A lot of my friends knows that I am a real fan of japanese art, culture and History. I think that even if my guitars are not really "Japanese-style", I needed to put a little thing from this unbelievable country in my instruments because I really respect it!
The humility and skills of craftsmen from Japan is just a real, hudge and respectable thing, and I try to follow this way in terms of "perfection-search" from the gesture to the result of my work.
Guitarbuilders I'll talk about are probably one of the kindest and Humble people I have the pleasure to talk, and they always are a wonderfull source of inspiration for me!
Michihiro "Michi" Matsuda, "Michihiro Matsuda Guitars":
Michihiro is probably, in my entire and small guitarmaker life, one of the biggest influence for me. I discovered his work when I was at school, and when I searched some great ideas for my third guitar. I found his "official" video on Youtube, and I've been pretty impressed by his philosophy, the precision and the peacefull ambiance of his workshop. His rosettes, the aesthetic way of his guitars and the ideas of this craftsman are totally insane, but in the great way!
His ideas for his "gunpowder guitar", his deconstructed ukulele or his harp-guitar are like, in the first look: "What happened? Why?", but when you take time to think about it, it 's like "ok, the idea is great, the work is perfect and the concept is awesome".
Like M.Ervin Somogyi said, "Michi is a true genius".
Ryohei Echizen, "Echizen Guitars"
Ryo has been apprentice at Sergei De Jonge workshop, and I discovered his work on Facebook, like the majority of the work I'll show on this blog. First of all, he is a really cool and talented guy (like everyone I talk about in this article), and the quality of his finish is simply stuning.
He is very open-minded and try a couple of great things on his guitars. The Wedge from Linda Manzer, the elevated fingerboard, rib-rest... but he ally this to old-school vibes, like the french polish for example.
|"The Wedge", a Linda Manzer technic|
And he have one of the coolest cat I have ever seen, because you know, I love cats ha!
|Like we say in Japan "Kawai Neko!"|
Keisuke Nishi, "Keystone Guitars"
Kei has been the apprentice of the great luthier Mario Beauregard. His "3D Rosettes" signature is wonderfull, and I love the way he make is joint beetween the neck and the body of his guitars. It is very difficult to do, and he do it perfectly!
He is not afraid to try some different things, like his last guitar... Quatuor spirit! His woods are probably one of the best I've ever seen too, always a shock to discover one of his new project!
|The last project: The violin inspiration|
|Nice guitar heads!|
|Figured Honduras Mahogany|
Ryosuke Kobayashi, "Ryosuke Kobayashi Guitars":
Ryo is the second apprentice of Sergei De Jonge I knew, with his fabulous carved rosettes. He opened his workshop in Japan after his apprenticeship, and his skills are pretty impressive!
|What a great Bridge!|
As you could see, his 3D Rosette and Headstock are pretty cool and it needs pretty good eyes/hands to make it! The entire guitar is really harmonious and there is no mistakes in terms of craftsmanship and color/wood harmony! His French polish is wonderfull too, like all the De Jonge apprentices I know.
|What a nice cutaway!|
Hiroshi Hirovich Ogino:
Hiroshi is one of the most impressive builder I've ever seen. First, he has been in apprenticeship with The legendary luthier Ervin Somogyi, just after Gustav Fredell. Now, he came back to Japan and built his workshop to create incredible instruments!
The first guitar he built at The Ervin's workshop is in the personnal collection of the master, just think about it... he is a real phenomenom and his carve-skills are just insane... it is probably one of the most impressive thing for me
|What a rosette!|
|What a lovely Endgraft!|
|Wenge is one of the best tonewood IMHO|
Yuuki Nishihara, "Nishihara guitars":
|I love this fingerboard|
Yuuki is the last Japanese Builder I discovered, maybe 1 one year ago. Well, right now, I'll sound like an old man who repeat all of his words, but his skills are impressive! He build acoustic guitars, in a modern way in terms of aesthetic, but always with pretty great tastes!
|This rosette is freakin Awesome!|
|Freakin' Brazilian RW set!|
Keisuke Fuji, "Fuji Guitars"
Keisuke probably build the most excited rosette I've ever seen. It's a mix beetween classical and acoustic style, I can't imagine the work it is to patiently build the wood patterns and assemble them!
|The Rosette Nirvana!|
In terms of lutherie, he use pretty great technics like armrests, ribrests, the work is always super-clean... a true model for everyone of us!
|What a great back with his ribrest!|
Kenji Okumura, "Okumura Guitars":
Kenji is probably one of the coolest guy I know! He live in London (one of my favorite town), where he build great instruments, and repair a lot of old guitars! The great thing with him is that he always ready to talk about Japanese culture and he use a couple of new internet technology like instagram, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter. He is open to the world and he share a lot of his repairs and pictures of his current work. He is a incredible inlayman, and it's always a pretty clean work when you take a look to the result, this "Sangoku" is just insane!
His guitar models are really vintage, and it I'm ppretty sure that they sounds better than originals!
|What a wonderfull Koa!|
|I love parlor guitars when I see that one!|
|Old style Rosettes!|
Well, I hope that you discoverd one of these fabulous guitarmakers, and that you'll go to take a look to their insanely work, they deserve it!
Again, if you find some language-mistakes in this blog, I am so sorry for that but I try to do my best everyday to improve my english. Yes, I could write this blog in french but I prefer to open myself to the world and that everyone could understand myself.
Sincerely, Benjamin Paldacci