June 28, 13 | Chiaki Uzurahashi
"Wood Beat Studio" - Obihiro CityHave you seen a six centimeter guitar before?
For musicians who have a special place in their heart for a specific instrument, there is a unique workshop in Obihiro that can create a miniature wood carving for you to keep with you forever.
It's called "Wood Beat Studio" and it's run by craftsman Hideo Yanai.
▲Mr. Hideo Yanai from Wood Beat Studio. An acoustic guitar player who often plays shows with his band.
Mr. Yanai has spent many years as a wood craftsman, having originally studied carving bird themed accessories. He started playing guitar during his student years, and soon began to explore ways to combine his passions. He has been creating miniature guitars for about nine years now.
▲A sample of his works. They are incredibly detailed.
All guitars are made to order and are crafted by Mr. Yanai himself. He works from pictures of the instrument and, after studying the item, carves the shape from wood and colors it. He finishes the guitar by recreating the exact state of the real-world instrument, replicating scratches, peeled paint, and tinted sections.
The wood used is Hokkaido grown yew and Magnolia obovata. For guitars which need a paint job, he uses the white Magnolia Obovata, and for wood coated instruments like violins or double basses, he uses the yew.
▲An example of the photographs sent in.
"For guitars that are 20 or 30 years old, every scratch holds a story. I want to include each one so the owner has a true replica of his instrument," explains Mr. Yanai as he works on a six centimeter guitar.
▲Each guitar is just six centimeters long, a one-sixteenth scale replica. The paint used is water based, and many layers are used to achieve an exact color match. Fine details are drawn with a brush.
I asked Mr. Yanai about the different kinds of orders he receives.
One of the most interesting was for Sapporo Symphony Orchestra's principal cellist, Mr. Tsuchida, who played many charity performances for earthquake victims in 2012. Mr. Yanai was moved by the act and produced a miniature cello to send to Mr. Tsuchida. The bowstring was created using horse hair from the Obihiro Banei Horse Racing Track.
▲This is a reproduction of the cello created.
"It makes me happy to see my customers happy," says Mr. Yanai, who continues to create miniature instruments each day.
For those Hokkaido Likers who have a special instrument, or if you know someone who does, why not place an order with Mr. Yanai today? If you're interested be sure to check out the homepage below!
●Wood Beat Studio
※Interview from late May, 2013.
(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Chiaki Uzurahashi)
Photographs provided by Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer - Megane.