View Full Version : Anybody Speak Japanese?

09-19-2009, 03:18 AM
I have finally found a website that gives me information on my Aloha ukulele. Unfortunately it is all in Japanese. Two ukuleles with gold labels similar to mine can be seen on this website near the bottom of the page. If someone could tell what the Japanese script on the website says it would be much appreciated.


One is almost identical to mine except that mine has white binding on top and bottom of the sound box, MOP inlay around the hole, an extended fretboard, and a MOTS laminate on the head stock. The label in mine is identical. It says Pacific Manufacturing & Sales Co. Ltd. You can see my uke in my photo album.


The second ukulele has a gold label like mine in the sound hole, but it says Tokyo Stringed Instrument Mfg. Co. Ltd. It also has a coat of arms decal on the head stock with the words "Aloha Royal".


I think I can deduce from this that my ukulele was made in Tokyo. What I would like to know is if this is the Aloha brand that was associated with Ernest Kaai. I know that Kaai's ukuleles often featured an unusual head stock shape. This does not have that shape. I was wondering if this is the same company later in its history.

Regardless of which "Aloha" brand this is, the ukulele that I got is a very good one IMAO. It has a great sound and a very nice playable low action. I think it will sound even better when I get Worth strings on it. I really love it. If it were from the company that made ukuleles for Ernest Kaai it would just add an extra cachet. I also wish I knew what kind of wood it was made of. It is not koa. It could be cedar. I don't think it is mahogany or spruce.

If anybody can provide a partial translation of the Japanese script on the "kamakamania" website I would be grateful.

09-19-2009, 03:21 AM
oh Toyota, Mitzubishi, Toshiba! Shimabukuro-San, Guerrero-San. Gohan, Mizu, cafe, onna-no-hito, onno-no-hito, arigato

Well.. I konw some, but I couldn't read that... however!! GOOGLE CAN!

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fkamakamania.hp.infoseek.c o.jp%2Faloha.htm&sl=ja&tl=en&hl=en&ie=UTF-8 (http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fkamakamania.hp.infoseek.c o.jp%2Faloha.htm&sl=ja&tl=en&hl=en&ie=UTF-8)

Google has a translation tool, it can translate anything you want. So there ya go!


09-19-2009, 03:37 AM
I speak japanese, お肉の頭

09-19-2009, 03:44 AM
Thanks, Mike!!! You rock! :music:

Ahnko Honu
09-19-2009, 10:09 AM
I speak Engrish. ;)

09-19-2009, 10:55 AM
Watakushi wa Nihongo o hanashimasu. Demo, iniku watashi no Nihongo wa amari jouzu ja nai :(

09-19-2009, 09:51 PM
Okasan wa hanbun - Nihonjin to Yoropajin. Ricsan

Ahnko Honu
09-19-2009, 10:07 PM
Waa honto desu ka? Omoshiroi. Nihonjin wa zenzen mienai yo.

09-20-2009, 12:37 AM
I thought Google translation was an abomination, but you guys can runs circles around that website. AND bake an egg while doing it. Ah, ;) of course.

By the way, did Tsani get the info he needs?

Ahnko Honu
09-20-2009, 08:30 AM
Okasan wa hanbun - Nihonjin to Yoropajin. Ricsan

First time I read this I saw "Yopparaijin" :D

09-21-2009, 04:42 AM
By the way, did Tsani get the info he needs?

Ummm... Not yet...

I have not had a chance to try the Google thing since my son is hogging the laptop. :rolleyes:

09-21-2009, 06:03 AM
OK. See if this helps:

The mystery of aloha

The brand name Aloha is used by a number of manufacturers, and among those is Kamaka.
It is not known how Kamaka came to manufacture OEM.

This is an Aloha from around 1920.
The logo on the headstock says ALOHA above the crest of Hawaii, and under that it says HAWAII.
Behind the letters a ribbon has been drawn, this is similar to that of the Aloha Ukulele Manufacturing Co. Ltd. Below.
The label inside the body is the one used for Kamaka of that time.
The label says “Honolulu 19”, which indicates that it was manufactured before they moved to South King Street in 1921.
A pineapple model from this very early period with a label is very rare, too bad it does not have the Kamaka logo!

This is a 1930s Aloha.
The logo on the headstock is the crest of Hawaii with the letters ALOHA HAWAII under it. The label inside the body is the one used for Kamakas of that time.

This is a 1940s Aloha.
The logo on the headstock has the crest of Hawaii with ALOHA above it and HAWAII under it.
It is made of monkeypod, which is seen often in Kamakas of that period.

This is a 1950s Aloha.
Like the 1940s model, the logo on the headstock is the crest of Hawaii with ALOHA on top and HAWAII on the bottom.
The body is one size smaller than the Kamakas of this period.
(the pineapple sticker is not original)

This is a 1970s Aloha.
The logo on the headstock is the crest of Hawaii with the letters ALOHA under it, and no HAWAII lettering.
Judging from the way it is made, it looks like it was made in Japan.
Apparently “Duke Kahanamoku” as written on the body was a Hawaiian hero, a two times Olympic gold medallist in swimming, the first surfer to enter the Hall of Fame, and a Hollywood star.
What happened after that is not known, but his name is used on Aloha shirts and surf brands.
Judging from the mark that is written on the body together with “Duke Kahanamoku”, this ukulele was probably sold by such a surfing brand.
The lettering “Duke Kahanamoku” can be seen written on ukuleles by various makers.

There are also standard model ukuleles with “Duke Kahanamoku” written on them.

This is an Aloha with a 1973 date stamp on it.
The logo on the headstock is the same as the 1950s model.
The label inside the body is a Kamaka white label.
It is made of koa with a distinct tiger-stripe pattern, and the finish is even better that regular Kamakas.

It seems that this Aloha brand has three patterns.
Pattern 1: the brand established in Hawaii in 1918
Pattern 2: the brand established in Chicago in 1935
Pattern 3: the so-called toy ukulele brand

Explanation per brand as follows.

The Aloha Ukulele Manufacturing Co. Ltd. Was established in Honolulu in 1918.
At one time it became the Akai brand, and they went out of business when the ukulele boom was over in 1935.
The logo on the headstock has the crest of Hawaii with the lettering ALOHA on top and HAWAII on the bottom.
It looks like the one above, but there is a ribbon behind the letters.
(for some time it had HAWAII at the top, and the USA and Hawaii flags and the Hawaiian crest in the middle, with ALOHA and “Paradise of the Pacific” on the bottom)

The Aloha Publishing and Musical Instrument Co. was established in 1935 in Chicago by J.M. Raleigh.
Because the years match, we may suppose that the pattern 1 brand was taken over.
Furthermore, this company also sold Raleigh brand guitars besides the Alohas.
These are still wood friction pegs, so it must be a sample from the 1940s.
Like the one above, the headstock logo had an octagonal shape.
During the Aloha Publishing and Musical Intrument Co. period, they produced their own instruments but also OEM for various makers.
If we look at the body label, we can see it was made by Pacific Musical Instruments Works.

After that, logos such as the one at the top (Hawaii crest with ALOHA and HAWAII lettering) and those with the Hawaii crest and ALOHA on top and Royal under it, began to appear.

This is probably a continuation of the pattern 1 brand, but since it was not made in Hawaii the HAWAII lettering was changed to Royal.
The label of this ALOHA Royal says “Made by Tokyo Stringed Instrument Mfc. Co. Ltd.”, and in the Kamaka records it says that “Kamaka Japan was made by the Tokyo Stringed [Instrument?] Manufacturing Co. Ltd.”, so we know they were made at the same factory.

Recently the ALOHA brand is used for toy ukuleles.
This is probably because the pattern 2 brand disappeared and other makers began to use the brand.

This is a China made ALOHA AK-500DC.
I have done some work on the fretboard and the bridge.


09-21-2009, 07:51 AM
Thank you SO very much!!! You are awesome!