Does anybody know what type of shamisen skin this is?


Hi, I am hoping that somebody could possibly tell me what type of shamisen skin this is. I spoke to the owner and they said that this Nagauta shamisen skin is a natural dogskin hence the small dots being dog nipples, Does this sound correct? I will upload some pictures, Any help would be great! Thanks!


Hi! That looks like a nagauta shamisen. :slight_smile: If there are nipples, it could either be real cat skin, or possibly dog skin with fake nipple dots added. (In classical groups, cat skin is regarded as the “best” skin, and so dots will be added to cheaper dog skin to make it look like cat)


Hi Kyle,
(my shami) Is there any way to confirm if it’s cat or dog. I had a look with a magnifying glass and they’re slightly different sizes and rough to the touch and at least to my eye appear to be the thickness of the skin.


Howdy Neil,
It’s a bit hard to explain without a side-by-side comparison. I guess one way is by looking at the pores. Generally, dog skin will have bigger pores on one side of the dou than the other (not always though), whereas the pores on cat skin is a more consistent.

It the nipples look natural and feel rough, then I’d bet it’s real. I think the fake dots for cheaper dog skin are smooth and obviously pasted on at close look.


Thanks Kyle,
Yeah, the pores (roughness of the skin) become progressively larger as they get closer to the dou edge. Just like a puppies belly :sob:
Thanks again