. Whilst an regular harmonica stand generally provides a double flat clamp, Ki Kanban's stand features a real jaw for the flute:

The result is super efficient: the nose flute is kept very firmly in the stand, and easy to access. It is not only a hands free system, but also a « mouth free » one.

To the Part II


Related links :

- Kunio Katada's blog

- New Nose Flutes by Master Katada - Part I
- New Nose Flutes by Master Katada - Part II



  1. Wow, what a post! Wonderful, wonderful innovative craftmanship and a great photograpic composition, once again. Superb.

    1. Thank you Maikel! Yes, these babies are great... and stay tuned for part II !!