21st c. Luthiers from Japan click for more

Kazuhiko Iwaki strings Factory Soprano Ukulele
Kazuhiko Iwaki Soprano
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.

Masami (Gami) Endo - Songbird

I believe he made his first Guitar in High School and after working as a photographer he started making musical instruments again in the early 1990's. He makes Guitars and Mandolins as well as Ukuleles but at time has gone on his output has increasingly focused on Ukuleles and he makes solid steel strung electric and cigar box Ukuleles as well as acoustic ones. He does some unusual body shapes for his Ukuleles and was apparently commissioned by Nintendo to make them a Pikachu shaped Ukulele in 2002
All of the information I have found is the result of computer translation so I can only hope is correct and any more information or pictures would be good too

Kazuhiko Iwaki (Strings Factory)

From what I can translate, (and I may as ever have his name the wrong way around?) he studied under / worked for a well respected luthier in Kyoto called Chaki before setting up on his own in 2015, (possibly in Kyoto too?) From what I have seen so far he only makes Sopranos.

Toshiyuki Yoshida (Stringed Instruments)

He is based in Inawashiro, Fukushima Prefecture where he moved in 2010 having started his own workshop in 2002. He started out in 1989 working in the ESP Guitar factory, leaving there in 1993 to work for the classical guitar luthier Shuichi Tsutsui and learn the art of Guitar making. He makes Guitars as well as Ukuleles possibly even more so as I haven't seen that many Ukuleles of his, and all the ones I have seen have been Concerts.

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