Andreas Preuss

Best known Japanese violin makers?

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Just curious to know how Japanese makers working here are seen in other countries in Europe and America. Probably not the names I would put up first. 

In this sense I don't count makers who are currently working in Cremona or the US.

Any comments on makers past and present welcome.

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I don't know if this is what you mean but Tetsuo Matsuda who lives in th US is pretty well respected.  I have a violin by him that is lovely.  I would add that my opinion and expertise is not of any repute.

DLB

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This is probably also not what you mean, but the best known and by far the most prolific, as measured by shop production, has to be Masakichi Suzuki.

What names would you put up first?

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Just now, Brad Dorsey said:

This is probably also not what you mean, but the best known and most prolific, as measured by shop production, has to be Masakichi Suzuki.

:lol:

Actually I didn't think that way, but absolutely true. 

I guess no one knows Kinpachi Miyamoto who is said to have sold his violins for a higher price than what Strads did cost in his days. (Before WW2)

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59 minutes ago, Dwight Brown said:

I don't know if this is what you mean but Tetsuo Matsuda who lives in th US is pretty well respected.  I have a violin by him that is lovely.  I would add that my opinion and expertise is not of any repute.

DLB

I was asking this question exactly for this reason: most well known Japanese makers don't live in Japan like Matsuda and Iizuta.

i was also wondering if any one knows those makers which are a kind of Superstars in Japan. 

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3 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Just curious to know how Japanese makers working here are seen in other countries in Europe and America. Probably not the names I would put up first. 

In this sense I don't count makers who are currently working in Cremona or the US.

Any comments on makers past and present welcome.

Well, the only luthier names I recall immediately are that Suzuki guy, Yamaha, and Stephen Faulk, but I could name a very long list of swordsmiths and polishers working in Japan. 

Oh, and Andreas Preuss, of course.  :ph34r:  :lol:

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14 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

Well, the only luthier names I recall immediately are that Suzuki guy, Yamaha, and Stephen Faulk, but I could name a very long list of swordsmiths and polishers working in Japan. 

Oh, and Andreas Preuss, of course.  :ph34r:  :lol:

PM me the list of sword smiths. I am interested.

The thing is that I think there are some terrific makers here who would deserve more attention and they are not those who are so much in the forefront in Japan. 

I politely stand back because I am not Japanese. However in a certain way I could be considered as a Japanese maker because I started my apprenticeship here (like any Japanese) then continued  my training abroad and came back (like many Japanese makers)

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38 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

I know the one called "Nippon": I am expecting you to tell us about the others, Andreas!

;)

Oh, you know even Mr. Nippon! 

Before I am going to dive into celebrating the work of my colleagues (always a good starting point for some trouble because someone will feel neglected) I simply wanted to know if anyone here knows someone.

But it seems (what I was actually afraid of) that 100 percent of makers here fly under the radar outside of Japan. 

There was for example a Cremona competition gold medal winner decades ago who should be known in one way or the other. 

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3 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

I made a comment and got two replies, all of which have been deleted. Did I do something wrong?

It looks more like the MN database had a roll-back.  Yesterday's PM's are gone, too.

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6 hours ago, Zeissica said:

Like Matsuda, Shinichiro Yoshika makes some very nice instruments, and lives in the US (North Carolina, last I checked). 

That's the thing. All Japanese makers who are well known don't live in Japan. We are gotta do something.

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Is the issue that players want European/American instruments. Or do they not want new handmade instruments at all?

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1 hour ago, deans said:

Is the issue that players want European/American instruments. Or do they not want new handmade instruments at all?

Here in Japan 75% is Cremona Business for a certain class of instruments. 

I find it strange that literally nothing is known outside of Japan. Post the same question with any other country and people here will throw out names and names eventually battling which maker s better. So far the name of the best Japanese maker working in Japan seems to be 'Mumei' (Japanese wor for 'no name')

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On 10/8/2019 at 9:02 PM, Andreas Preuss said:

So far the name of the best Japanese maker working in Japan seems to be 'Mumei' (Japanese wor for 'no name')

How odd that "Mumei" is the most commonly encountered swordsmith as well, the second most common being "Gimei".  :ph34r:;):lol:

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On October 9, 31 Heisei at 9:13 PM, romberg flat said:

I expected someone to mention Mr. Muneyuki Nakazawa, the maker best known for his "Tsunami violins"

Well, that got into the media. Makes me wonder what he had done without an earthquake of catastrophically dimensions.

Though I don't think he is a bad maker (I have seen his work not so long ago) there are definitely more prolific guys here. 

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Maybe it is time to  edit my picks, starting with the maker who trained me as a youngster:

Soroku Murata. Though he never got in the rank to win a competition he has something I truly. admire: his violins made in his mature period and later have an unmistakable handwriting in the model, execution and style. He was the first Japanese maker who passed the German master maker examination and later became the first to run  a violin making school in Japan in 1978.

Next I have to bring up the name of a maker from Korea who spent his whole life in Japan Heyern Jin who won 1976 multiple gold medals at the VSA competition in Philadelphia. 

Then there is a maker from the Murata-Kantuscher school who won a gold medal at the Cremona competition back in the 80s., Mr Nobuhiro Sonoda, who is currently the president of the JSIMA (Japanese Stringed instrument makers association) 

Takao Iwai also should be known outside this country. He worked very long in Cremona and returned now to his home in Osaka.  There are a few more Japanese violin makers who were trained in Italy and returned to Japan.

Last not least I should mention my fabulous colleague @Tets Kimura who worked in his past with Neil Ertz and is still making extraordinary copies. 

I certainly forgot a whole bunch of people who will chop off my head with a Samurai sword next time I see them. Maybe Tets can chime in? I am not too familiar with makers based in the Osaka region.

 

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6 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

Andreas, Were there any antique Japanese violin makers at all (i.e. 18th C), or since when have any violins been made over there?

Jacob, 

Masakichi Suzuki can really be ragarded as the first violin maker of Japan Before 1868, the year when the Tokugawa Regime collapsed, Japan was a country closed to foreigners (similar to Bhutan until recently). Trade was allowed only through the port of Nagasaki to a limited number of nations. So there were no early violin makers comparable to early American makers producing church basses.

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Thank-you Andreas. Did Masakichi Suzuki have an European training, or is there an indigenous “Japanese” school of making

 

I often feel sorry for violin “experts” in future centuries, since the old fiddles can be more or less divided into “schools” by working features, but nowadays there is only really “World Violin Making” where one in a hundred years will not have a chance to tell if a fiddle comes from Sprigfield, Ulan-Bator, Tokio or Pappenhaltenhausen.

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