Maruha Gakki Seizo Soprano 14

My no. 14 Soprano

Maruha Gakki Seizo Soprano 14
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Maruha Gakki Seizo Soprano 14

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Maruha Ukulele (model) no. 14

It was made in Japan in the late 1950's by Maruha Gakki Seizo, (Maruha Musical Instruments Worldwide?) A lot of this information comes from the label so is probably correct as far as it goes. The seller tells me that it came to him via California and has had a lot of restoration work done on it; certainly from the photos I can see it has new tuners. The seller also says that it is a handmade Ukulele from a luthier called Seizo Maruha(?) but I know it was made in a workshop/factory owned by Mr Fumio Hashimoto in Kurume, Fukuoka, Whatever the case it is a striking and unusual Ukulele with an arched back and I am looking forward to it arriving at Ukulele Corner.

It's here now and it is strikingly different! Apart from the headstock, which is obvious, the pressed arch back has no bracing. The overall finish is very thick gloss varnish, adding to the distinctive look, and speaking of thick, the raised fretboard is quite thick too, which keeps the action reasonable along with the bridge, which though similar is definitely not the same as any other bridges I have seen, and is properly saddled which is unusual for this type of Ukulele. As I said it does play nicely but the strings it came with are a bit naff so I think I will replace them before it gets much older