Guitars Made In Japan: The Top 11 Japanese Guitar Companies

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Throughout the years, in the world of music, when we refer to the history of Japanese instruments, which have been well-received by musicians and have gained a good reputation for their good quality, it is a fact that at the moment to tell you which instrument to buy.

The main American brands come up and make you doubt if it is a good idea, are we right? And more when it comes to guitar brands. It is normal, I do not blame you.

But it is time that you leave all uncertainty behind and know that in addition to famous brands such as Yamaha, one of the recognized guitar brands in the world, always leading the popular Japanese guitar brands, there are also other brands that apart from being popular, deserve.

Let’s give it a try, and that is why today we are going to tell you about the 11 Japanese guitar brands.

What is the popular Japanese guitar brand?

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or professional level musician, we can tell you that the best Japanese brand of guitars is the one that in addition to offers you an excellent value for money.

It must guarantee you at all times the necessary equipment in the instrument to make it a Perfect tool, be comfortable in execution, and fulfill all your needs and aspirations as a musician who loves guitars.

In that sense, we can also refer to good materials, parts that ensure durability and performance, and even technological and innovative resources for better experiences at a higher level, and without forgetting to have excellent customer service, in case of some repairs and/or additions.

Main brands of Japanese guitars

Next, we have created for you an extensive and detailed list with interesting information of the most famous and recognized brands of guitars of Japanese origin around the world, which are not only recognized for being old but are also respected for their methods, of production.

Its great quality as an instrument, plus many of these are the favorites of great musicians around the world:

1. Yamaha


Although this brand when it was founded, focused only on the manufacture of pianos and organs, and it was not until the late 40s when it began with the manufacture of guitars, this brand has known how to earn its reputation as the best among all the best.

And it is that it has stood out for more than 30 years in the market with its high-end musical instruments and among them, we highlight nylon guitars or classical, acoustic, electric, and electro-acoustic guitars that always turn out to be a better option.

While it is true that we are not talking about a very cheap guitar brand, it is a fact that their products are perfectly framed in the value for money and therefore, it is worth every penny, it is a great investment.

Expert Tip: If we talk about the various guitar models that Yamaha offers, we can tell you that they are ideal both for people who are beginners and for great professional musicians.

2. Takamine


It has been around for half a century. This brand has its beginnings as a small family guitar business, but thanks to their excellent dedication as craftsmen, it led this brand to establish itself in the Japanese market as a large company.

In the beginning, they only focused on making classical guitars and some mandolins and we can say that his empire began to be built in 1968 with the arrival of Lutier Mass Hirade who made effective improvements in the designs and manufacture of guitars.

And so valuable was his contribution, that later many of the classical guitar models were tagged with his name to honor his great contribution to the brand.

But the evolution of the Takamine brand does not end there. This brand continues its research and development operations to improve its design and reinforce its quality in each of its lines of instruments aimed at guitarists, from amateurs, intermediates, and the most experienced professionals.

3. Morris


Also known as “Moridaira Guitars”, this brand is active since 1967 building a great value selection of guitars, made by the hand of good quality. Even today, to raise its quality, it has two different production techniques.

The first is known as Luthier Made and is in which the master is in charge of the entire manufacturing procedure and the second is called Hand Made, which is executed by a group of experienced craftsmen in specific areas of the guitar manufacturing process.

In addition to this, Morris brand guitars have characteristics for a finger-style performance, since the strong and straight neck of the guitars gives you the possibility to modify the tension of their strings to your liking.

And among other beneficial characteristics, the construction of the guitar body helps transmit the vibration of the strings, keeping the sound always balanced and with an opportunity to enlarge it.

As a general culture, the name of the brand “Morris” arises after its founder. Toshio Moridaira went to visit the Gibson brand factory in Michigan USA, in 1964. There, one of the workers began calling him by his American nickname “Mori” and 3 years later, Moridaira founded the Morris company, inspired by that nickname.

4. Fernandes

Fernandes Guitar
Fernandes Guitar

It is also known as “Fernandes Guitars”, this brand began with making flamenco guitars, but over the years it spread to produce acoustic and electric guitars and some basses, and even equipment for musicians, from amplifiers and various accessories.

Today, “Fernandes” is recognized as one of the most famous Japanese guitar producers, and more, because the instruments have a distinctive feature and that is that their sustaining system is based on electromagnetism. This is to make a string vibrate during a period, as long as the guitarist keeps pressing the note.

And among other curious facts to highlight about this brand, is that “Fernandes”, began its production in the city of Osaka Japan, in 1969. Also owns the Burny brand and continues to combine various elements of traditional style and modern, as well as seeking to push the limits of hardware configurations and manufacturing.

5. Fujigen Gakki

Fujigen Gakki Guitar
Fujigen Gakki Guitar

Since the 1960s, the folks at the Fujigen Gakki brand have been making guitars and basses for several major brands around the world, beginning with the production of vintage-style classical guitars and very soon with that of electric guitars.

In this way, Fujigen Gakki adapted to the rapidly increasing demand from its overseas business partners, especially from the USA. Where the popularity of electric-type guitars was on the rise.

Expert Tip: As a company, it has a respected experience and production capacity that has made it one of the leading Japanese guitar brands, which continues to expand in the global market and establish itself strongly with its “Fujigen” name as the original brand.

Today Fujigen has not only been building a global distribution network, including at Tokyo City Customs with its expert staff taking orders individually but is also looking to execute progress plans to become the manufacturer, of top brand guitars.

6. Electric Sound Products (EPS)

Electric Sound Products (EPS)
Electric Sound Products (EPS)

In 1975, this brand was founded in the city of Shibuya. Tokyo by Hisatake Shibuya. Which begins its operations with the collaboration of 3 employees and focusing on the repair and manufacture of custom guitars. Later, after an investment to buy machinery, it became a guitar retail store.

It began with the production of the “Navigator” model, which is a type of good quality handmade electric guitar, but after various investigations and collaboration of various guitars. ESP started with the manufacture of high-end guitars.

Based on covering the details that guitar manufacturers often overlook. EPS did not limit itself to the production and sale of replicas of American brand guitars but decided to select better resources, hardware, and a great effort. He made other guitars for other brands, to obtain financial resources that were necessary to establish himself as a brand.

7. Yamaki

Yamaki Guitar
Yamaki Guitar

This brand is considered one of the most valuable in terms of acoustic guitars, although Yamaha continues to lead and be active and always stays at the top of the charts. Even if it is a Yamaki brand guitar so damaged that it cannot be played or repaired.

It can easily be considered a relic, since, in general terms, the guitars of these brands are limited and therefore, nowadays they are not easy to find. And the story of the previous point is that in the early eighties. Yamaki used to be just a line of Daion products, which meant three characteristics acoustic, electric, and solid body.

But in the case of Daion in 1984, it ceased operations shortly after it stopped importing guitars to the United States. Despite what happened and the recession of 1980. Yamaki continued to produce good quality parts that last over time and with great sound.

8. Alvarez

Alvarez Guitar
Alvarez Guitar

From 1965 to the present, the valuable reputation of this acoustic guitar brand. Alvarez remains one of the leading American guitar brands. Yes, American, and it’s not that we made a mistake, the fact that it’s on this list.

It is known by its full name Ivarez Acoustic Guitars, this brand originates in Japan and has a more than attractive collection in the market, thanks to its good quality in wood and materials in general that are used in its manufacture and the body shape of all their guitars is special, among other things.

In this way, Alvarez always seeks to guarantee not only quality tone in the guitars but also the touch and ease of execution, both for amateur musicians and professionals.

9. Ibanez


Ibanez brand guitars are one of the brands with great prestige in the world market. This brand offers you a wide variety of guitars and basses for different styles and in different price ranges, so the budget issue will not be a problem.

They started in Spain and became strong in Japan to later take over the American market. This is how Ibanez guitars are today, one of the most popular guitar brands in the world.

Ibanez not only focuses on the manufacture of electric guitars but also designs some acoustic guitars, electric basses, accessories such as amplifiers, effects pedals, and other types of accessories.

The manufacturing techniques are high-tech, allow you to have excellent levels of precision, and ensure the tightest tolerances. In addition, the wood, paint, and the design and construction of the instrument remain of high quality.

Expert Tip: Ibanez guitars have always been known for their fast, high-performance fingerboards, extremely versatile pickups, and streamlined electronics. These components are improved every year to obtain quality and state-of-the-art instruments.

When we talk about performance and precision they would be nothing without good handling and execution that accompany these characteristics. Thanks to years of research and countless field tests with artists from around the world who have helped develop unique, high-performance neck shapes.

For example in the Prestige line, there is now a perfect guitar neck for every type of guitarist.

10. Tokai

Tokai Guitar
Tokai Guitar

Tokai Guitars is the name of this trademark, founded by its Japanese manufacturer Tokai Gakki Company Ltd. It is known for creating excellent replicas of all the best guitars in the world with an unbeatable value for money. Although it is not a very large company.

Tokai guitars are the ones of choice for those who have a small budget but are looking for an instrument that is durable and that sounds good. However, not only does this type of public usually choose it but it is also used by recognized guitarists of different genres of music and who marked musical history, one of them being Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The journey through the history of the Tokai Guitars brand begins in 1947 when it was founded by a person named Tadayouki Adachi however, it was not until 1965 that he ventured into the world of guitars. That year the first classical guitar was manufactured and then in 1968 the first electric guitar, specifically we talked about the Humming Bird model.

Today, Tokai has two factories, one located in Japan and the other in China, from where the different models of guitars that are available in the music market are produced. The main characteristic of all Tokai guitars is that they have an excellent price, they are considered cheap guitars, which are accessible to all lovers of this instrument.

To know its sale price, it is enough to see the name under which the instrument is marketed, for example, if we look for the TLS-100 it has a price of 100,000 yen. Depending on the series to which the guitar belongs, they are made with mahogany, Agathis, alder, nato woods.

Its nitrocellulose or polyurethane finishes are covered in plastic, stainless steel, and other good quality materials are used. Currently, Tokai has two production lines the first in Japan where the Premium and Vintage series are created and the other in China where the Traditional series is produced.

11. Fender Japan

Fender Japan Guitar
Fender Japan Guitar

In the world of music, Fender is synonymous with evolution dedication, technology, and excellence. In all the history of guitars, there has not been a name like that of its founder. Leo Fender, the great luthier who changed the concepts of this solid-body instrument and marked a before and after in the world of music.

Fender Japan is officially created in 1982 as a joint venture with Fender USA. Yamano Music Instrument, and Kanda Shoki. Around 1976- 1980, many Japanese guitars were replicas of Fender models. Especially, Kanda Shokai was a Greco dealer was manufactured by Fujigen.

Fujigen invested in machines to produce the exact model of the wooden body in a short time. The guitars manufactured by Fujigen were distributed by the GRECO brand. On the other hand, Tokai distributed its guitars with great technical productivity. The technology of these guitars was evaluated worldwide, being of better quality than the original Fender.

Fender USA establishes Fender Japan as a solution to protect its brand and reputation.
This company was founded more than 50 years ago and they were in charge of giving the current shape to this popular instrument, which is an emblem of rock.

Today, every musician of any genre, whether beginner or advanced, dreams of owning a Fender brand guitar. Indeed, this brand is so popular and continues to produce guitars today, after decades on the market.

As you can see, we can conclude that all these brands are important in the world of music, many are the favorites of different users because they adapt to their musical needs and tastes, each one is different from the other and has its personal touch that.

It makes them be recognized, but what they all have in common is that they are always looking to venture into their models, maintain their quality to the musician and find a way to stand out. So we hope that we hope that this article has been of great help to you, it has dispelled your doubts and you have an idea to choose your next guitar purchase.

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About Jayden Buckley

Hi, my name is Jayden and I am author/editor for PlayTheTunes. I remember the first time I hopped on the drums, I was hooked. Music has played an enormous part of my life, and I'm honored I get to share my experiences with you!