Taichi Yanaka

Taichi Yanaka

Although workshops like Tokyo Wagakki construct the shamisen frame, it is a separate craftsman who attaches the skin in a process called kawahari. Yanaka san is a master of kawahari, and when you order either a Beginner’s Shamisen or a shamisen from Tokyo Wagakki (Akatsuki, Raven, Starling, or Rose), he is the awesome person who both orders your shamisen from the maker, and expertly attaches the skins!

Shamisen retailer Kinji Katoh (of Shamisen Katoh) introduced Yanaka san to me in 2012. Because Yanaka san went to college at UC Irvine as well as joined his father’s shamisen business after graduating, we instantly connected on both California culture and our mutual interest in keeping shamisen alive and thriving.

He’s a wonderfully patient and generous friend, who shortly after we first met, even flew from Japan to California to help teach me finer points of kawahari! In 2014, we partnered to release the Beginner’s Shamisen (one of the first affordable shamisen at the time), and introduce the finest shamisen of Tokyo Wagakki’s to shamisen enthusiasts around the world.


Estimated Fulfillment Time: 2 Weeks


Yanaka san is very prompt with skinning, but he does go to Thailand for two weeks at the end of every month. So if an order comes around that time, please understand that it will have to wait until he returns to Ibaraki.