The shakuhachi is a vertical, end-blown Japanese bamboo flute, tuned to a pentatonic scale. It is made from thick-walled madake bamboo and has four holes on the front and one at the back making a pentatonic scale but through the meri/kari system of partial hole closing, up and down head movements and subtle changes in embouchure, a 12-tone chromatic scale up to three octaves can be produced.

Its diverse and long history ranges from being used as a meditative tool by Zen Buddhist priests, an instrument for folk music and traditional ensemble music, as well as an instrument valued within the contemporary musical context and among avant-garde composers due to its ability to express subtle change in tone colours, pitch and dynamics.

You can read more about the shakuhachi history and construction here.