Several weeks ago, I popped into a local second store that I frequent from time to time to check out various things of interest to me, to include Japanese classical guitars. Generally speaking, usually there isn't much of interest. This particular Saturday, I spotted something new on the shelf, with a tag hanging off of it that said K. Yairi. That caught my attention so I decided to have a closer look. I pulled it off the shelf and immediately noticed it had a kanji label. I had never seem a Kazuo Yairi classical guitar with a kanji label. This was indeed a rarity. I pulled out my phone and tried to locate a Kazuo Yairi classical with a kanji label online to compare, but I couldn't find anything. I took the guitar up to the sales guy and using Google translate, asked if this was indeed a Kazuo Yairi guitar. He confirmed it was but couldn't tell me the year it was built. In my experience, most Japanese classical guitars with kanji labels are generally pre-1970. The price was right, in fact I was a bit shocked at how cheap they had the guitar advertised for. I told the salesman I would take it. He disappeared to the back and brought out the case. Inside the case was the original documentation that came with the guitar. To say I was surprised as well as excited by this would be a massive understatement. I got the guitar home and removed the strings and cleaned it up. I took pictures of all the items that came with the guitar to establish its provenance. I brought it in to my Japanese friend/guitar playing buddy and asked if he could translate it for me. He said he would need to take it home and work with his wife and some other friends and it was written Kazuo Yairi's hand and was an older form of kanji not easily understood these days. Once the translation was done, I still had some questions, specifically, what the 11.4 on the label meant. I asked my friend what he thought. He said,"why don't we call the workshop and ask." My jaw dropped and I said YES! He made the call and got a receptionist, who ask him to hold. Within a minute, my friend was talking with one of Kazuo Yairi's sons about this guitar. The son had pulled out a ledger from the 1960s and verified that it was indeed built by his father as a special gift to someone. They weren't allowed to share the name. I had my friend ask about the 11.4. The son had no idea what it meant. He indicated to my friend that back in those days, they were not that concerned about serial numbers and such as they never thought the business would last as long as it has. The other interesting thing about this guitar is that Kazuo Yairi actually named this guitar "utzuki" which translates to April.
With all that said, I would like to present the 1966 custom built and named guitar from Kazuo Yairi, with all of the provenance.
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Last edited by William Byrd on Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:34 am, edited 3 times in total.
1969 Sakazo Nakade No 1000 G
1971 Mitsuru Tamura No 600
1977 Kazuo Yairi YC90
1978 Yamaha C400