21st c. Luthiers from Japan click for more

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Ryukichi Hayakawa stream Banjo Ukulele Banjolele
Stream Banjolele (poor photo)
In being on the look out for nice Ukuleles I come across a few small, possibly part time luthiers from Japan who's Ukuleles I usually only see advertised for sale in music shops, and if they have any web presence it is in a language that is difficult for me to translate. Very often there is little information on them beyond a name and sometimes a brand name, however the instruments they make look very well made and worthy of note.

Atsushi Yamane (Guitars)

From Sano, Tochigi Prefecture he has been making Ukuleles since 2002. He studied instrument making at College and then worked for Eiichi Sumi before starting out on his own. He makes acoustic Guitars as well as Ukuleles, (there are a lot of dead links when looking for information now?)

Hirano Makoto - Makolele

Based in Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture and founded in 2009 he was formerly a delivery driver but left this to become a full time luthier in 2010. He is largely self taught and makis mainly Concert size instruments, with the hybrids around this like Super Sopranos and Super Concerts. His output was considered good enough to be the first prize at the 6th annual Kaiji Ukulele Contest

Ryukichi Hayakawa - Stream

Founded as a repair shop and based in Kunitachi-chi, Tokyo (I think), He is mainly a repairer of Mandolins, Guitars and Banjos but he does make custom instruments too. I have seen Banjoleles made by him and I think it suggests on the website he can or does make Ukuleles too. (The website is very uninformative even without translation issues!)

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