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

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

Eiichi Sumi

He worked as a master builder for Kentucky Mandolins before setting up on his own in 1993. His workshop is based in Nagano, Japan and under his own name he still builds Mandolins but also started making Guitars and Ukuleles too. I'm not sure how much he does now but he also had (and almost certainly still has), a number of "apprentices" like Atsushi Yamane and Yuhei Sunami working for him, (and if Sunami worked for him for 10 years having previously apprenticed under two other luthiers, can he really be an apprentice?)

Ookook

This is a Korean company started by Nicholas KS Park in 2008. There were factories in both Korea and China and different models were made at the different factories. Korea made the Quilted Maple, (Soprano, Concert,Tenor) and Spruce, (Soprano, Concert), models and China made the Mahogany, Koa, and Flamed Maple in Soprano, Concert, Tenor and Baritone. I say were because the website has now expired and they appear to have ceased trading, though the company was still trading in 2011?

UMA

According to the website UMA stands for Unidentified Mysterious Animal? Anyway they appear to have been founded in 2010 and have a factory making Ukuleles, and possibly other instruments, somewhere in Taiwan. On the Website it only officially shows a couple of ranges of Ukulele that come in Soprano Concert and Tenor, plus a Guitarlele and no mention of OEM but in the pictures of the factory it shows half built UMA ukuleles alongside Kala ones, (in what appears to be a mainland factory?) And in some of the exhibition photos there are full size Guitars as well as Ukuleles? Plus on the UMA facebook page there is a pineapple that does not feature on the main site

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