Looking for larger itomaki for Nagauta

Hello all,
I have a Nagauta Shamisen and I have a really hard time twisting the itomakis when I have to tune. They just feel small in my larger hands and cannot grip them. I was wondering if the larger itomaki from a tsugaru would fit and where can I get a set? Or maybe I can make my own?

You could build up the ones on it…sand them then glue and clamp strips on them to make them wider.

Wether you tailor a pair you buy to fit, or make your own from scratch, you can use the existing ones to match the taper.


Tsugaru itomaki not just bigger on the grip part. The hole for them is also quite bigger.
You would have to take quite a lot of material in order to fit them. Also the tengin walls are thinner and more prone for breaking if you apply to much force, especially on the older instruments, as wood gets crispy with time.
I broke one tengin myself trying to get tighter fit.
I would suggest to try figuring out what is wrong with the current setup.

There is nothing wrong with the setup. It is just that the itomakis are too small (thin in diameter) for me to grip and turn. Maybe if I had some kind of sleeve to put over them like rubber or soft plastic may solve the problem.

I see. The itomaki shaped like a cone. The amount of friction you have depends on how deep you push the itomaki in. I would suggest to pull the itomaki out and push it in to the depth deep enough to hold the string tension but comfortable enough for you to adjust.

I think he means his hands have difficulty gripping a narrow itomaki.

I’d make them bigger in what ever way you’re comfortable with in modifying them either permanently or temporary.

Yes this is exactly what I mean. Definitely need something wider to be able to grip.

Yes, I understand this. What I am trying to suggest is to reduce the friction in order to reduce the force needed to turn the pegs, so it is low enough to be comfortable with insufficient itomaki size but strong enough to keep the tuning.

I think one of the reason ebony is prefer for itomaki is because it get a good grip.
So the materials make a different.