ABOUT MASA AND MIKI INOKUCHI:
Master violin maker Masa Inokuchi and his son Miki have been handcrafting violins in Toronto, Canada for fifty 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 began making violins sixty years ago. In 1968, Masa immigrated to Canada with his young family. Since then, Inokuchi has collected maple and spruce logs from various regions of North America. This collected wood is cut and air-dried and has been maturing in a controlled environment over the past fifty years.
Masa Inokuchi crafts instruments without the use of modern technology, using only a tuning fork for guidance. Utilizing a method dating to the Renaissance, the luthier senses and feels the innate harmony of the wood.
Working alongside his son Miki, Masa Inokuchi has crafted violins and other stringed instruments for more than sixty years. He utilizes only Ameican tonewood, air-dried and aged for at least twenty-five years.
Uniquely, Inokuchi instruments are carved not only for thickness graduation but for tone graduation as well. Top and bottom plates are tapped with a full set of tuning forks and are then carefully graduated according to the unique qualities of each piece of wood. This process produces ideal tonal balance and harmony for each instrument.
It is Inokuchi’s belief that the Italian masters made their instruments this way. With no computers or electricity available to them, the great masters – he theorizes – must have used a method very similar to his own. Though Inokuchi’s method of crafting may seem like a simple, common-sense technique, it can only be performed by the most talented and experienced of makers.
Each instrument is hand-finished in traditional oil varnish. Miki Inokuchi has committed fifteen years to developing his own technique of varnishing. The result is striking and exemplifies the signature Inokuchi style.