“Hikaru” is not only a true eyecatcher but makes your eyes shine and sparkle with its beautiful sound. When the wood catches light you can’t help but fall in love with the beautiful grain that makes this shamisen such a stunning beauty.
This shamisen is in great condition with tightly fitting joints, tight skins and a smooth neck. with its medium-sized neck (chuuzao), installed azuma sawari (buzz) and angled hatomune it is typically used for Minyo Shamisen playing style.
The instrument is made from dark, lustrous, figured koki wood. This wood is used for the highest-class shamisen as it is especially dense and has a beautiful deep brown color. To set an optical contrast, I equipped this shamisen with a red-and-gold doukake. The classical stylized chrysanthemum design emphasizes the timeless beauty of the instrument. The bright yellow neo sets another beautiful optical highlight and lets this shamisen shine even brighter.
The dou is intricately carved with the ayasugi pattern on the inside. This is a technique used to further improve tone and is a special treat in high-class instruments. The dou is skinned with natural skins on both sides. Both skins are nice and tight and make the instrument sound clear and beautiful. In case you don’t have one lying around to use, I highly recommend getting a washi bag to protect your shamisen’s skin from humidity.
This neck is 27mm wide and 29,5mm high at the narrowest point. This makes the neck very comfortable to play because you can cross the fingerboard easily while having a solid mass of wood for your hand to work with. The fingerboard ends in a sharply angled hatomune – the part where the neck enters the sound box – which allows you to play up to position 20 and slightly beyond.
The installed azuma sawari lets you adjust the sawari (buzz) to your liking. This means you can switch it off completely (for modern pieces, pop/rock/metal genres or certain ensembles) and also have the perfect buzz no matter how high or low you tune your shamisen.
The tsukigata (the curved end of the tenjin) is in perfect condition, and the instrument’s wood has a beautiful reddish shade and beautiful grain. The neck is crafted in mitsuori style: It can be separated into three parts. This makes travelling with the shamisen very easy – even if you have to get by with light and small luggage.
The itomaki (tuning pegs) are made from ebony wood and are carved in a traditional way that makes them easy to grip despite their slender built.
Even the nakago (the part of the neck that stays hidden inside the dou) is polished and beautiful. This instrument is too beautiful not to be played!
All you need to add to your set to start playing are a koma, a bachi and a yubisuri. Depending on the style you intend to play and your personal preferences, you want to pick a certain kind of koma and bachi. Yubisuri come in different sizes, and I didn’t want to deprive you of the difficult yet fun choice between all the wonderful colors. I also recommend getting an adhesive dougomu or a hizagomu that will prevent the instrument from slipping off your thigh. Depending on your personal needs, you might want to consider getting a fujaku strip to mark the positions along the neck. Alternatively, you can mark positions individually or play without any markings.
If you need help with picking the right additions to this set, don’t hesitate to send a message and we will find the perfect match for you together.