21st c. Luthiers from Japan click for more

Morihiko Mitsuda Misuta tenor Ukulele
Morihiko Mitsuda Tenor
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.

Hidemaru Tsurezure - Isana

I know the brand is Isana Ukuleles but I'm not certain that the luthiers name is Hidemaru Tsurezure, I see the name Maruo linked with him a lot? What I do know is he is based in Osaka, Osaka Prefecture and that he started out making Ukuleles as a hobby at age 30. At 35 he gave up his job and went to Hawaii to study under Bob Gleason. When he came back he continued his training in Hideaki Urabe's Workshop before starting on his own with Isana Ukuleles in 2005. The name Isana comes I believe from a mythical Japanese deep sea whale and is the reason for the whale tail on the logo and some of the headstocks. He makes Concert and Tenor scale Ukuleles including a Concert Pineapple, and I have seen double G Tenors too.He is fond of animal motifs on his Ukuleles and this often includes inlay, position markers on the fretboard, shaped sound holes and carved bridges. In fact I have seen a series of Cat themed fairly identical Concert Pineapples featuring all of this.

Morihiko Mitsuda - Misuta

Based in Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture and he doesn't make many instruments a year. I'm not sure if Misuta is his branding of if its a translator error?

Tadashi Sato (Sato Masafumi) - Cotan Made

(I don't know why he has two names but I keep seeing it translated as such?) Based in Shiogama, Miyagi Prefecture he studied Economics at University and after 16 years working at this he changed career and learned musical instrument production at the Guitar Craft Academy (GCA). Currently he is a Ukulele teacher as well as a luthier and I think he started his workshop in 2013. He makes Soprano and Concert scale Ukuleles as a figure 8 and as a pear shaped teardrop in a variety of woods; he says he makes Pineapples and "Gourd shape"(? via translator) as well but I've not seen any.

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