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Aketa (Prima Gakki)
Topic Started: 11 Sep 2009, 08:58 PM (9,811 Views)
TheZ
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Multichamber Ocarinist
Stephen Bobchin
24 Jul 2015, 04:17 AM
I did not like my aketa, primarily due to tone. I think I gave it away.
The tone is definitely different. I have an Aketa SF, and I'm not sure if I like it or not.
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
I was actually thinking about mentioning that the tone is different when Stephen posted, but I couldn't think of a way to describe it... I mean, it's not necessarily bad, but it's... unusual.

Also, going to the post before THAT (ie before TheZ's), the doubles ARE heavy, aren't they? But deceptively low breath (or, at least, mine is, kind of).
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maximtomato
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is bad at playing ocarina
Amerred
25 Jul 2015, 07:40 PM
...the doubles ARE heavy, aren't they? But deceptively low breath (or, at least, mine is, kind of).
I'm playing around with mine now, and in addition to being heavy, it seems that the weight is distributed more towards the right hand, which makes it awkward. The breath requirement is indeed quite low. The thing practically plays itself!
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
And I return yet again with more info on Prima Maestro!

Today I saw this eBay listing. It's overpriced, but the information we can get is free. I'd reckon it's a soprano? But it does seem large for a soprano C... In any case, the box is different, and this one also has a different pamphlet (see the last two pictures). I wonder when/why they made these changes, or if Prima Maestro ocarinas were produced on and off at different times. It's unfortunate it's an eBay link and won't stay around forever (for posterity's sake, you know?). Maybe I'll save the pictures I'm talking about (the box and the new pamphlet) and put them somewhere permanent so I can repost them here...
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Roberto
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OcarinaJapan
Its a Soprano C made by Prima Gakki ( Prima Musical instruments ) before Aketa Ocarinas became in a Brand name for its own Ocarinas.

The model name was MAESTRO ( an Italian7/spanish Word that means Master/Teacher ) It was produced arroun 30 or 40 years ago in Japan I don't know exactly the year of production but is one of the most old Ocarinas from Aketa Ocarinas.

I have one Aketa's Soprano C I bought 20 years ago in Japan but is one made from Aketa's Brand. The next production after Maestro model.

The other ( Aketa ) Ocarina I bought in Japan was one of the finest models from PRIMA GAKKI maybe it has more than 30 years old and I think it was produced after the red one in ebay listing. Mine has the two logos, Aketa and Prima

The sound of Aketa's Ocarinas, specially MAESTRO ones needs a litle practice to produce a good sound ( not like actual Ocarinas ) because the production of Ocarinas in that time was Starting from cero so i suppose there was so many things and techniques to discover in ocarinas's production.

I added pictures here and in my Photobucket page.

Here's my Maestro Ocarina AC and my Aketa Soprano C Ocarina :


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Edited by Roberto, 28 Dec 2015, 01:52 AM.
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
Huh... And the plot thickens. Were they really some of the oldest ocarinas by Aketa if they were only from 30 to 40 years ago? I thought that Aketa was created earlier than that, around/after WWII. Or was that just the start of Aketagawa making ocarinas, and the company itself was created and began large-scale production far later?
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Roberto
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OcarinaJapan
Mr Aketagawa Takashi ( Father ) modified the Ocarina he found in europe as a kid's toy clay whistle until got a full chromatic 12 holes Ocarina in 1948 He made a patent for this PAT . Reg . No . 379907 in Japan. Since that time he dedicate to spread and let know people about ocarinas. Unfortunately it was a very hard work to do in Japan.
Aketa Ocarinas start producing Ocarinas arround 1950

Prima Ocainas start selling ocarinas made by Aketagawa as a musical instruments after the Ocarina was well know in Japan. Not exactly sure the date.

Source :

Aketagawa Ocarina and Art Museum

http://www016.upp.so-net.ne.jp/aketagawamuseum/about_ta.html
Edited by Roberto, 29 Dec 2015, 04:04 AM.
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
Thanks so much Roberto - I'm always interested in learning more about Asian makers, especially in Japan and Korea. There are so many, but even the most famous ones like Aketa aren't well-known in the west, or at least there isn't a lot of information readily available about the makers and their history.

Great video of Shoji performing, by the way.
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Roberto
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OcarinaJapan
Your wellcome Amerred !

Asian Ocarinas are very interesting and a special type of Ocarinas in the world in my opinion. Unfortunately the big language Wall make it difficult to let know the beauty of this.
Edited by Roberto, 30 Dec 2015, 05:29 AM.
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Luigi Tafoya
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Advanced
Awesome! c:
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Wulfthari
Transverse Ocarinist x 5
I haven't posted here for a while, but I assume I owe this post to Mrs. Aketagawa that at age 95 made an ocarina for me.

She is Aketagawa's widow and mother of Shoji, the model is called "Kazu" and she didn't produce it for many years.

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At work:

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Almost completed:

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Finished instrument with her signature:

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I also try to add a video with Mrs.Aketagawa signing the ocarina.

Shojo also makes ocarinas when he doesn't play:

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Besides the traditional models with moulds he also makes few "freestyle" ocarinas, like a contrabass called Manbow:

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And a G or Eb alto (Tsuchinoko)

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The brown one is the last evolution, the Daichi-no-Megumi.

Shoji also voices and tunes personally the new "J model", that are of course priced higher than the R and the Maestr/Maximaal:

http://www.aketa.org/J-model.html

Aketas are quite interesting as they were the first ocarinas made in the East, and recently I have been asked to translate an article from the Resto del Carlino that testified the visit a Japanese traveller in Budrio in the late 50s, who actually met Chiesa. He was a certain Susume Sakane, a director and a friend of Aketagawa. He bought a septet of ocarinas from Mignami.

That was the first exchange between Italians and Japaneses, but Aketagawa wasn't directly involved, later another Japanese traveller, Mr.Okashi, visited Budrio and Mr.Franco Ferri...he was a more important visitor as he is the CEO of Prima Gakki (distributor of Aketa) who imported few Italian instruments in Japan. Of course, also a good friend of the Aketagawa family, if somebody is interested there is a video on the matter and quite a lot of pictures.

That's the video of Mrs. Akegatawa:

View My Video
Edited by Wulfthari, 23 Nov 2016, 11:07 PM.
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Roberto
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OcarinaJapan
Thanks for share this great information here. It very inspiring to see how people no matter the age they have still making what they want specially Ocarinas.
Mr Aketagawa Ocarinas are one of the best and historical part of the Ocarina World.
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Wulfthari
Transverse Ocarinist x 5
Roberto
29 Nov 2016, 03:07 AM
Thanks for share this great information here. It very inspiring to see how people no matter the age they have still making what they want specially Ocarinas.
Mr Aketagawa Ocarinas are one of the best and historical part of the Ocarina World.
I received the Daichi no Negumi, it is an AMAZING instrument! The timbre and resonance is something I never heard in any other ocarinas I tried, it also came with a letter from Mr. Aketagawa that explained it was made with no mould, even if I suspect he used a core as the inside walls are very smooth.

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The way it vibrates in your hands is unforgettable...the only problem is that it puts too shame all my other ocarinas, excluding the Icarus and the Takashi triple who have another type of sound.

Due to the irregular shape it gives the impression that it's a sculpture more than an ocarina, and I wonder if this was the original Aketa and later Takashi switched to a more conventional manufacturing process with moulds, many early Aketas in their museum have indeed an irregular shape:

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Which makes sense as Takashi originally was a sculptor:

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Ocypode
Double Ocarinist
I wish to verify something about the subholes:

The subhole for low B seems to be in the same place as for most other 12 holes. But what about the subhole for low A. I imagine it is the small hole near near the hole for the index, but closer to the mouthpiece?
Is it simple to use in term of ergonomic?
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pandorado100
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Premium Poster
Is the subhole for the low A above the main hole? I had a Night soprano F with that configuration. I am so used to sliding my finger forward to cover subholes that are below the main hole. It was very hard for me to adapt to using it so I traded it to someone.
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Ocypode
Double Ocarinist
In this case, it seems to be under the main hole, which seems weird. I'm sure I would handle it after a time. But I am not sure if I got it right! Maybe there are subtleties with the thumbholes or who knows what. I haven't been able to find a fingering chart to check.

I managed to wrap my head around the fact that my Alto C Clacol, a Brudrio model and all other ocarina differed for the fingering of the two highest notes, so, managing the subhole should be doable.
Edited by Ocypode, 20 Sep 2017, 10:27 PM.
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pandorado100
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Premium Poster
This is a picture of my old Night Provence model. The right index finger subhole is located differently from the right middle finger subhole. Instead of sliding your forefinger forward to cover the subhole, you have to flatten your index finger and cover the hole with the second joint of your finger. I never could get the hang of that. I have heard that some Aketa ocarinas are also made in that same configuration. Perhaps you could ask Tom Vanopphem or Alessandro Cerioli about Aketa ocarinas. Tom is currently living in Japan and Alessandro has bought Aketas for his collection. They both usually hang out on the Facebook TON group rather than here.

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Attached to this post:
Attachments: NightProvencal_SF.jpg (37.3 KB)
Edited by pandorado100, 21 Sep 2017, 12:38 AM.
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Ocypode
Double Ocarinist
I think that answers my question!
Thank you very much. For the Facebook option, thank you for the tip, but I decided to stay clear of Facebook as long as I can help it :)
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pandorado100
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Ocypode
21 Sep 2017, 08:45 AM
I think that answers my question!
Thank you very much. For the Facebook option, thank you for the tip, but I decided to stay clear of Facebook as long as I can help it :)
Oh, good. I am glad my picture helped you. I can understand your reasons for avoiding Facebook. The TON group there tends to be more active than here though. Most of the TON members have migrated over to FB. I still like to visit here from time to time to see what's happening. :)
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