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T Kurosawa & Co.


1920s Kumalae style B soprano Ukulele with modern replacement tuners
1970's Stafford Soprano
1920s Kumalae style B soprano Ukulele with modern replacement tuners
2010's Ilikai Soprano
1920s Kumalae style B soprano Ukulele with modern replacement tuners
2012 Mana Soprano
This is a large musical instrument reseller with a head office in Tokyo and still in business today. The history here is a bit patchwork but as far as I can make out Tsunesaburo Kurosawa is a Japanese Luthier who after studying for 5 years, set up his own label in 1957 making handbuilt Classical Guitars branded Kurosawa, (I have never seen a Ukulele branded as such though). By 1960 he was employing at least two others and in 1967 he opened his own music shop to sell Instruments including his, (by now factories), Guitars. Some time after 1957 he started to use the brand name Stafford on his Guitars, and also introduced Ukuleles into the range. He was another maker who based his instruments on Martins models, but not as closely as Yasuma so didn't get sued.

Stafford Guitars are still available today through his outlets, are made in China and have a reputation for being generally fairly low end, with a few high end Japanese made Kurosawa Guitars still produced. Ukuleles are no longer in the catalogue but from what I have seen I think the same could be said for the ones that were made.

In the past I have seen the brand Mana on the T.Kurosawa & Co. site. I have never seen it anywhere else so it is possibly a house brand, however it did say the brand was founded in 2001 and is made in Hawaii. The range included Soprano and Concert scale models in Koa and Maple, plus a Supersoprano and a Pineapple. It is no longer mentioned on the Kurosawa site now and I can't find any other mention of it?

There is now a Ukulele brand called Ilikai that they claim to be the sole importers of, and I believe this is now their Ukulele house brand. I'm told Ilikai means Horizon in Hawaiian and I have seen Soprano, Concert and Tenor models, plus Soprano Pineapples in the catalogue. I believe they are made by Artiny Guitars in China.

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