Extra accessories to improve your shamisen experience.
Saofuki 棹ふき (SFK-1)
The Saofuki is a microfiber cloth used for wiping the sao and bachi after playing sessions. It pulls away any dust or dirt buildup and keeps the sao sparkling! Recommended to use after every playing session.
Kase (Shamisen Capo) カセ
When playing alone, the main keys shamisen use are B, C, and D. Key of B if you want a lower warmer tone, key of D if you want a bright crisp tone, and key of C for somewhere in the middle. However, playing duets or accompanying vocalists can send you shamisen to the key of E or higher! Key of E is very high string tension and can cause strings to break easily. This is a perfect time to use a Kase!
The Kase operates the same as a guitar capo. When you clamp it to the sao, it raises the pitch of all the strings. Thus, it’s an easy way to play in higher keys while keeping your strings looser. What makes this Kase unique is that it also has a sawari screw! When it’s adjusted correctly, it allows your ichi no ito to buzz just as it would if it was an azuma/en sawari. (which can’t happen if it was a regular capo or barring all the strings with a finger)
Two sizes available: For Hosozao shamisen (referred to as ‘Nagauta’) and Futozao shamisen (‘Tsugaru’).
Fujaku 譜尺 (SF-1)
The hardest part of shamisen playing is the lack of frets, or other indicators to where the positions are. The fujaku is an adhesive plastic strip which sticks to the side of the shamisen. When placed correctly, the numbers on the seal line up exactly where you need to press the string to sound the desired position. This seal takes away lots of frustration from your shamisen experience. It can be removed when your fingers attain muscle memory so you don’t need to look at the numbers. Watch how to attach a fujaku.
Manyo: Advanced Moisture Control 万葉（湿度調整板）
Tired of another Washi Fukuro (the traditional rice bag used for moisture control) tearing like a tissue paper?
Save yourself the hassle and switch to Manyo! With a higher dehumidification efficiency, this thin woven sheet is infused with activated charcoal and is the best way to protect your shamisen from absorbing moisture! To use, simply slide the durable sheet under the strings after each playing session. It’s that easy!
Includes two Moisture Control Sheets.
Manyo Desiccant Pouch 乾燥剤
The purpose of the “Manyo: Advanced Moisture Control” sheet is to absorb moisture from the shamisen’s skin. Eventually, the Manyo sheet become full of moisture and not be able to absorb any more. (especially in humid climates) For this, the Manyo Desiccant Pouch is made to remove the moisture from the Manyo sheet, so it can once again keep your shamisen skin dry with maximum efficiency!
Eventually, the Manyo Desiccant Pouch will also fill with moisture. Every so often, place it in a dry environment (for example, an oven at a very, very low temperature) to dry it out.
Note, this is simply a large desiccant packet, just like the kind included with electronics (like cameras or cell phones). Although it is larger than the common small desiccant pouches, the purpose is the same. Theoretically, if you have a bunch of the smaller pouches on hand, you can just cover the Manyo surface with them and leave it for a day.
Yubikake (Machine Knit) 指掛け (YB-M)
The Yubikake is a tightly knit sleeve (made by machine) which is fitted over the index finger and thumb. When playing shamisen, the friction of your skin rubs against the neck, making it hard to play. The Yubikake adds a layer between your hand and the neck, reducing friction and making playing much easier.
One size fits all
Yubikake (Hand Knit) 指掛け 手編み (YB-H)
While similar to the Yubikake listed above, this Yubikake is knitted by hand. I find these a bit more comfortable than the machine knit Yubikake (which is tighter and takes a period of time to soften). They slide on easy and have a nice soft feeling! However, without the extra tight knit of the machine, they don’t have the same elastic-like stretch. They do stretch, but not enough to be one-size-fits-all.
Also, these are made with the two thick loops customary for Tsugaru shamisen. (However, you can use them for any shamisen, as long as you’re not conforming to a formal aesthetic :) )
Small: 3.2cm wide x 7.8cm long
Medium: 3.3cm wide x 8.0cm long
Large: 3.7cm wide x 9.0cm long
Neo 音緒 (NE-T)
The Neo is the tailpiece which the strings are tied to. It is fitted on the end of the shamisen.
Bachi Gomu 撥ゴム (BA-G)
The slick bachi handle can be hard to keep in position, especially if your hand is sweaty. Not good if you have an expensive bekkou bachi which can shatter if struck against the ground. Have peace of mind when you confidently wield your bachi with this rubber no-slip bachi grip!
Bachi Gomu (Nitta Recommended) 新田昌弘おすすめ撥ゴム (YS-O)
CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE. Please don’t add this product to your cart.
Sold as a pack of two. The regular Bachi Grip is thick, durable and looks great. The thickness does make it hard to put on, which is why Masahiro Nitta prefers to use this sleeve for a Bachi Gomu. It is cheap, very grippy and can be put on quickly.
Dou Gomu Shi-ru 胴ゴムシール (DO-GM)
The Dou Gomu Shi-ru is an adhesive rubber pad which is affixed to the lower-right corner of the dou (where the dou rests on your knee). Without it, the shamisen can easily slip off of your leg while you’re playing.
Bachigawa 撥皮 (BAK1)
This is an adhesive synthetic sheet which adds a layer of protection on the skin where the bachi strikes. In times of yore, the bachigawa was a thin sheet of cat skin. Now, it’s all synthetic.
Note: Bachigawa for nagauta shamisen are half-moon shape attached to the front end of the dou. Bachigawa for tsugaru shamisen are long rectangles that cover the front end to the middle of the dou.
Guitar Strap ギターストラップ (SR-1)
Be free of chairs and Seiza position with a guitar strap! Note: It’s most convenient to attach a strap by first installing strap buttons into the body (listed below). However, you can also attach the strap by tying sturdy cords around both ends of the strap. Tie one cord to the rindo (spike on bottom end of shamisen) and the other cord around the place where the neck connects to the body. With that, you should be ready to rock!
Shamisen Pickup ピックアップ
Annoying neighbors with an acoustic shamisen just isn’t as fun as it was before? With this new shamisen Piezo pickup, their earplugs will be no match for your electrified Jonkara!
Shamisen Keychain 三味線キーホルダー
Let’s face it. Your keys spend most of the time in your pocket and can’t see you play shamisen, so how can they know how cool you are?? Hook them up up to this shamisen keyring and watch your keys have a newfound respect and adoration for your interests!