2020 Update: AvailableAfter 130 years of making shamisen, the workshop 'Tokyo Wagakki' was critically close to ending business due to the Coronavirus. Fortunately, thanks to the support of the entire shamisen community inside and outside of Japan, Tokyo Wagakki received enough donations to stay open! Our deep gratitude to everyone who supported Tokyo Wagakki in their time of need!
When Bachido released the Eclipse in 2016, I thought we had created one of the most beautiful shamisen in the world. Is it even possible to make another shamisen better than the Eclipse? Well guess what, it is!
Built by the makers of Eclipse, our friends at Tokyo Wagakki brings mastery from their 120 year history to present you with another spectacular masterpiece!
Akatsuki ('Dawning' in English) continues the legacy of the Eclipse shamisen, bringing new advances in tone and playability that accentuates the shamisen's beauty.
フルサイズ (27 pics)
- Dou: Karin (High Grade) Size 5 (Tsugaru)
- Sao: Karin – Highest Grade (Tochi Tiger Stripe), Darkened with red urushi
Special Feature: Sao topped with solid, high grade kouki
- Sao Size: Chuzao (28.5mm wide) or Futozao (30mm wide) – Mitsuori (three-piece neck)
- Sao Shape: ‘U’ Style, ‘V’ Style
- Tenjin: Ogi Cut, Eclipse Style – Kouki extends from sao to tenjin.
- Itomaki: Nejiri (twisted) / Kouki wood joined with rosewood
- Skin: Hibiki (Black/White Synthetic) or Vintage Tone (Natural)
- Hardware: Azuma Sawari, Rindo, Zagane, and Kamigoma
- Accessories not included
Ogi Cut (Fan cut)
One unique feature of the Akatsuki is focused on the Chibukuro, the area where the sao (neck) connected into the tenjin (headpiece). The Chibukuro typically has a convex curve. In the past, this convex curve possibly provided extra strength to the joint. Nowadays, the joint is so strong, the extra wood doesn’t serve much purpose. In fact, the extra mass can look and feel cumbersome, especially when playing position ‘1’.
We want full freedom while we’re playing shamisen, so the Ogi Cut (fan cut) has been developed. The Chibukuro is skillfully trimmed. Sleek and convexly curved, this slimmer Chibukuro is incredibly beautiful and allows us to be fully mobile as we play.
Two Sao Style Options
This is the standard shape of the sao. You will find this style on almost all shamisen. The base of the sao has a broader curve, so it fits comfortably in most hands. Because it can feel thick for some, we recommend a Chuzao size (28.5mm wide) for this style.
If you are purchasing the Akatsuki as your first shamisen, the standard ‘U’ Style would be safest choice.
If you’re like me, you’ll notice the base of a futozao (30mm wide) can feel too thick. Even though the wide fingerboard is easy to play, the thick shape feels unnecessarily big. Because of this, I (Kyle Abbott) have designed the ‘V’ Style sao. (Note: the Akatsuki displayed on this page has the ‘V’ Style)
This base of the ‘V’ Style sao is greatly reduced, making the sao feel much thinner while still providing a full futozao width (30mm). The careful shaping of the sao brings out a subtle edge along the base. This is a very unique style, ideal for experienced players who want to fine-tune their playing experience.
Comparing Akatsuki & Eclipse
Find out what separates the 2017 Akatsuki from the 2016 Eclipse.
As you can see, there are several similarities between the two shamisen. We have brought the features we love most about the Eclipse and incorporated them in with the incredible new unique advances of the Akatsuki. Because the Toguchi Karin, Ripple, and master craftsman are the same, you can read more about them on the Eclipse page.
When I pulled the Akatsuki from it’s box for the first time, I felt an instant sense of awe. I stared at the beautiful tenjin for what felt like hours, marveling in it’s every perfect curve and edge. This sensation continues as I play it. The Akatsuki’s tone is clear and the resonance is deep. When first playing the Akatsuki, I literally struck notes slowly so I could close my eyes and savor the pure resonance from the Akatsuki.
It should be mentioned that being used to a standard ‘U’ Style sao, it took me a short time to adapt to the new ‘V’ Style. Within 10 minutes, my hand loved the new size! It’s a real treat to enjoy a full futozao width on the fingerboard while having the comfort of a slimmer base!
Honestly, I didn’t think it was possible to see a shamisen more stunning than the Eclipse. Once again, the master craftsman at Tokyo Wagakki have shown their prowess and abilities by bringing the bond of beauty and functionality to new levels.
To help you get started with your brand-new Akatsuki, I am including several learning materials for free!
- Bachido Shamisen Crash Course
- Premium Shamisen Course: Tsugaru Jonkara Bushi (Kyu)
- Premium Shamisen Course: Tsugaru Jonkara Bushi (Shin)
- Premium Shamisen Course: The Nitta Ryu Intensive Technique Pack
- Premium Shamisen Course: Advanced Kamashi
Note: A Bachido membership (free) is required to access the courses. To unlock the courses, please contact Bachido after ordering the Akatsuki Shamisen. Include the full name on your Bachido account, as well as your paypal receipt for the Akatsuki Shamisen. After your account and purchase has been verified, the courses will be unlocked to your account.
Purchase your Akatsuki(Note: Each shamisen is built per order. Please allow six to eight weeks for construction)
Please order accessories below the Paypal Box.
Get your Accessories!To bring the price as low as possible, all recommended accessories are sold separately. Find them below, and get cases or other accessories in the Bachido Store!. (The Akatsuki Shamisen is shipped from a separate dealer, and can't be combined with other items from the Bachido Store. Sorry!)
Bachido Doukake- by Kyle AbbottThe Bachido Doukake is hand-lacquered with a super hard resin and glistens with a "dipped in glass"-like appearance. It is very durable and will keep your shamisen protected while looking simply stunning! Prepare yourself for the oncoming compliments! Handmade in California by Kyle Abbott. Check it out!
津軽糸セットパック (IT-TS) Ito Set Pack (Tsugaru)
音緒 (NE-T) Neo
胴ゴムシール (DO-GM) Dou Gomu Shi-ru
譜尺 (SF-1) Fujaku
指掛け (YB-M) Yubikake
べっ甲調撥 (BA-BC) Faux-Bekkou Bachi
木撥 (BA-K) Wooden Bachi
プラスチック撥 (BA-P) Plastic Bachi
竹駒 (KM-T) Bamboo Koma
先骨竹駒 (KM-TB) Bamboo Koma (Bone Tip)
材質: 台部分 – 竹 / 糸道部分– 骨
忍び駒 (KM-SNOBI) Shinobi Koma
「静」忍び駒 (KM-SNOBI2) Shinobi Koma - Deluxe
Akatsuki Shamisen are built per order. Please allow three weeks for construction)
Return PolicyThere is a 90 day return policy (which starts on the first day of shipment) for the Akatsuki Shamisen. All returns are subject to a 15% restocking fee, and shipping costs must be covered by the customer.
We stand behind the quality of our shamisen with the highest standards. The Akatsuki Shamisen is made by the best maker in Japan and skinned with the highest quality skin in Japan. Thus, we will not accept "lack of quality" as a reason for return. Please be certain that you are ready to invest in the Akatsuki Shamisen before purchasing.
The Akatsuki Shamisen must be returned in new condition. Any signs of wear or damage to the instrument, whether from use or during shipping, will void the warranty. If this is the case, we will provide evidence of the fault, and the refund will not be given. If this is the case, the customer must cover shipping costs to have it sent back to his/her address.
We apologize for the strictness of the policy. The shamisen is a fragile instrument, and there's always risk of damage during shipping, which is why we wish to keep returns to a minimum.
DamagesThe Akatsuki Shamisen is fully insured from initial shipment to until final delivery. If the Akatsuki Shamisen is damaged upon arrival, please proceed with the following instructions to receive compensation/replacement.
1. Contact us within 48 hours of receipt notifying us of the damage.
2. Send us at least three photos: one photo of the full product, a close-up (or several) of the damage, and a photo of the package.
3. We may ask you to fill a “damage claims form” at your local post office for reimbursement purposes.
4. In most circumstances, we will pay shipping costs for your replacement. In special cases, we may ask that you pay shipping costs.
The skin of the Akatsuki Shamisen is guaranteed up to 6 months (starting from initial shipment). We will only request shipping costs to be covered by the customer. If the skin ruptures before then, please proceed with the following instructions to receive skin replacement.
1. Contact us within 48 hours of receipt notifying us of the ruptured skin.
2. Send us at least two photos: one photo of the full dou (body), and a close-up (or several) of the tear in the skin.
3. When we confirm the your Akatsuki Shamisen is covered for skin replacement, we will tell you the address of where to send the Akatsuki Shamisen dou (body) for skin replacement, and will request a specified payment to cover costs of return shipping.
4. Please watch this video to learn how to remove the dou (body) from the Akatsuki Shamisen Watch how to remove the dou.
5. When the dou is separated from the shamisen, please pack it tightly in a box, filled with lots of protective packaging to prevent potential damage to the dou during shipping.
6. Send it to the address we provide. Once it arrives, it will be reskinned as soon as possible, and then sent back to your address.
To ensure longevity of the skin:Keep your shamisen inside, in a cool, dry environment. Extreme heat (inside a hot car, for example) or cold stresses the skin.
Remove the koma from the shamisen after every practice session. The koma puts pressure on the skin. When the shamisen is not in use, removing the koma will increase the lifespan of the skin.
Play your shamisen often! The more you play, the better your shamisen will sound! Just like how doing yoga keeps your body flexible and limber, playing the shamisen often will keep the skin vibrating. Vibrating the skin keeps it supple and responsive. On the other hand, when the shamisen isn't played often, the skin will get brittle, and thus prone to breaking sooner.