- acoustic guitars
- classical guitars
Yusuke Kawakami's introduction to the world of guitar making came from his family. His Uncle owned a world-renowned guitar building company in Gifu, Japan where his father was the chief luthier until 2002. On graduation from university Kawakami became a corporate employee but his real passion was for guitars and wood working, and he started doing woodwork in a corner of his uncle's guitar shop on weekends. After he had mastered the hand tools, he moved on to make his first instrument: a ukulele. On completing this instrument he decided to quit his corporate job and work as a luthier.
In 1997 Kawakami met Jean Larrivée and was able to spend some time in his Vancouver workshop learning the Canadian techniques of guitar building, which were somewhat different from the methods used by Japanese builders. Kawakami returned to Vancouver in 1999 to work with Larrivée for a year. By the end of his stay, he determined Vancouver was the ideal place to pursue his guitar building career with its local availability of the best spruce and maple and ideal humidity for for building instruments.
In 2000, he returned to Japan to found the "Majesty" ukulele brand. From a workshop at the back of his home he made four handmade ukuleles a month. In 2002, he emigrated to Vancouver, Canada, where he now builds acoustic guitars under the Y. Kawakami brand.