After ordering the Akatsuki Shamisen, we finally received it around December 26th, 2018. We were so excited to finally have it and it is beyond beautiful. We un-boxed it, put it together, strung it up, and played with it for a little bit. Given the holiday season we didn’t really get a chance to play with it too much. It wasn’t shortly after that my face, neck, and arms were engulfed with blistery rashes that looked like poison-ivy. Thinking it could be some how poison Ivy, I treated it as such. Took photos to gauge the progress. As the rashes started to heal, others formed. It was hard to want to play the shamisen when covered in creams/oils in fear of damaging it so I have been pretty hands off. A few weeks later I am left baffled, confused, itchy with new spots and with 46 patch tests on my back from the dermatologist. I am hoping that it isn’t the Shamisen. It scares me even more that the Allergic Contact Rash brochure I was given literally calls out Urushi and furniture lacquer from the Japanese Lacquer Tree under the Poison Ivy section. I kid you not. My heart sank and have been feeling extremely sad since. Since I have to have these patches on for 5 days, I am going to try some isolated skin tests with the Shamisen tonight to really see if it is the cause. I don’t care if i become a blistery mess. I have to know!
My question to the community is this: If my Shamisen is causing an allergic reaction, what can I do??? Has anyone seen this happen to anyone else before? Do I attempt to strip the current lacquer and try to put on something else??? Is that an easy process??? I am reaching out now to start formulating what I could possibly do in the event it is the Shamisen :’(
I will post updates as I find out more!