Need opinions on a shamisen I want to buy I'm new

Hello everyone, I just joined the forum. I've been wanting to play shamisen since I fell in love with Japaneses folk music a few years ago. Every time I've looked into shamisen I've found the videos and info from the Bachido community very helpful, so thank you guys for that.

I think i'm finely ready to make the plunge and buy a Shamisen but I'd like to hear what you guys think of the instrument I plan to buy. It has a broken old skin but i'm more fixated on the itomaki and space in the neck joints not sure if it looks normal. I Plan to have the skin fixed by Kyle and everything else i need from the store to get me started. If everything sorts out i think I'll buy it in the next few days, please look at the link and help me with some feed back. I thing it is a Nagauta im not 100%

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-JAPANESE-SHAMISEN-STRINGED-MUSICAL-INSTRUMENT-COMPLETE-/232301843276?hash=item361644d34c:g:bGYAAOSwTM5YwKrN#shpCntId

Oh and I just found a Bachi I might also get i've never seen one like it before think i should get it?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-Vintage-Plectrum-Pick-3-Musical-Score-Shamisen-Accessories-with-Case-/222448913348?hash=item33cafd0bc4:g:wwwAAOSwTM5Y0dlw#viTabs_0

Edited 2 times; last edited Apr 16, 2017 by Anthony Planer
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Hey peeps,

Welcome to the party, Anthony. I come bearing clarifications on some things.

It looks to me like you're receiving a Nagauta or Kouta Shamisen. The primary difference being the size of the body (kouta are a little bit bigger).

The gaps in the neck are due to it being a mitsuorisao; when properly assembled you will not notice them.

The itomaki don't look like zouge (ivory) to me. They're much more likely to be some sort of ebony. 60 year old ivory doesn't look anything like that.

That bachi isn't used for Kouta, by the way. It is, however, tipped with bekkou. That kind of bachi is primarily used for practice, and a friend of mine uses one like it for min'yo.

Kouta traditionally uses the tips of the finger or a special kind of pick (in your bachi listing, it's the white thing near the finger sleeve/yubikake). They're used as a teaching tool while you build up finger strength. I've never seen the term “rokan” used to describe it, but I'm very surface level when it comes to kouta.

You're also receiving a few books of Nagauta songs.

Anyway, Cheers and enjoy~

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So you also bought the bachi?

No one seemed to have commented about it but the tips are made of bekko I think. I thought this might be forbidden from entry in the US or Canada.

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That's fascinating, Christopher! I've never known a whole lot about how things work outside of tsugaru as styles go so sorry for the confusion. Thanks for clearing it up!

Edited Apr 21, 2017 by Ian S.
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So you also bought the bachi?

No one seemed to have commented about it but the tips are made of bekko I think. I thought this might be forbidden from entry in the US or Canada.

I did buy the bachi, and after you asked I did a bit of research. It appears that Japan has/had a import quota on bekko put into place in the 90's slowly scaling back every few years. I think now they can't import any more for manufacturing. I don't see any evidence of bekko being banned in export trade though.

Edited Apr 21, 2017 by Anthony Planer
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Uhhh! Really interesting!

But on some auctions sites, they put messages in red to warn you that there is some material such as bekko or ivory and that you might not be able to get it even if you buy it…

Thanks for the info. It's always good to know!

Edited Apr 21, 2017 by Jacinthe Ma
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