Highlights of the prolific career of revered illustrator Yoshitaka Amano include lending his beautiful combination of Art Noveau inspiration and traditional Japanese brushwork to iconic titles such as the Final Fantasy series and Vampire Hunter D. The world famous artist has taken on some quite surprising side projects along the way, however, including a beautiful Cinderella picture book and other renditions of European and Japanese fairy tales. Now Amano has lent his elegant artistic touch to a shamisen he helped design with an original female ninja character!

Amano's design is featured in a collaboration with shamisen manufacturer and distributor Komatsuya, and the shamisen's title shares the same name as the original character displayed on it. The character is a kunoichi, or female ninja, that Amano has given the name Shaula--inspired by the Lambda Scorpii star system, as can be seen by the flowing red dress that turns into a scorpion's tail. Amano tells Komatsuya that he in starting the project, a shamisen inspired him to draw a woman and the kunoichi/scorpio design rolled from there.

In addition, a commemorative decorative folding fan featuring the original artwork is also available, constructed from high quality traditional Tosa-washi paper.

Both items show off the classic and celebrated art style of Amano, as well as the time-honored and preserved master craftsmanship of Komatsuya. They are available in limited quantity at the different prices (including a luxury model) at Komatsuya's online store.

By - Big Neko.