Help identifying a Shamisen

Hello, I'm following the community for a while but I still don't have my instrument, I was about to go to japan to try buying one, but I found this:

And since I'm working in Manila at the moment, do you guys think its a good idea? What shamisen is this one? Does it seem worth it?

Thank you so much.

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Hi Gustavo. Impossible to be sure without the measurements, but it looks like a nagauta shamisen. White koma looks nagauta too… Have you any other picture ? Good luck !


Thats the only pictures the seller posted, thank you very much for the help Patrick!!


Looks like nagauta, according to the sao. The bridge also looks like it. The dou looks like it's in good shape. But it would be helpful to request a picture of the whole instrument to determine the condition.

Edited Jan 24, 2018 by Chung Wan Choi

As the others have said, Gustavo: that is most likely (but not conclusively) a nagauta.

As Patrick and chung said, the white koma and neck look like what we'd expect in nagauta, but they're not a perfect indicators

It may also be: hauta, jiuta, yanagawa, or kouta shamisen, depending on the specifics of the dimensions.

Take a look at the skin.

Three things stand out to me: the relatively shallow skinning, the sheen of a bachigawa, and the two dots near the middle of the skin.

The distance a skin goes down the dou can tell us a little about the shamisen. We know it's not a futozao derivative, and we know that the last kawahari was done with aesthetics in mind - or that it's a fake skin, pre cut and shaped.

The sheen near the neck is a bachigawa. This would tend to rule out kouta shamisen.

You can see two dots faintly, near the middle of the shamisen. This is usually indicative of a cat skin - what you'd be seeing are the nipple holes. However, some dog and plastic skins are marked in a similar way.

I'd also be concerned about any possible neck damage and what the underside looks like, personally.


Thank you for the thoughtful help guys!! It was really enlightening!!!!
Thank you so much!!

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