21st c. Luthiers from Japan click for more

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Shuichi Koyama slackworks ukulele
In being on the look out for nice Ukuleles I come across a few small, possibly part time luthiers from Japan who's Ukuleles I usually only see advertised for sale in music shops, and if they have any web presence it is in a language that is difficult for me to translate. Very often there is little information on them beyond a name and sometimes a brand name, however the instruments they make look very well made and worthy of note.

Shuichi Koyama - Slackworks

Lots of problems here as the website is untranslatable (by computers), the pictures are all very small and it appears to have been abandoned in 2007, having been started in 2004? I think from the links he was based in Tokyo but I really need more information

Norikazu Matsui

He learned the art of luthiery from Kazuo Tamura starting in 1992 and took over his business in 2005. The site is in Japanese so I have to attempt to translate. I think he makes all sizes of Ukulele, including the super scales, (but I have not seen a Baritone), in a variety of woods. The site also suggests there is a 6 month waiting list for a Custom model His Ukuleles have a stylised crown as a headstock logo and all the ones I have seen have fret markers running down the side of the fretboard rather than the center.

Shun Yamazaki - YGK

Based in Machida, Tokyo and from the translators I gather that he learned to make Guitars at College and from College he set up the Yamazaki Guitar Workshop a "few years" before 2007. He went on to make Ukuleles as well (and now appears to make predominantly Ukuleles though he still does make the odd electric and acoustic Guitar) On the Ukuleles since around 2007 he has branded them Sofia by YGK (sometimes on the back of the headstock if he has put something else on the front) and seems to make mainly Concerts though I have seen Sopranos and Tenors as well, (before 2007 I'm not sure they were branded? I have only seen small pictures) He also makes cigar box Ukuleles and has possibly made solid body electric Ukuleles in the past too?

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