Masaru Kohno, 1965

Not only the most important luthier to emerge from Japan, Kohno is also one of the best worldwide. He was born in 1926 in Mito City, Japan, and in 1948 he graduated from the Tokyo College of Arts and Crafts with a degree in woodcraft. It was during this time that he became interested in guitar construction, and in 1960 he traveled to Spain to learn the craft. Kohno apprenticed for six months at the workshop of Arcángel Fernández.

His international debut came in 1967, when he was awarded the Gold Medal at the Elizabeth’s Concourse International Guitar Building Competition in Belgium. On the judge’s panel were, among others, Ignacio Fleta, Robert Bouchet, Joaquín Rodrigo, and Alirio Díaz. He placed ahead of legendary luthiers such as Daniel Friedrich in the competition.

This guitar was made when he was on top of his game just before winning the competition, in an era when he produced his very best guitars before he switched over to semi-lattice in 1969 from the more traditional spanish fan bracing. This particular guitar is in pristine condition, feels almost like it have been put in a time-capsule for 54 years, it can easily be passed off as brand new. It is also slightly shorter scale, 630 mm instead of 650 which is very rare for vintage Kohno guitars, combined with the renowned playablility of Kohno’s guitars makes this a very relaxed and effortless guitar. Body size is not reduced.

Action is set to 3,5/2,8mm with some room on saddle to go lower if needed. Neck is straight. Frets are like new.

Despite being shorter scale it certainly doesn’t sound small, very full-bodied sound and throaty earthy basses, almost cello-like combined with singing lyrical trebles makes this guitar outstanding in all areas.

It is mostly original, only tuners and nut are changed, they would be included in the sale so it can be completely original.

Tuners are Rubners top of the line Rubner-Roll with ball-bearing ends. Matching IRW buttons.

Included is also a handwritten note in Kanji by Masaru Kohno to indicate that this guitar is specially made for Kikue/Kikushi/Akie Yamamoto, in the year of 1965. Hardcase also included.

Scale length: 630 mm
Nut width: 50 mm
Top: Solid spruce
Bracing: Traditional 7 fan
Back / Sides: Solid Indian Rosewood
Condition: Pristine
Price: 3800 Euro


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