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Osamu Nakayama

Tuning Machine:GOTOH
String height:1string 3.0mm/6string 4.3mm

He was born in Akita Prefecture in 1941 and grew up in Niigata Prefecture. He began playing classical guitar in junior high school and went to Tokyo to study with Yasumasa Obara. 1960 he went to Spain to study with Narciso Yepes. He was inspired by a local guitar maker who criticized his own domestic guitars, and decided to study guitar making in Spain, where the guitars were made. His mentor, Yepes, introduced him to the workshop of Jose Ramirez III, which was then in the midst of its prosperity, and he spent nine years playing by day and training at night in a guitar workshop.
After returning to Japan, he set up his own workshop in Nagano, and his fame and reputation grew as his models were used by Yepes, but in 1979, at the age of 38, an accident injured both of his hands, and he gave up both playing and making guitars completely in deep despair. He moved to Kurume, Kyushu, and worked as a woodworker, but a 'bamboo guitar' that appeared in his dream became an inspiration, and in 2000, 21 years after he quit making guitars, he decided to make a classical guitar again, this time using local bamboo. After three years of trial and error, he finally produced his first guitar, which had never been made before. As Nakayama continued to make improvements, he began to receive more and more attention and acclaim from users, and the only bamboo guitar in the world literally became popular as the flagship model of the Osamu Nakayama brand.
According to Nakayama's own explanation, the bamboo used for the Bamboo Guitar is exclusively Moso bamboo from Kurume City, Fukuoka Prefecture, where his workshop is located. The bamboo is slowly dried in the sun for six months, then cut into thin strips and laminated into more than 80 sheets of 9 cm thick plywood, which is then processed into the guitar's various parts. The meticulous workmanship that went into making this guitar is impressive, both in terms of construction and acoustics. At the same time, the deep respect for Spanish guitars, which is his origin as a guitar maker, can be felt in his work, which is very appealing and has formed a dedicated fan base.

Osamu Nakayama's Bamboo Guitar made in 2009 is now in stock. The sound board is made of cedar, and the back and sides are made of Moso bamboo (the sides are covered with rosewood inside). The contrast between the cedar of the sound board and the bamboo of the body is also very nice, and has a special character different from that of maple or cypress. It is a marvel to see how this difficult-to-process material (easily deformed and cracked) is beautifully finished with near-perfect precision. The acoustic perfection of this guitar is also worthy of special mention. The internal construction follows the famous '1A' model of Jose Ramirez III. The clarity of each note and the sustain is amazingly homogeneous all the way to the high frets above the 12th fret. The momentum of the sound is reminiscent of the Ramirez, but the bamboo gives it a unique texture with the softness of cedar added to the hard, clear sound.
It is a beautiful piece with almost no damage and no repair history. The neck (also made of Moso bamboo), frets, and other parts related to playability are also in good condition. The tension of the strings is soft, which reduces playing stress in both hands.

InstrumentOsamu Nakayama
CategoryJapanese Classical Guitars 〔Used〕
Number/ModelBamboo Guitar
Scale length650mm
List priceINQUIRE
Price (tax included)Please Inquire
optionwith Lightweight Semi Hardcase

Click to enlarge the photos below