"Shaula", an exclusive shamisen model designed by the artist Yoshitaka Amano, set for global release at 10 a.m. on November 10, 2018


Komatsuya, a leading wholesaler and manufacturer of shamisen products (address: Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa, Japan; president: Hideo Komatsu), is set to launch “Shaula,” a next-generation shamisen designed by the world-famous illustrator Yoshitaka Amano, at 10 a.m. on November 10 (Sat.), 2018 (Japan time). The product will be offered via Komatsuya’s mail-order website and Rakuten Ichiba Shop (or Rakuten Global Market). Shaula will be made available in a limited number of 400 units in two types: Nagauta and Kokyu (200 units for each type).

Shaula is made using Komatsuya’s uniquely developed artificial leather, printed with a character designed by Yoshitaka Amano. This collaboration with Mr. Amano, who enjoys tremendous international popularity, will become the shamisen manufacturer’s first global business venture, one long-awaited by the industry as a whole.

Payments via the mail-order websites are to be made using credit cards and the PayPal-ready Rakuten Global Market with an eye to increasing purchases by international customers, aiming to boost Komatsuya’s international sales to 70% of its total sales.

Please see the following press release for details.

PDF "Shaula", an exclusive shamisen model designed by the artist Yoshitaka Amano, set for global release at 10 a.m. on November 10, 2018, in a limited number of 400 units.To celebrate the model’s release, 400 Shaula fans will also be made available.

Product description of Shaula shamisen

Release date and time: 10 a.m. on November 10, 2018
Available via:
Komatsuya’s mail-order website (English):
Komatsuya Rakuten Global Market:

Price and number of units:
Premium model(Kokyu): 400,000 yen (w/o tax), 200 only
Luxury model(Nagauta): 3,000,000 yen (w/o tax), 200 only

Please order Luxury models from the contact.

Type: Nagauta and Kokyu
Material of itomaki (pegs): Acrylic
Accessories: Neo (string holder at the bottom of the shamisen), ito (strings), and koma (bridge)
Feature: Use of artificial skin ripple for shamisen
Sold as Japanese-made traditional crafts

About the character Shaula

“Shaula” refers to the star of Lambda Scorpii. When asking Yoshitaka Amano to create an illustration for the shamisen, Komatsuya explained that the shamisen was originally designed based on the image of women. Inspired by this idea, Mr. Amano finished the illustration with exceptional speed in just two months. The beautiful character in a red dress, reminiscent of Scorpius, was named Shaula. You cannot help but imagine the figure of a brave Shaula breaking loose from the two-dimensional plane and flying into the limitless world.
*The shamisen’s tenjin (curved piece at the top of the instrument) represents an old hairstyle of Japanese women, and the itomaki (pegs) represent hairpins.

Profile of Yoshitaka Amano

Born in 1952, Yoshitaka Amano was hired by Tatsunoko Production to design characters for many blockbuster animation series such as “Yatterman” and “Science Ninja Team Gatchaman.” He has had a powerful impact on the world of SF and fantasy art since publishing a series of illustrations with Twilight Worlds in 1981. He then gained immense popularity among younger generations by designing the visual concept of the Final Fantasy video game series, which was first released in 1987. He held personal exhibitions in New York in 1997 and 1999, as well as in London, Paris, and Southern France in 2002. The well-received personal exhibition “Yoshitaka Amano – The World Beyond Your Imagination,” held from 2014 to 2017 all over Japan, was updated and reprised in Sunshine City (Ikebukuro, Tokyo), from August to September of 2018. The exhibition displayed the original drawings of Final Fantasy and exclusive videos on an unprecedented scale.