Urgent Help Please!


Hi all,
I’m in a sticky situation.
I just got home to find my brand new Akatsuki, and in my excitement got Right to building it. I then realized as the Nakago was somewhat wedged in, I don’t know if I have it on the right side.
So far I’ve been unsuccessful in removing it as well.
Here are some pics: do I have the right side of the ripple? If so do I just have to finish getting the Nakago in there? And if it’s wrong, how can I remove it?

Please help! Thank you.


You should post this in the FB group Ian - people get notified quicker there. Such a beautiful shamisen man I was looking at it earlier. I’m sure you’ll get this sorted out soon enough.


Oh, that’s a good idea, thank you.
I did PM Kyle so hopefully he’ll see.


Hi Ian! Got your PM, but thought I’d write you here.
It’s actually simple to remove. Just hit it against the floor in this way. -

As crude as it is, that is the standard method for removing sao from the dou. :slight_smile:

To make sure your sao is facing the right way, take a look around the square hole of the dou. You will see an indentation of where the sao was initially fitted on. One side is curved which matches the bottom of the sao. Likewise, the other side has a straight indentation which also corresponds with the upper side of the sao. :slight_smile:

Even then, you might find the sao won’t fully fit in. It needs to be flush but that’s totally normal. Because the wood in that joint naturally shrinks over time, the craftsman make that joint incredibly super tight so it will balance out later on. It frustrates me though. It took me about a week of jamming the sao in, waiting for the wood to compress, and then jamming more until it finally fully fit in. However, mine seemed especially tight. Most people need to wait only a few days.

Because you will need to force the sao into the dou, start with the sao fully assembled so that you can grip it well. Here’s a video of someone setting up their shamisen. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGTBS7CHi7g

And yes, don’t be afraid to drop your weight down on it. It does take force to get it in. When it refused to budge, leave it overnight. Then, pop out the sao and try again. It should lower a bit further. Hopefully all the way until it’s flush. For me, it lowered a few millimeters at a time.

Cheers! :slight_smile:


Thank you for answering! Sorry, I just PMed you again before I saw this :stuck_out_tongue:
Thanks so much!


Ah, sorry, one more question.

I couldn’t really see an indentation, so, is the two toned side of the ripple the front, or is the more plain white one?
Sorry for all the confusion :s


Oh interesting! If there’s no indentation, then the more opaque side is the front. The semi-transparent is the back. :slight_smile:


Ah, thanks so much :slight_smile:

This is a beautiful instrument, can’t wait to play!


When I got my Akatsuki a few weeks ago I had to literally jump up and down smacking the dou into my legs until the sao would enter. I basically used this technique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seubQEsVsds but it was a lot more difficult than in the video :slight_smile: Ended with some nice bruising on my thighs…

I must say they really made it with precision…


Oh, geez! Haha. That sounds intense :stuck_out_tongue:

I wound up taking the flat end of the joint protector and putting it against the nakago and gently tapping it in with a hammer.
Little unorthodox, but it worked!