The style of this shamisen is hosozao, made for Kouta playing style. Kouta is usually played without a bachi (pick) – the strings are plucked with the fingers instead. Also, a wider kind of koma is used. Both lead to a mellower, quieter and sweeter sound. But you can of course play it with any kind of bachi and a narrower koma – that’s the great thing about shamisen: The building type doesn’t restrict you to one certain playing style.
The instrument is made from koki wood. Koki is the supreme choice for the best shamisen. It’s especially hard and heavy and very rare nowadays, too. The wood itself makes for the authentic ideal sound that Japanese are looking for in a shamisen.
The instrument comes with a beautiful silver-rose doukake in the classical Japanese cracked ice pattern. The rose neo (string holder) is a perfect match. Also included in the package is a set of attached strings, a tenjin cap, a bachigawa, and an attached fujaku strip (position marker). The dou is skinned with natural skins that will wrap you in the authentic and warm sound of shamisen music. The skin tension is fantastic, so the instrument sounds full and sweet!
This neck is 25 mm wide and 25 mm high/thick at the top and widens slightly towards the dou. It has an elegantly slanted hatomune – the part where the neck enters the sound box – which is typical for hosozao shamisen associated with Nagauta and Kouta style.
There had been a crack at the head and on the underside of the neck. That’s why you can get this stunningly beautiful shamisen for such a bargain price. The cracks are a common sign of age specifically with this exquisite wood. They have been fixed up (check out the pictures) and do not influence the instrument’s sound or durability.
The tsukigata (the curved end of the tenjin) is in perfect condition, and the instrument’s wood has a extraordinary sheen and a deep espresso color. 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 joints are crafted in an especially intricate way which requires master craftsmanship to carve.
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.
If you have any further questions, reach out and send me a message and I’ll be happy to help.
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.
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.