I had inherited an old family violin years ago that had a label “made in nippon”. It had been a wall hanging for 50 plus years. Had a lot of rosin build up and fingerboard wear on the maple fingerboard. On a hunch I decided one day to take it to a violin builder to evaluate. Long story short he ended up restoring it to playability and it has been a good practice violin. So please don’t discount those old cheap instruments as trash or wall hangings. Sometimes they are diamonds in the rough.
I agree. I’ve always been impressed with the quality of workmanship from Japan. My research tells me that the label on this violin dates it to between 1914 and 1921. So maybe 100 years old or close.
The luthier doing the work told me that it was well made. Very plain wood with not much figure but well constructed. I just like keeping it in the family and passing it on.
I’m always amazed that these seemingly fragile instruments can stay around so long.