Faux bekko bachi identification


Regarding bachis with a white handle, is there a way to recognize a faux bekko from the real one? Like a stamp or something?
I am just wondering if there are faux bekko bachis ranging from “this is an imitation of turtoise shell at first sight” to “I can´t tell the difference” :slight_smile:
See examples below.

Or if you do own a faux bekko, does it really look like the first picture?
Thanks! :slight_smile:

Hi Stefanie,
that’s a great question! To me, the best way to tell wether it’s real or faux bekko is to tilt the blade against the light so so can see the surface structure. For faux bekko it’s just 100% smooth whereas for real bekko you can see super fine wavy lines (it’s suuuper smooth, too, yet you can still see them. Looks a bit like a fingerprint) which comes from how the tortoise shell grew.
From my experience, faux bekko is also always a bit stiffer. But without having a direct comparison that might be tricky plus also not as accurate as checking out the surface structure of the material itself :slight_smile: Bring your glasses! :stuck_out_tongue:
Would it help you if I tried to take pictures of what I mean?


Hello Su!
Whoa, thank you for the information! That is something I did not come across. Regarding bachis, I don´t even know when I will be close to one (be it faux or real bekko), so for now it´s just pictures… :confused: However, I would be delighted if you could send a picture, how time permits. I believe that would help :slight_smile:

Sometimes there is a sticker at the end of the handle. Check for it. Faux-Bekko is often described as “Neo Kou”, which in Kanji would be ネオ甲. Otherwise, there is often a Quality-Indicating sticker, like “Matsu Bekkou” (松鼈甲), which would be high quality real turtle shell.

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Thank you Andreas for tipping in!

Would it be something like that?

That little turtle-like image on the bottom of the sticker though…

As far as I can identify and translate, it means 一枚甲 (Ichi-Mai Kou) - One Sheet Shell. I would strongly assume, but full disclaimer that I can only assume, this is a Real Bekkou Bachi. BUT, like the turtoise symbol, it can also just be some fancy model name, so with the sticker the’re is no 100% guarantee :thinking:

So, I think best would be inspecting the blade. Here are my bachis, Faux (left) and real (right):

Faux have these decorative dark chips with clear edges. Where on real bekkou, they are more naturally arranged and smoothly transition into the yellow part.

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Ah, fancy names…
Yes, your picture makes it very clear. I was worried that there might be some faux bekko bachis that totally look like the real stuff, making it almost impossible to tell. So far, it seems that the faux, as you pointed out, have the dark spots with sharp edges. :slight_smile:

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Hello Stefanie

This one is most likely the real one. I mean the one with the label.
It is apparently a high end bachi made from a single sheet.
I had one like this, was my favorite until I have dropped it accidentally 8-(

Andreas would be correct in assuming this bachi is real bekkou. The 一枚甲 sticker is used for Takayama-made bachi (the supplier for the Yoshida Brothers). From what I’ve seen, Takayama primarily uses thicker, harder bekkou for the bachi blades, paired with lighter handles. This is apparently one of the reasons that the Yoshida Brothers use them.

The Takayama bachi that I have certainly follows this trend, though, admittedly, I’m not a fan of how rigid it is. I have a heavier, more flexible bachi that I prefer to use almost exclusively. Takayama might produce more flexible bachi, but none of the examples I’ve seen for sale have been listed as being on the softer end of the scale.

As Denver and the others have said, that sticker is a good indicator that the bachi is real.

While some makers bind two separate pieces of shell together to make their bachi, the Takayama brand prides itself on grafting a single piece to the handle.

Faux bekkou looks less organic and the patterns of shapes are infinitely more regular than the natural stuff. Natural bekkou may display clear shapes, but there’s always a certain randomness to them.

I posted the first picture I found of a sticker on a bachi as an example and did not expect to get so much info on the maker and its users :smiley: @Denver_Norwood - it´s good to know, I appreciate it! If there is a sticker, then knowing that ネオ甲 is faux bekko helps.

If there is no sticker, then @Brown - thank you for clarifying the patterns. It should be much easier to spot the material of bachi now. :slight_smile:

Just keep in mind that ネオ甲 is just one Brand of Faux-Bekkou. There may be more brands and names. If in doubt, just ask here on the Forum :slight_smile:


Hey there! Sorry for the late reply. Here’s the photos!

You can see how the surface has wavy lines that look like a fingerprint.


Hi Su! Superb photo! Yes, I can see the lines. Also it eliminates my theory that maybe only faux bekkou blade is cut in a straight line and does not “fade” into the handle.
Nice, thank you! :slight_smile:

I have two faux bekkou bachi I got from Yahoo auctions for under $100cad. (Like $70usd)
They are soft, flexible and give off a very pleasant sound. Unless you are a pro player with lots of cash I would stay away from real bekkou as you can put that money away for other swagggg haha

Two faux bekkou bachi? Nice snatch!
Where I live, I cannot buy a real bekkou bachi, it would be seized and destroyed and also I am for following CITES rules.
And as you said, unless I am a pro (which I am totally not), I am not looking to buy a real bekkou bachi. But I cannot deny that I would consider it if I were in Japan… :shushing_face: :blush:

Hahaha, it was pure luck I found them!
I just think the real ones are outrageously expensive. But I understand, haha. Me too.

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