DS

Daniel Schaublin

Brandon's hardcover book that includes 10+ stories is a collection of stories that's great for anyone interested in Japanese culture. It references a lot of stuff based on real Japanese translations that many people living outside might not know about, and can make you think sometimes how black cultures and Japanese cultures could go together if they could coexist side to side in the future.
SW

Steven Weber

attached image
After buying and playing on a standard 13 string koto, I knew I wanted a bass koto as well. The bass koto was everything I expected and more. It's taller (about 1 foot or 30cm longer), wider, and deeper than a standard koto. The strings are thicker as well, requiring a little more effort to position the ji and strike the strings, but the sound produced is well worth the effort. The strings are also yellow, which gives the bass koto an even more distinct appearance. Compared to the bright, shimmering sound of a standard koto, the bass koto has a deeper and richer tone with a fuller, more resonant quality. The two played together make an even more impressive sound, complimenting each other beautifully. My base koto came with a carrying case, a cover, a stand (which is the right height for playing in seiza position), and a tuning wrench. Overall, I'm very happy with my new bass koto, and see myself playing it on a regular basis going forward!
SW

Steven Weber

attached image
I recently bought an ichigenkin to further explore Japanese traditional instruments (I already own a koto). It is a very minimalistic instrument, with just one string, stripped of anything unnecessary while still maintaining a visually appealing form. However, that simplicity does not mean it is a simple instrument to master! The sound is ethereal and delicate. Suffice to say, you will not be disturbing your neighbors when you play one. Its unique and haunting sound was meant to help the player focus and meditate, not to entertain a crowd. Overall, I'm very happy with my ichigenkin. It's beautiful to look at, and very soothing to play. If you're interested in acquiring a ichigenkin, measure the diameter of your right index finger and your left middle finger first - the plectrum come in different sizes, and it's important to get ones that fits comfortably.
SW

Steven Weber

attached image
I bought a Fukuyama Koto after searching for kotos and only finding very low grade instruments in America, and mass produced kotos for export from Japan. Having the option to buy a koto made in the traditional fashion was a huge plus for me. During my research into kotos, I found a lot of sites commenting on how quiet the koto is, and ways to increase the volume. But much to my delight, I did not need to use any of them. The koto projects amazingly well, with clear tones throughout its range. It looks stunning as well, so it's both art for the eyes and the ears. Buying the koto was very easy. Brandon kept me informed about the status of the order and gave me a tracking number when it shipped. It arrived in a crate, very well secured and protected during its journey to me. I'm very happy with my koto, and I look forward to enjoying it for years to come!
Logo