My S. Yairi Era Lowden is home from the shop.

In 1980, Yves asked George (Lowden)’s permission to source a small and expert company to make the guitars under license, so they would be more widely available. George recalls “Thus began a five-year period when my guitars were made by the small, dedicated band of luthiers in the S.Yairi workshop near Nagoya, Japan. Visiting the workshop regularly to give the designs and check quality, I observed their craftsmanship and serious approach to work! I found them to be honourable and courteous, and I had the greatest of respect for their hard work and excellent guitars. I learned a lot about production and tools, and they in turn were delighted to be able to make original design guitars to this quality level. I also observed, what was to me, a new type of workmanship. I had previously thought that working to a high standard took a lot of time. However, I found that, with practise [sic], the same or better results could be achieved at speed, by working at a high level of concentration. They also took me to visit a tiny store in Nagoya to buy Japanese hand tools with their laminated steel and fantastic cutting edges – which were a complete revelation to me.”