In the tradition of the Meian school of shakuhachi, the performer first warms up the bamboo and settles the mind for spiritual practice through the playing of a short introductory prelude piece. Expressing the essential spirit of Koten honkyoku, Choshi (literally, small melody) serves to establish the pitch and center the musician.
The Choshi pieces (also called Shirabe, Hon Shirabe, Honte Choshi, etc.) are performed to re-establish the relationship between the player and the shakuhachi, that is most conducive to the state of mind necessary in meditation. This piece is characterized by a pure focus on breath.
Honte Choshi (Original Searching) is the ‘main’ or ‘original’ version amount the many short pieces that act as preludes or warm-ups.
“If you can but master this simple piece you can understand the essence of koten honkyoku.”
Source: The International Shakuhachi Society (www.komuso.com)
Here’s a recording of Honte Choshi played on a shakuhachi 2.4 for a meditation purpose (and not a performance).