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What is the Flow State?

An optimal state of consciousness where you feel your best and perform your best. It’s those moments of undivided attention and total absorption, where your mind, body, and spirit are focused on the present.  Action and awareness merge and you develop a calm awareness of your surroundings. 

Flow is Meditation in Action

What is the Shakuhachi?

The Japanese shakuhachi is an end-blown flute made from madake bamboo. At its core it is both a spiritual tool and a creative/artistic outlet for expression. The shakuhachi represents the connection between human creativity, nature, and Japanese aesthetics.


Shakuhachi is Moving Meditation

Digital Music Downloads
(Included with the All-Access Pass in the Membership)

These shakuhachi albums are meant to take you on a journey and let your imagination run wild. I have 2 solo albums and 2 "Kurofune" albums. On the Kurofune albums you can experience the shakuhachi duo as well as electro-acoustic and piano backgrounds.

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Kurofune - Joshua Smith & Izukawa Shido - Flowing Winds - 風航.jpg

About Josh Smith

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My Shakuhachi 

Joshua M. Smith is a shakuhachi performer, teacher, and researcher based in both Buffalo, NY and Fukui, Japan . He studied Kinko ryu shakuhachi for many years under Okada Michiaki in Kyoto, himself a student of the famous Yokoyama Katsuya. He focuses on traditional honkyoku pieces as well as composing. He also continues his studies with the 42nd Head of Myoan-ji Temple in Kyoto, Seian Genshin,  studying Fuke Myoan Shakuhachi and the jinashi tradition.


He also performs and records as a unit called “Kurofune” that he formed with Izukawa "Shido" Hidefumi. 








Josh's creative journey was fostered after graduating from the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts and first earning a certificate in creative studies at the International Center for Studies in Creativity in Buffalo, NY. He didn’t even realize that creativity was a subject that could be studied, but they were doing creative problem solving (CPS) techniques and facilitating brainstorming sessions, but ultimately at that time in his life Japan had a grip on his interests and he did a year study abroad to Kansai Gaidai in Osaka, Japan. There he took classes in sumi-e black ink painting and creativity as well.  

Music Awards and Achievements

  • Master Performer: Taimadera Temple- Nakanobo, Nara, Japan (February 10, 2009) [This is the first time the title of “master performer” has been given to a non-Japanese person]

  • Second place award, World Shakuhachi Competition (S-1 Grand Prix Young Players Competition Final’s Concert), World Shakuhachi Festival, Sydney, Australia. (July 5, 2008)

  • Performances and shakuhachi offerings at all of the 88 temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. [I walked the entire pilgrimage of 1,400 kilometers / 870 miles]

  • Solo Shakuhachi CDs
    “Mahoroba” (Utopia) featuring traditional shakuhachi meditations and original pieces  

  • “Hakuho-on” (“Sound of the White Phoenix”) featuring traditional shakuhachi meditation pieces and original pieces 

  • Duo CD with Shiho Kimura, “Japanesque Sounds” featuring original compositions for shakuhachi and koto 

  • Self-titled CD “Kurofune” featuring original compositions for shakuhachi duets, piano and electro-acoustic instruments with Izukawa Hidefumi

  • Kurofune’s 2nd CD release “Kaze Wataru" (Flowing Wind) with Izukawa Hidefumi 

  • Soundtrack for CD and DVD, “The Deeper Meditation Audio Course” produced by Tom Von Deck (2009-2010) (Denver, Colorado)

A few notable Shakuhachi Performances and Lectures

  • Nara Heijyo Sentosai Festival (Nara’s 1300th year anniversary), Imperial Palace Site, Nara, Japan

  • Guest Performer, Kumamoto Shakuhachi Festival, Kumamoto, Japan

  • Featured performer/lecturer for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) gathering of over 30 ambassadors in Nara, Japan

  • National Historical Park Site of the Ishibutai (Stone Stage) Area in Asuka, private outdoor concert during Cherry blossom festival. This started Kurofune’s national tour including Tokyo, Akita, Nagoya, Gifu, Fukui…

  • Burchfield Penny Art Center, Buffalo, NY.

  • Performance and lecture at Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY

  • NHK National Radio Interview and Performance, Japan...


  • Ordained Koyasan Shingon Sect Buddhist Monk (December 2009), Taimadera Temple, Nakanobo. 

  • Taimadera Temple, Nara, Japan (2009-present). Lectures in both English and Japanese on topics including meditation, history and culture 

  • Authorized teacher, International Shakuhachi Training Center (Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshukan), Yokoyama/Style Kinko School of Shakuhachi (2009). Permission to teach and perform the shakuhachi of the Kinko School, given by Okada Michiaki



  • Flow State Coach (2021). Under guidance from Steven Kotler and the Flow Research Collective.

  • Osaka University, Japan. Graduate School of Human Sciences

Degree: Ph.D. in Sociology (2010)
Focus of Study: Sociology of Culture (Japanese Culture)

Thesis Topic: Traditional and Modern Arts of Japan, "Modernization in the Shakuhachi Art World"

  • Osaka University, Japan. Graduate School of Human Sciences

Degree: Master of Science in Sociology (2006)
Focus of Study: Traditional Japanese arts, Music and Culinary Sociology
Thesis Topic: "Shaped by the Wind: Artistic and Cultural Identity Formation of Shakuhachi Players"​

  • Osaka YMCA Gakuin, Japan

Certification: Advanced Japanese Language (2003-2004)

  • Buffalo State College (State University of New York)

Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Humanities (2000)
Focus of Study: Japanese Language and Culture

Certification: Buffalo State Graduate Studies, Center for Creative Studies (2000)

San'an (産安) -

Live performance of traditional honkyoku at Taimadera Temple, Nara

Sanya (山谷) Mountain Valley-

Live performance in komuso (monks of nothingness) attire in Kyushu

Crimson Sky (紅空) -

Live performance in Nara with taiko player Toshihiro Yuta. A semi-improvised piece with tone drum.



The shakuhachi duo "Kurofune" was formed in 2008 in Nara when Josh, from Buffalo, NY, and Hide, from Osaka met through their devoted practice and research of "jinashi" shakuhachi and its roots. Interestingly, both Josh and Hide are shakuhachi researchers with PhDs, lovers of traditional honkyoku pieces, and both perform and compose original pieces.


In this modern world traditional instruments are not usually able to be the center of attention.

Our sounds here to show you how traditional and modern sounds can blend well together. We aim to show you how the simple sounds of the bamboo can touch your heart. This simplicity in sound is rooted deeply in Japanese culture and nature, and it is something that everyone can feel and appreciate. The albums range in solo traditional and new pieces, as well as shakuhachi duets with some blends of electro-acoustic music and piano here and there.

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