Koki Minyo Shamisen Set | Chiharu

  • fat chuuzao shamisen (sao width: 30 mm, height: 32,5 mm; fingerboard: 28,75 mm)
  • style: Minyo
  • neck made from koki wood
  • freshly skinned with black Hibiki synthetic skins

also included in the package:

  • neo
  • doukake
  • tenjin cap
  • dougomu
  • strings


Only 1 left in stock


This instrument is a great choice for players with bigger hands that want the full versatility of a chuuzao shamisen.

I named this shamisen “Chiharu” (千春) , which means “a thousand springs” in the hope that it will make you feel the life and power of spring everytime you play! The combination of the black skin and the silver-gold doukake reminds of a sleek shiny lizard basking in the sun. It’s elegant and cool at the same time.

This shamisen has a wide neck for a chuuzao (medium neck) shamisen. You could also say it’s a slender futozao shamisen (wide neck). It sure is comfortable to play! The itomaki (tuning pegs) are also really beefy which makes Chiharu look and feel even more like a Tsugaru shamisen.

Wood: The instrument’s neck is made from beautifully figured koki wood – the most desired kind of wood in shamisen making at present.

Accessories: The instrument comes with a modern and very chic grey and gold doukake (sound box cover) and a cream white neo. Also included in the package are a set of fresh strings, a tenjin cap (head cover) and a dougomu. The dou is 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 means, you won’t need to use a washi bag to protect your shamisen’s skin.

Neck size: The neck is 30 mm wide and 32,5 mm high at the top and widens slightly towards the dou. The fingerboard is 28,75 mm wide at the narrow end. Its hatomune – the part where the neck enters the sound box – ends in a sharp edge that makes it possible to play up to position 20 and slightly beyond on this instrument.

Sawari (buzz): 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. There’s been a previous repair on the sawari – I guess the head joint glue gave up at some point and had to be redone causing a bit of a gap that was filled up (see photo). All is firm, smooth and well, and the bit is covered by the big string when the instrument is set up.

Itomaki: The itomaki (tuning pegs) are made from ebony wood and are bigger than usual for this kind of shamisen model, which makes them especially easy to grip.

More: The ebio (the curved end of the tenjin) is in perfect condition. The neck is crafted in mitsuori style: It can be separated into three pieces and makes travelling with the instrument super easy even if you have to travel with small luggage. The fingerboard is in tip top shape, apart from a small slightly rough spot (see photos). Be at ease – it does not affect the sound at all.

All you need to add to your set to start playing are a koma, a bachi and a yubisuri. Yubisuri come in different sizes and colors, so you can either match your shamisen’s look or have a colorfur contrasting highlight. There’s a variety of different koma and bachi you can choose from in the shop.

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.