In a way, this is almost easier because the kamigoma bar is set under all three strings. All you have to do is gently pry the kamigoma up, turn it 180 degrees and reset the barbs back into the wood!

Kamigoma for tsugaru-style

The only downside of converting a tsugaru-style shamisen is that the mechanical Azuma Sawari device will need to rest under the thick string if you desire the buzzing effect. However, this is doable as well!

In the Bachido Store, we sell professional grade sawari which you can purchase and install into a converted tsugaru shamisen.

Azuma Sawari (above) / En Sawari (below)

If you feel uncomfortable about drilling a hole into your shamisen, I would recommend taking it to a certified instrument luthier. They have more than enough skill to professionally install a sawari into a shamisen.

For DIY installation or by local luthier, I recommend using the circular “en sawari” which is much easier and safer to install than the rectangular azuma sawari.

And for those worried that it might be improper to have a shamisen with two sawari installed, please check out Niki Shamisen, a great shamisen shop where you where you can have your shamisen fitted with another azuma sawari for the purpose of playing left handed!

And with that, your shamisen is converted and ready to be played as naturally as brushing your teeth!

As you can tell, I firmly believe music should come from a place of natural comfort to express ourselves, which is why I encourage left-handers to play music with the hand which they’re most comfortable with.

Do you have any ideas about this? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!