Hosozao Shamisen Set “Suzume” – synthetic skins

  • hosozao shamisen (sao width: 25 mm, height: 27 mm)
  • made from shitan wood
  • fresh synthetic “Hibiki” back and front skins

also included in the set:

  • neo
  • doukake
  • strings
  • tenjin cap


Out of stock


“Suzume” is a beautiful shamisen made from the especially hard wood “shitan”. Suzume will make a reliable, durable and faithful companion.

The style of this shamisen is hosozao, typically used for Nagauta playing style. Because less wood is used in building, this kind of shamisen is more affordable than chunkier types and is very popular among people first trying out playing the shamisen.

The instrument is made from shitan wood – the top choice for shamisen building before koki emerged. The instrument comes with a modern dark blue doukake (soundbox cover) with a golden graphic pattern. The green neo (string holder) adds a friendly splash of colour to the mix. Also included in set is a set of fresh strings, a tenjin cap, and a dougomu (rubber mat). The dou is freshly skinned with Hibiki – the newest generation of synthetic skins with a warm tone that’s closer to the sound of natural skins than any of its predecessors. Hibiki skin is extremely durable and robust. In comparison to natural skin, you don’t have to worry about humidity or sudden rain when playing the shamisen outdoors (you’ll still want to try to avoid both to protect the wood though).

This neck is 25 mm wide and 27 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. You can play up to position 19 with this kind of neck. The fingerboard is in super great shape, and all the joints are tight and crafted really well (check out the pictures).

The tsukigata (the curved end of the tenjin) has a tiny nick – completely irrelevant to the sound of the instrument. Also practically invisible because it’s covered by the protective tenjin cap. The upside of this tiny flaw: it lowers the price for this shamisen 🙂

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 intricately carved and thus especially durable and providing a very precise fit.

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.