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Question Japanese Classical Guitar (Lable Translation)

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4 Jun 2021
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Thank you for accepting me into the forum, I hope everything is well with you, family and friends.

I would like to ask for help to translate a Japanese guitar label that was given to me as a present. Could you help me with this issue?

Hope to hear from you soon and best regards from Portugal
Ricardo Antunes


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Abe Gut Handicraft

Zen-on Guitar Factory
Hokawa Toshihiko

supervised this (guitar) in July 1967

Abe Yasuo
It's a "factory" guitar, not something hand/custom made by a luthier.

(That said, most Ramirez guitars, for example, except for the top echelon, are outsourced to spanish factories.)
Seems like 阿部ガット手工品 was a brand for hand-made guitars. 阿部保夫 Abe Yasuo was a famous guitarist and the supervisor of the guitars, 穂川利彦 Hokawa Toshihiko was a guitar manufacturer, and 全音ギター製作所 Zen-on Guitar Factory was the factory he belonged to.

阿部ガットギターの中に阿部手工ギターというクラスが有りますが これは昭和40年代後半期 当時有名であったギタリストの阿部保夫が監製して、当時のギター製作家が製作したモデルのことです。
行田剛久、稲川明、田村広、植松昭紀、中島登,柳沢省一等の職人が居る訳ですが 穂川利彦もその中の一人です。



There seems to be another brand 阿部ガット準手工品 for semi-hand-made guitars.
As an aside: "Gut" would probably be translated as strings in this case.
Abe Handmade (Guitar) Strings

"Gut" comes from the English word for entrails (guts) and is a carry-over from the times when musical strings and tennis racket strings were made from the intestines (guts) of animals, rather than nylon. I guess the Abe company branched out from just making strings, to manufacturing the entire guitar.

Same for tennis racquet strings. Japan still uses the word ガット (gut) for racquet strings.
Sure, gut strings were once made of guts, are now exclusively nylon/composite (except for some purists).

Here, 'gut' contrasts with steel string (often called acoustic) guitar.

That this term is included on the label is like a bright flashing light indicating that this is a factory made guitar. (Well, also that it includes the name of the manufacturing company...!) Foreigners are in the dark as to what labels in japanese really mean, or reveal. I've had some inquiries before.

Take a look at this site for some trivia about ramirez guitars in the US, and the labeling trickery that's kind of famous. A couple of the posts are by known luthiers (Aaron Green, Richard Jernigan). I still own a C. Vega classical, tho it's been sitting on consignment in the US for years now. So what is the mythology about Sherry Brenner?
I found the definition of 手工品 (and 量産品).



So, it's not a fully-hand-made guitar, but not something like machine-made mass-produced products, either. Also, it seems like the material things, too.
Here's for 阿部ガット手工品.
thank you for all the replies regarding this topic. It was very useful to create the context for this guitar.
What I can add is that it's definitely a factory production guitar although is extremely well made and its all solid wood construction.
Most importantly for me is that it sounds great, specially playing Bossanova and Jazz, as very warm and smooth bass and mid but with a very defined high end.

Best Regards
Ricardo Antunes
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