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HIROSHI TAMURA P40 in excellent
This guitar was made in 1970 by Hiroshi Tamura, one of the best
luthiers in Japanese history. Some experts say that he was actually the best
Japanese luthier, who collected many international awards for his works, even
more than great Masaru Kohno.
Its price in 1970 was 40 000 yen, which automatically means that it was considered as Very high grade guitar. It was distributed in USA in mid 1970's at reatail price $600+.
In 1969 starting (yearly) salary for a Japanese college graduate was 34 000 yen. By 1974 this salary was greater, but still less than 50 000 yen. In 1977 it was close to 60 000 yen.
Hiroshi Tamura was as skilled luthier as Masaru Kohno. Kohno simply was a better businessman as well as he simply had more luck in life. Kohno was able to take full advantage of his International Prize awarded to him in 1967. Hiroshi Tamura guitars offer to a player practically the same musical feasts as any Masaru Kohno guitars. In fact, during 1960’s and early 1970’s H. Tamura guitars were priced at the same level as Kohno guitars. For example M. Kohno #10 and H. Tamura P100 were priced 100 000 yen as they offer very similar sound quality. Masaru Kohno was also making models #5, #6, #7 e.t.c. which were priced at the same level as Tamura’s P50, P60, P70. In later years due to his (well deserved) international fame, Kohno guitars were simply priced higher, especially in the western world. Both Tamura brothers passed away in early 1980’s and didn’t leave anybody who would continue and fight for their “brand”. Hence Tamura brand has somewhat faded away, especially outside Japan. Until today, on Japanese second-hand market, higher models of both Tamura brothers, especially flamenco guitars, reach very similar price level to M. Kohno guitars.
This is a very high grade instrument, way better that many quite
expensive guitars that you might have encountered in the past and considered as
This guitar produces truly Spanish sound, with clear sweet trebles
and vibrating bass notes. All well balanced, and at very decent volume. You
will have a hard time to put it down.
Most Hiroshi Tamura P series guitars distributed in US in 1970’s
have developed a network of internal wrinkles within the finish. They often break
at the very top and create a network of hair-like fissures. It must have been
caused by light induced chemical degradation of at least one of the ingredients
of the original lacquer.
The lacquer used on this guitar is different than clear lacquer used
on the same guitar model made in 1969. On this guitar it is amber tainted (it makes spruce tops
look amber, but cedar tops in all shades of chocolate) and has a tendency
to develop internal wrinkles and fissures. This particular guitar has only few of
such wrinkles and several internal fissures, but they all remain within the
finish. All of them are really visible only at close inspection. All of these
finish imperfections are only of cosmetic nature.
This guitar had a few dents, with only one larger located in the
area normally covered by player’s arm pit. They were all sealed and
re-polished. It also has several tiny dents/abrasions along the edges of
soundboard, couple of very minor scratches on the back and 3 tiny dents on the
back of the headstock.
Without all these listed above flaws them I would describe
cosmetic condition of this guitar as excellent ++. That is because I have seen too
many Hiroshi Tamura guitars from that era, simply looking “ugly”. This fissured
lacquer never chips off the surfaces. It only looks the way that discourages even
It is very important is to understand what P40 really means. It
doesn’t mean any certain materials that were used to make this model. It only
refers to certain “value” of the sound quality and volume at the time guitar was
made. This particular guitar in 1970 was priced at 40 000 Japanese yen. Model
P40 distributed in USA in mid and late 1970’s was sold for $600+. But it wasn’t
the same guitar as this one. This particular guitar in 1976, only due to
inflation and different currency exchange rates, would be labeled at least as
Top: High Grade Solid Spruce Top / Lacquer
Back and Sides: Solid Indian Rosewood /Lacquer
Nut and Saddle: Bone
Nut Width: 52 mm
Scale: 662 mm
The action is set to 4.00
mm under E6 and 3.50mm under E1, with plenty of room on the saddle allowing for
the experiments with lower action.
This guitar is equipped with used fiber glass “Aranjuez” hard
shell case, very luxurious inside, but with some scratches on the outside.
Some important info regarding Tamura brothers
and their guitars:
Hiroshi Tamura Classical Guitar Model P60 made
in Japan by Hiroshi Tamura.
This guitar has a warm, mature voice that plays
The scale length is 658 mm.
The knut and saddle are made of micarta.
The neck is Honduras Cedar with an Ebony fretboard and Ebony re-enforcing
The top is solid Spruce with beautiful purfling around the soundhole and inlaid
banding around the sides and on the back.
The sides are Rosewood veneer, the turners are gold plate.
The neck is straight and there are no cracks or flaws in the guitar but the
frets show a small bit of wear.
Please email me with offers. Interested in
knowing more about the lutheir too.
gebwood 26 months ago | reply
These are very good
guitars. I have owned several. a friend of mine was a salesman for the Wilson
trading company in Ohio [in the 70's] that imported high end Japanese classical
and flamenco guitars.[Tamura,Kohno,Nakati,]
The Tamura guitars won many international guitar building awards in the late
60's. As a previous comment was made, the c series were flamenco [cypress
back], the p series were classical [rosewood back]. Many were built to the same
spec's and then graded for sound, which determined the price. A p-30 was 300
dollars, a p-50 was 500 dollars. The workmanship is exceptional. I have owned
at least 12 of them. I have not had one for several years and have not seen one
recently. They are becoming rare. I am still looking for the cypress body ones,
preferable a c-60 with wooden tuning pegs [like a violin], I could be
interested in all models for the right price. I am happy to pay what would be
considered reasonable. I do not believe them to be too expensive, just good.
tonookahid 58 months ago | reply
Tamura brothers were
Japanese luthiers living in Kochi-prefecture, Japan. They produced Classical
and Flamenco guitars from 1950s to early 1980s. Both of them passed away so
there are not many information now. Hiroshi Tamura is older brother and the
guitar you have was made by him.
The model on the label can be read "Jupitar" in Japanese language is
a flamenco model.
Usually, each model has number which we can know its grade. Classical guitar
has "P" but not sure for flamencos. Unfortunately I can't find on
For example, P-150 means the price at that time was $1500. P-40 means $400.
Current price for Tamura varies depending on the condition. You can find them
through eBay or Japanese auction site or other guitar shops. Sometimes I find
$4500 for P-150 and $400 for P-100. Recently I found P-40 for around $500 on
RitaFinn 41 months ago | reply
I have a Tamura that I
got in 1971, built in 1969, that is a full classical 650 guitar: not a Flemenco
guitar. It is one of the finest instruments that I've ever played, and I'll
keep it the rest of my life because of it's wonderfully balanced sound. It
works very well as a solo instrument, but particularly well in duets and other
ensemble situations because of its full mid-range and unusually brighter
basses. That's not to say that the trebles are poor: they are snappy and bright
if you play them so. Hold this guitar: don't sell. What a gem!
wa 37 months ago | reply
I have three Tamura
guitars: 1) A 1966 Flamenco with spruce top and Cypress back and sides. I am
the original owner purchasing it in 1968 in Okinawa while in the Navy. It has
wooden tuning pegs, now changed to a modern type with a better mechanical
advantage and it has had a professionally repaired midline crack. 2) a 1970
C-40 Flamenco with cypress back and sides and machine heads. 3) a 1978 P-80
classic in Brazilian rosewood back and sides and I think with an unusual lining
of cypress in the interior sides. This was a feature on some of the Ramirez III
guitars. None are for sale, as they are in unusually good, nearly mint
condition and they have a sound that is at least approaches the sound of some
of the best Spanish made guitars. The quality of construction is amazing. I
think that if your guitar is without major repair that it is going to be worth
over $ 2000 USD. I will eventually post detailed pictures on my site of my
three Tamuras as I can see that some will be interested! Take care of that
The Tamura Bros. are some of the first and
finest guitar builders in japan. I have a tamura P30 made in 1968
and signed by H. Tamura, my dad paid about 600.00 back in 1971 and now i have
found that the guitar is worth about 3,000.00. it is a beautiful instrument and
is made of rosewood. These 2 brothers were possibly the first to build classical guitars and took much pride
in the craftsmanship of the guitars they build. They are no longer with us, but
their instruments will be with us a very long time.
Hiroshi Tamura Classical Guitar
1973 Model P45
Solid Cedar top & solid Rosewood back and sides
Sound v loud and good distinction of notes
Condition v good
All original - including original hard case and hand-made wooden string winder.
Expert: twinb1201 replied 622 days and 18 hours ago.
The Tamura brothers (Hiroshi and Mitsuru)
lived and worked in Nagoya, Japan, producing superior classical and flamenco
guitars from the 1950s to the 1980s. Both brothers are now deceased. Hiroshi
Tamura guitars are rare and collectible. If your guitar is in excellent
condition, its current retail (replacement) value is approximately $3,000.
Ask this Expert a Question >
Hiroshi Tamura "P50" Cedar/Indian Rosewood Classical Guitar
- Solid Cedar Top
- Solid Indian Rosewood
Back/Sides with Cypress reinforced sides
- Ebony Fingerboard
- Lacquer Finish
- 52mm Nut Width / 658mm Scale
- Action at the 12th fret (Low
Hiroshi Tamura is known for creating some of the best production
guitars to ever come out of Japan, and since the 60s and 70s his guitars have
developed a devoted following for their concert sound and high level of
craftsmanship and design. The tone is powerful, reminding one of a
vintage concert Ramirez with a Japanese touch (the cypress reinforcements are
definitely a nod to Ramirez III in that respect). This Tamura is in
excellent condition for a guitar of its age, with no cracks or repairs.
This guitar does have playing wear and painted fret dots (see photos).
Hiroshi Tamura guitars of this quality and condition are becoming rarer and
rarer, so don't miss out on adding one to your collection!
To the group- please help. I am looking for
information on this builder (Hiroshi Tamura). I currently own a 1969 P-50 that
is an excellent instrument and I am waiting to take possession of a 1983 P-100
recently purchased. I have been scouring the internet for months in the hopes
that I would find something about him (and his brother who apparently had a
shop together on Shikoku Island, Jp.) and other than a few web page
testimonials, some old internet sales, and 3-4 postings on a Japanese CG web
page I have been able to find out little. I am interested to find out his
biography; who he trained with (in Spain?); How many instruments did he
produce; is he still building,alive?; You know, those sorts of things.Thanks
for your help.
I have been playing a 1968 Tamura P-150 for
thirty years and,in my opinion, I've never heard a more sonorus guitar.
It also has great projection.But, like you, I haven't been able to
find out anything about the maker, Hiroshi Tamura. If anyone
knows anything please pass on.
Just to let you know I just got my
"new" P-100. Excellente! I don't think it's really ever been played
so it still has a little of that closed new guitar sound. (No nicks, marks,
fret wear- no nothing except 2 wear marks where it was apparently sitting on a
guitar stand for almost a few decades.) Very balbanced sound- no dead spots and
it rings! Spruce/Brazillian-nice grain-nothing very dramatic; a little deeper
body than my P-50 and, as I was hoping, it has a wider neck at the head nut.
Also a much more contempory
shape to the neck- flatter & rounder (the P-50 is more "D"
shaped) Seems to have improved his overall building technic although the
lacquer is not as good (might be how it was stored & the environment) I'm
psyched! 3-4 hours every night after the baby goes to sleep- I might not only
open this thing
up , but I may learn how to play it as well.
Hiroshi Tamura guitars
were sold in late 60 & 70 ties at prices between 600 – 1500 USD. These
prices absolutely don’t reflect actual value of these guitars, but quite
beneficial for US buyers, money market exchange rates at that time. For example
the exchange rate between USD and Yen in 1975 was around 300 yen per dollar.
With current exchange rates the same guitars would be priced at $1800 -
$4,500.00. If these guitars were made in Spain their prices would be 3 times
higher. It is also worth to mention, that since spruce tops produce louder and
sweeter sound as they age, this guitar being 44 years old is a true gem.
If you are not happy with your purchase you may
return the guitar for a full refund. All you need to do is to:
1. Notify me within 5 days after delivery
2. Pack guitar the same way I do it, using the same box and materials
3. Ship it back to me within next 2 days
Another words I expect this “trail” period to
occur within +/- 7 days. Naturally guitar has to be returned in the same
condition as I ship it to you. This is simply honest offer for honest buyers.
My goal is to make your purchase as risk free as possible. I know very well
that spending $1000 of hard earned money is not emotionally easy undertaking
for majority of guitar lovers. I am sure that reading my feedback can ease a
bit your “purchase anxiety” but it still will be there no matter how hard I
try. Please believe me I have been “in your shoes” many times before.
P.s. If you'd like to
check my other posted on E-bay guitars click on the links below: