About replacing skin on a shamisen


i’m planning on buying a cheap shamisen from ebay that has both sides of the skin ripped, is it better if i replace the skin myself or send it to a professional? and if i do it myself where can i get noriko?


It’s not really something you can do yourself without the tools and expertise.


Kawahari usually requires a specialized vise to allow for proper stretching. I am not sure what one might do without the tool in question. As Phil implied, it’s better left to folks with the gear. But maybe @Kyle_Abbott can weigh in here?

Noriko, on the other-hand, is a pretty easy thing. It’s just rice glue.


Thanks for the tag, Mr. B!

That’s a good idea, Enjin! While it does require some special tools, it’s always worth taking the opportunity for building new skills and trying new experiences. :slight_smile:

As it turns out, I have full instructions for skinning shamisen in my book, Shamisen of Japan. This also includes step by step instructions about making all the tools and noriko (from rice flour)

Bachi on!


@Kyle_Abbott i have the book already but the thing is, where can i get noriko powder?


@enjin, the powder can be made from mixing ‘mochiko’ (sticky rice flour, often found at asian supermarkets) and water, heating it until it gets sticky. :slight_smile: