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Masa and Miki

Masa Inokuchi & Miki Inokuchi Tradition continues...

Master violin maker Masa Inokuchi and his son Miki has been handcrafting violins in Toronto, Canada for 50 years. Instrument making has been a tradition in the Inokuchi family for the past three generations beginning with the making of classical guitars in Japan by Masa Inokuchi and his Father-in-law, Motaro Iwashita.

Primary self-taught, Masa Inokuchi started making violins 60 years ago. In 1968, Masa immigrated to Canada with his young family. Mindful of Canada’s flag, that it symbolized a Maple Leaf. Maple that is used in the making of violin family instruments. Since then, Inokuchi has traveled in search of and collected Maple and Spruce logs from various regions of North America. The collected wood was cut and prepared to be air-dried, and then have been maturing in a controlled environment for the past 50 years.

Inokuchi instruments are carved not only for their thickness graduation but for their tone graduation as well. Top and bottom plates are tapped with a full set of tuning forks and carefully graduated according to the unique qualities and characteristics inherited in each piece of wood. This process produces the most ideal tonal balance and harmony of each and every instrument. It is Inokuchi’s belief that all of the Old Italian Masters had made their instruments this way. When no computers or even electricity was available to them to carry out a scientific approach to violin making. What seems like a very simple and common-sense technique is in fact, a feat only possible by the most talented and experienced makers.

Each instrument is hand finished in traditional oil varnish. Miki Inokuchi has committed 15 years to develop truly his own technique of varnishing. The result is striking and exemplifies the signature Inokuchi finish. With subtle shading of rich red-brown varnish over a pleasing golden-yellow ground. With Miki’s varnish technique, individuality is expressed with all instruments having

“naturally aged” appearance without the purposely “antiqued” fabricated look. Miki also does work for other music stores, providing set-up services for their string instruments. Having experience and skill of cutting literally thousands of bridges, setting sound-posts, etc, Miki sets up each instrument to produce it’s optimal “Inokuchi Sound”, exceptionally balanced quality of sound and ease of play.

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