Current North American Instructors:

Patrick Johnson

Patrick discovered the shakuhachi quite by accident when, as an Aikido and Iaido student in the early 1990’s, he explored the possibility of learning to play bamboo flute as an adjunct to his martial arts practice.  This was all pre-internet and it was in an Aikido monthly newsletter that Patrick found an ad for a vertical bamboo flute from Japan called a ‘shakuhachi’.  He took a chance on buying a very affordable flute and never really looked back.

During this same period Patrick had begun a practice as a Rinzai Zen practitioner under Genki Takabayashi Roshi at ChoBoZen-Ji in Seattle.  This meant that learning shakuhachi was a very fortuitous choice from the standpoint that the traditional meditation music associated with shakuhachi playing in Japan is the only musical genre associated with traditional Japanese Zen practice.

 Early on, Patrick was very fortunate to find a very capable American teacher in Seattle, Peter Ross, who helped him establish a very solid foundation for playing.  After Peter left the US in the early 2000’s Patrick studied intermittently with two other American teachers, Larry Tyrrell   and Peter Hill. And then in 2008 he had the good fortune to become a regular internet student of Kakizakai Kaoru, one of the world’s foremost teachers and performers of the ‘Koten Honkyoku’ Shakuhachi repertoire developed by Yokoyama Katsuya.  Thus began Patrick’s formal affiliation with the KSK.

In 2012, Patrick made his first trip to Japan to attend the World Shakuhachi Festival in Kyoto, and since then he has returned to Japan annually to study in person with Kaki Sensei in his studio in Chichibu.  In fact, it was during a trip to Bisei in 2013 to attend a KSK workshop that the idea of creating a North American branch of the KSK first took shape.

With an informal teaching endorsement from Kaki Sensei, Patrick currently gives in-person and internet lessons from his studio in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.  The studio is affiliated with the Seattle Shakuhachi Study Group (SSSG; that Patrick Founded in 2009, originally as the HakakuMei Shakuhachi Dojo.

Patrick performs regularly at several venues and events in the Seattle area and in Portland, OR and he is available for teaching, lectures and demonstrations as well. Along with co-founder Matheus Ferreira, he also continues to serve as one of the managing directors of KSK North America.