Asian, (not China), 21st c. small Manufacturers click for more

Asin Dasom Teardrop Ukulele
Azin Dasom Pineapple
China does dominate the region, (and the world for that matter), when it comes to Ukulele manufacture but there are an increasing number of workshops and factories opening up elsewhere in Asia, and still a few in business from the time before China became pre-eminent. Getting information on them can be hard as the websites are often difficult to translate

Azin Music

Founded in South Korea in 2003, there is a history on the website but its in Korean? so all I know is they make Ocarinas and Pineapple Soprano Ukuleles they call "Dasom" with a spruce soundboard, a plastic bowl back and a plastic fretboard somewhat in the style of MFC Ukuleles (Website expired in 2014 so they may no longer be in business?)

K Yairi Guitars

Founded in Honshu, Japan, by Kazuo Yairi who learned the art of luthiery from his Father and set up his own company in the late 1970's, after working in some kind of collaboration with St. Louis Music setting up Alvarez Guitars in 1965, (it appears this collaboration continues too?). Though it is a now a factory, its a small one and its output is mostly handmade. The output in mostly Guitars but they do make Soprano, Concert and Tenor Ukuleles in Mahogany and Koa too which sometimes include the branding Shin Dawn, (a Japanese Deity). They also in conjunction with a company called Begin, make a hybrid instrument they call a Kanai or Ichigo Ichie, (I think the translators all have a problem here, mostly they say its a "meeting 151"?), It is about the size of a Jumbo Tenor Ukulele, (47.5 cm scale) and can be tuned like one, but the official tuning is C G c g so it can be played using barre chords only. It has a narrower neck than a Ukulele to make barring easier and they claim it is the easiest instrument to learn to play. The other instrument in the hybrid, apart from the Ukulele, is the Japanese Sanshin, and this is not the only Hybrid attempt. There is also a 3 stringed version with a more oriental fretboard sometimes called a Sanlele. Kazuo died in March 2014 but the firms still continue managed by the Daughter and Son in Law

Thai Ukulele & Guitar

Not great branding but they are linked to the Thai Uke Shop and are handmade, (though there does seem quite a large output?) in Thailand, sometimes with a beansprout headstock logo. They make Supersopranos and Concerts plus possibly Sopranos and Tenors and I can't comment on the quality as there are no reviews I have found - there is probably more information on their Facebook page but I can't get it to translate

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