Chūzao

Click to Hear Jiuta Music


Chūzao (medium-thick neck) shamisen. It is generally used for the jiuta genre.
A good all-purpose instrument - you could get by with it for most of the shamisen genres. Mellow-ish sound. Generally used with jiuta bachi and koma.

SJK - Karin (quince)
SJN - Kōki (redwood)

Hosozao

Click to Hear Nagauta Music


Hosozao (thin-necked) shamisen. It is generally used for the nagauta and kouta genres. Slightly smaller instrument all around (box, neck, sound, weight). Has the smallest range of notes of all shamisens. Sound is a bit sharper. Generally used with nagauta bachi and koma or kouta koma.

SNK - Karin (quince)
SNN - Kōki (redwood)

Futozao

Click to Hear Tsugaru Music


Futozao (thick-neck) shamisen. It is used only for Tsugaru folk music and for jōruri. Bigger instrument all around (box, neck, string thickness, skin thickness, tuning pegs). Big, bold, loud sound. Most commonly used these days withTsugaru bachi and koma.

STK - Karin (quince)
STN - Kōki (redwood)