Safe to trim strings?


My strings seem slightly too long. When the shamisen is in tune, there is so much string wrapped around the itomaki that I’m running out of space between the hole and the wall of the tenjin box (I think that’s the name??).

Is it safe to trim an inch or so off the strings? The ends of the strings seem to dipped in metal or something (they are silver and stiff). Is this just to make it easier to insert into the hole in the itomaki? Or are the require to keep the string from fraying or something?



Hey there,

Yes, you should be fine trimming the strings - but to be honest, I’ve never encountered this sort of trouble. The only time I’ve felt obliged to trim strings is when quickly replacing them mid-set which has tended to lead to dangling bits near the neo. In regular circumstances, I’d rather have the extra length, since it means I can sometimes salvage a popped string if the break is down low enough.

The silver end is, in my experience, inserted near the neo, rather than at the itomaki. My teacher will regularly flip the strings to extend their lifeline, whereas I can’t be bothered to.