21st c. Luthiers from Japan click for more

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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.

Hajime Sakai - Ancestor's

Founded in 2013, (though he does like to say 2004 when he first started making instruments), and based in Gifu, Gifu Prefecture he says "the kanji I use to write it roughly translates to “ancestor,” hence the brand name". He attended the Central Japan Academy of Musical Instruments and after graduating in 2004, he worked for some local manufacturers while moonlighting as a custom instruments builder. with his custom work taking off and being recognised as a fine maker in the Tokyo luthiers craft show he decided to stop working for others and start his own brand. He works mainly on spec and as standard he makes a 12½ fret, (to the neck), Soprano, a 14 fret Supersoprano, a 12 and a 14 fret Concert, a 14 fret Superconcert and a 14 fret Tenor; he does also do custom work outside of this but from what I've seen this is just extra decoration on the standard models, I have not seen Pineapples or extra string variants

Nagayoshi Junro - Juntla Musical Tone Works

He is currently based in Kyushu, Kagoshima prefecture. He attended the Gunma Prefecture Higher Technical College in 1997 and learned the basics of woodworking he also made his first Ukulele while there. After graduation he worked for Eiichi Sumi honing his craft then return to Kagoshima in 2004 to start the Juntla Musical Tone Works. He makes Soprano, including Pineapples, Concert and Tenor scale models and has made Concert Taropatches. Usually he put a small oval hole in the center of his headstocks, except the Pineapples which he gives a Pineapple headstock

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