Hosozao Shamisen Set “Aiko”

  • hosozao shamisen (sao width: 25mm, height: 26 mm)
  • made from shitan wood
  • natural back and front skins

also included in the set:

  • neo
  • doukake
  • tenjin cap
    • strings


Out of stock


I referred to Aiko lovingly as the “grandma” when I received her. This shamisen looks very delicate and graceful, yet surprises with a strong sound. The style of this shamisen is (hosozao), typically used for Nagauta playing style. The neck is slightly warped but it does not affect the playing fun (I have to admit, I was surprised!). The neck is really slender, so I definitely recommend it for players with slender hands and fingers. Otherwise there just won’t be enough space on the fingerboard to play comfortably.

The instrument is made from shitan wood – a high-class hardwood traditionally used for shamisen. The instrument comes with a cute orange and red speckled neo and a fresh green silk doukake. It’s absolutely ready for its second spring with you as a companion! Also included in the package is a set of attached strings, a bachigawa, and a tenjin cap. The skins have good tension but some discolorations. The instrument has a full and warm tone.

This neck is 23 mm wide and 24 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 style.

The tsukigata (the curved end of the tenjin) is in perfect condition. 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 lower joint has a good fit, the upper joint is pretty loose. As long as the instrument stays assembled, it is not noticeable. Just be careful when dissembling the instrument because the pieces of the neck will come apart very easily.

The zagane are crafted in the old classical style to make them look like stylized flowers. They have partly been replaced on one side, which is usual for older instruments.

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.