Japan is known throughout the world for finding harmonious ways of combining traditional design and aesthetics with modern ideas and technology. You can see it everywhere: in Japanese architecture, eating utensils, even smartphone/tablet cases and pop music.
So it should come as no surprise then that there’s Japanese electric guitars that have been hand-crafted out of wood following traditional carving techniques. Oh, and did we mention that you can order them online?
The Toyama Prefecture-based Inami Wood Carving Cooperative produces a wide variety of goods, all created using the traditional Inami-style of wood carving. It’s a technique that originated in the 18th century, using trees native to Japan, that has survived all the way up to today. If you’ve ever been to the Nikkō Tōshō-gū shrine in Tochigi or Tsukiji Hongan-ji temple in Tokyo, then you’ve probably seen this type of carved wood on banisters, screens, lion heads, and sculptures of gods.
And now, you can see it on guitars!
The Cooperative treats the guitars with just as much respect and perfectionism as the rest of its traditional products. Each one is made-to-order and one of a kind, taking around five to six months to complete. Take a look at some of what they offer:
▼ Behold the Lion guitar! Perfect for summoning ferocious beats. It’s the cheapest model they offer, at 440,000 yen (US$3,711).
▼ Next up is the Moon Reflection guitar, for when you’re feeling a bit more mellow. It’s only a little bit cheaper than the moon itself at one million yen ($8,434).
▼ The Bird bass guitar is next with a 1.5 million yen ($12,682) price tag. If you get this one, not only will your bank account be empty forever, but your friends will also never stop asking you to play Free Bird.
▼ Lastly, if your taste in guitars cannot be satiated by mere mortal instruments, then there’s the Dragon Sword. Sure, it may cost 1.95 million yen ($16,487), but think of it as just a small investment in your future as a rock god.
Just take a look at what happened to this guy when he picked up the Dragon Sword:
▼ Oh yes. I can feel the intensity pumping through my veins.
In all seriousness though, the guitars are all beautifully made. Here’s some pictures of the process they went through to create the Lion Guitar:
▼ First the “face” is sawed into shaped.
▼ Then carved with details.
▼ Then painted.
▼ And finally attached to complete the beast.
If your interest has been piqued and you have a couple thousand dollars lying around, then feel free to check out the guitar inventory page. With the power imbued into each instrument, you too will be able to lull your cat into a zen trance through the mere strumming of strings.