The bamboo flute is used in the hayashi ensemble for Nagauta, background music for kabuki, Sato Kagura and festival flute and percussion ensembles. It is made from a length of bamboo. Usually it is not wrapped with bark like other flutes, but has the bare surface of the bamboo, or it is lacquered, or sometimes just the two ends are wrapped with bark to keep the dried bamboo from splitting. Like the ryuteki, there are seven finger holes. Other flutes are only in one length, but the shinobue must match the pitch of the singing and shamisen so an entire set is needed of different pitches.

Japanese name of the pitch Basic pitch of instrument Length
Sanbon (three) E 50.8 cm.
Shihon (four) F 48.3 cm.
Gohon (five) F# 44.0 cm.
Roppon (six) G 42.0 cm.
Nanahon (seven) A 40.5 cm.
Hachihon (eight) A 38.0 cm.
Kyuhon (nine) B 36.5 cm.
Juppon (ten) H 32.5 cm.
Juippon (eleven) C 31.0 cm.

Also, among the shinobue used in the hayashi ensemble for Kagura, there are some that only have six finger holes. It is thought that this flute was adapted from Meiseigaku.