Skin underneath the skin?


So I stumbled upon this shamisen on ebay marketplace but what I find intriguing is, that underneath the skin that seems to have peeled of, there is what seems to be another layer of skin?

Could that be possible? I have never seen this before, neither at Kato-sans’ Store nor at other manufacturers.


someone probably wanted to make a shamisen hybrid. or probably for an extra layer of protection.


This is how all the synthetic skins I’ve ever had eventually ended up.
They are typically made of several layers, and rather than tearing like animal skins, they tend to separate from each other like this.


Ah okay, so basically like these vegan drum skins that consist of multiple layers that are formed together by high temperature.

I think I’ll post an update if the instrument arrives, since I’ve seen the link has gone offline.

But even if the skin is not intact, 200$ for what seems to be a jiuta shamisen with a mitsuori sao seemed like pretty good deal to me. (strings, koma, bachi etc. included)


So the shamisen arrived today and it is as you said Gerry, the top layer of the skin has peeled off but underneath is still another firm layer that feels like cloth.

But the material feels pretty old and not like any synthetic material that I had gotten my hands on in the last few years.


Hello all, hope this thread is still active. I’m in a similar situation to Jan_Bari, my shamisen has lost the thick skin. The thin skin is still taut, my question is - could I leave it on and add a calf skin over it? Many thanks