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Masaru Kohno 1975 Model 10 Cedar Top Classical Guitar
In excellent condition
Scale Length 660mm
Nut Width 52mm
Indian Rosewood Back And Sides
Ivor Mairants writes about Masaru Kohno in his book "My Fifty Fretting Years" published in 1980.
"In 1963 I first met Masaru Kono who has since changed the spelling of his last name to Kohno. He then produced a whole range of excellent classical guitars from No 2 to No 10, and when my order was delivered in London in the autumn, Julian Bream happened to come into the shop and asked if I had any "new machines" I showed him the Kohnos and it did not take long for him to select one of the lower priced models (about 80 pounds), take it away, and use it in concerts. He tells me he still has it and uses it.
The people who still may be wondering what caused the Japanese to become guitar makers may well wonder how Masaru Kohno learnt his craft. Well, during 1959 he went to Madrid and presented himself at No 12 Jesus y Maria, the workshop of Arcangel Fernandez, and, through a friend who spoke Spanish, asked if he could watch Arcangel at work, Arcangel, being a most friendly and straightforward person, did not object, and so the visits began. Masaru Kohno would often take Arcangel out to lunch or dinner, and generally treated him with great friendship which Arcangel reciprocated. Between interpreters and drawings, Arcangel's work was carefully noted by Kohno, and after visits almost every day for about six months, Masaru had seen enough for his purpose, and left Madrid to establish his own workshop in Tokyo. Ivor Mairants relates the story below without comment as it was told to him by Arcangel.
Masaru Kohno entered one of his guitars at the Liege Concours National de Guitares which was held September 10-19 in 1967, and won the first prize for guitar making out of 31 entrants. The chairman of the adjudicators was my late lamented friend Ignacio Fleta (who died in 1977) and he told me that when he examined Kohno's guitar (which of course was unlabeled at the time) he thought it was very much like his own." (On the judge's panel were, among others, Ignacio Fleta, Robert Bouchet, Joaquin Rodrigo, and Alirio Diaz, Noted French Luthier Daniel Frederich won the Silver medal in the competition, a sale of a Frederich in 2015 brought $60,000 US dollars).
"Kohno, already considered Japan's best maker, studied in Barcelona with Fleta. Upon his return to Tokyo (1960), he buried the western stereotype of Japanese production by not showing the slightest inclination to merely make polite imitations of Spanish guitars. Indeed, he proceeded to challenge them for market supremacy. He developed his own "Torres" model, with a comfortable neck for hands smaller and less powerful than Segovia's and a strong voice with brilliant trebles and clear bases. It soon won the prestigious Queen Elizabeth prize for its tone. By the late 60's Kohono's guitars had won not only a worldwide reputation for consistent excellence at low price, but also a worldwide market for far more than he ever could produce himself. With the assistance of his nephew (Sakurai), he responded with a modern factory, which for the next two decades provided the world with a Ramirez alternative in quality. Kohno's segment of the market continued to increase until the mid-80's when a general decline in guitar sales, after an uninterrupted 30 year market expansion, restricted growth of both Kohno's and most other competing guitar makers. Similar to the situation in Madrid, where many craftsman can trace their origins to the Ramirez workshops, in Tokyo, many of the best independent guitar makers to emerge in the 70' were former Kohno employees."