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Japanese Manufacturers of Made In Japan Badged Electric Guitars from 1960 to 1980

Updated on April 20, 2016

Joined: 6 years agoFollowers: 48Articles: 9

Who Made My MIJ Guitar!?

This is one of the most frustrating questions from the MIJ collector. As I've read many different guitar collector/enthusiast forums and spoken to local guitar dealers, it's clear that the layperson has little to no idea who made their badged guitar from the 1960-1980 period, also known as the MIJ golden age of guitar manufacturing. People often make the mistake of citing the American or European importer as the 'maker' of the guitar, when in fact several Japanese manufacturers were producing badged guitars out of their plants and shipping them to America and Europe to sell. Japanese manufacturers made multiple badges at the same plant, many of whom resemble each other closely. Some manufacturers merged or changed hands over the years which added to the confusion, sometime merging with another maker, only to pick up their name later. In some cases a manufacturer would farm out production to various manufacturers, making it still more difficult to know who made the guitar in your hands. Parts from other guitars would be used in the making of a particular badge for a period of time because it was all the manufacturer had to hand...which doesn't always help in identifying a maker. And sometimes, the guitar which is supposed to be an MIJ guitar is actually made elsewhere (Korea, Indonesia) because production was moved during this period in history. Sounds hopeless, right? Not always!

This page is a work in progress and as new information is revealed it will be added to the list. But I can't do this alone, folks. See a guitar not listed? Tell me! Listed below are the major manufacturers, known badges and suspected badges to the best of my knowledge in written and list form to make it easy to find out WHO MADE YOUR GUITAR! In some cases I won't know because the badge you have may be extremely rare and virtually unknown to even seasoned collectors.

And just a quick note: I do not buy or sell guitars. I have no idea what any given guitar from this period would sell for. I don't know if some of the listed guitars are indeed valuable. My sole purpose is to help people looking specifically for information on the maker of their MIJ guitar. So please...don't ask me what your guitar is worth. To me, they're all priceless.


This guitar manufacturer started out as a parts supplier in the early 1970s. Atlansia didn't begin production of guitars under their badge until infamous engineer and designer Nobuaki Hayashi of Matsumoku fame became the company's president and chief designer in the late 1970s. Since then, Atlansia has continued to produce cutting-edge guitar designs in Nagano, Japan. The company did not make any other badged guitars other than namesake Atlansia.

C.F. Mountain

Company was founded in 1948 and made high quality acoustics. Maker of house brand C.F. Mountain.

Chushin Gakki

Chushin is still in operation today in Nagano, Japan and does business with guitar giant Fender. I believe that Chushin may have been a member of the Matsumoto Musical Instruments Association listed further down because both companies produced Fresher guitars during different periods....with Matsumoto beginning production and Chushin ending it (perhaps because the Association was disbanded?). During the 1960-1980 period they were responsible for badges Bambu, Cobran, El Maya and Hisonus as well as some Charvel, Fresher and Jackson badges. The company may have possibly made some guitars with the Aztec, Maya and Robin badges, but that is not verified. Guitars made by Chushin from this period are well-made and appreciated by guitar enthusiasts worldwide.


Founded in the city of Matsumoto, Japan in the early 1960s, Daimaru produced their own house brand, although they outsourced electric guitar production to Teisco during the 1970s period. Daimaru appears to have gone out of business after 1980.

Daion Musical Instrument Company

Daion was founded in 1962 by Yasuyuki Teradaira. Maker of house brand Daion guitars, along with JooDee and Johnson badged guitars. JooDee was made by master guitar luthier Shiro Tsuji. Outsourced work to maker Yamaki. Daion went out of business shortly after 1984.

Daiwa Musical Instrument Manufacturing

Maker of the Daiwa acoustic guitar. Will research this for more information.

Dyna Gakki

Dyna Gakki began production in 1972 in the city of Nagano, Japan. They manufactured guitars for Fender Japan and Greco, so they couldn't have been a terrible manufacturer as Fender is very choosy about outsourcing their product. Dyna may have been a source for Japanese manufacturer Yamaki. Dyna also produced the infamous Ibanez badges for a short period of time.

Electric Sound Products (ESP)

Founded in 1975 by Hisatake Shibuya, this wildly-popular manufacturer focused on making quality basses for export as well as electric guitars. ESP survived the 'copy' era and is still in business today. Badges made by ESP included their house brand ESP as well as Navigator during the late 1970s. A possible badge made by the company was Robin.

Elk Gakki (also known as Miyuki)

Makers of the Elk badged guitar from the early to mid 1960s to 1975, although other sources indicate that the Elk brand did not stop production until the early 1980s. Elk badged guitars came in clear acrylics in addition to colors in the early 1970s, which was an attempt to copy clear acrylics designed by the legendary Dan Armstrong in the late 1960s.


Fernandes Guitars started production in 1969 in Osaka, Japan. It grew and became one of the largest producers of Japanese-made guitars, rivaling competitors Fujigen and Matsumoku. Fernandes produced guitars with the Burny and Nady badges as well as house brand Fernandes. A possible badge made by Fernandes was the oddly named Orange guitar.

Fujigen Gakki

Fujigen Gakki began operation in 1960 as a classical guitar manufacturer, moving into the lucurative electric guitar markets in 1962. The company was the largest producer of Japanese guitars during the 1960-1980 period. They were known for producing high quality products, especially for the badged guitar market, which is why the company was selected by so many major American brands. It wasn't until 1970 that the company began making products for the venerable Ibanez brand, which was an unqualified success. Fujigen Gakki was the main manufacturer of choice for Greco badged guitars in the 1970 to 1980 period. They also produced guitars for major manufacturer Yamaha. Badged guitars made by Fujigen include Antoria, Epiphone, Jason and Mann. Badged guitars that may have been made by Fujigen Gakki were Marlin and St. Moritz.


Guyatone produced electric guitars for major guitar manufacturer Suzuki. The company also produced their house brand Guyatone. Badged guitars produced by Guyatone include Barclay, Broadway, Coronado, Crestwood, Futurama, Howard, Ibanez, Ideal, Imperial, Johnny Guitar, Kent, Kingston, Lafayette, Marco Polo (electrics only), Montclair, Omega, Orpheus, Prestige, Royalist, Saturn, Silhouette, Silvertone, Vernon, Winston and Zenta, an impressive amount of names produced by a single company. Other badges that may have been produced by Guyatone are Beeton (not to be confused by the Beeton Brass Guitar company founded in 1994), Bradford, Canora and Regent.


Hayashi was one of the premier acoustic guitar makers among Japanese manufacturers from this time frame. Hayashi bought out small manufacturer Zen-On in 1968 during a period of expansion for the company. Credited with making Pearl badged acoustic guitars, Hayashi was also responsible for making Cortez, Custom, Emperador and Mountain acoustics.

Hitachi Gakki/Hitachi Musical Instruments Manufacturing

I'm unsure if this company existed or not, but since many major electronics manufacturers jumped into the electric guitar market in the 1970s, it seems reasonable that Hitachi could have ventured briefly into guitar production. A seller of the badged guitar "Splender" claims it was made by this company. Yet another seller claims the badge Slendon was made by this company.

Hoshino Gakki Ten/ Tama

Hoshino Gakki were known primarily for producing Ibanez guitars during this time although that wasn't the only badged guitar they made. Badged guitars produced by Hoshino include Cimar, Cimar by Ibanez, Hy-Lo, Penco, Howard

Tama Industries began guitar production from 1962 to 1967 as a factory of Hoshino, producing more badged Ibanez guitars as well as Continental, Crest, Goldentone, Jamboree, King's Stone, Maxitone, Star, Starfield (some), Tulio and Jason. Tama eventually took over badged guitar production from STAR Instruments in the mid-1960s.

There's some evidence that Tama began producing guitars under their own badge from 1975-1979. I'm unsure at this point if this Tama had any relation to the Tama that existed under Hoshino Gakki Ten.

Humming Bird

Little-known manufacturer in operation in the early 1960s until 1968. Humming Bird made electrics that were copies of Mosrite guitars. It's possible they also made acoustics.


Iidi began manufacturing guitars in 1958 in Nagoya, Japan. Iida is still producing guitars, but mostly in their factory located in Korea. They were mainly responsible for producing acoustic and semi-acoustic rather than electric guitars for major manufacturers Ibanez and Yamaha. There is speculation that Iida may have assisted Moridara for a short period in making Morris badged guitars, but that is not verified.


Kasuga produced their own house brand in Kasuga guitars. For a brief period of time the company produced Yamaha acoustic guitars. Kasuga guitars were first sold in America in 1972. Unlike many Japanese manufacturers who outsourced their guitar production in other factories outside the main maker, Kasuga produced all their products in-house. Badged guitars known to have been made by Kasuga include Conrad, Emperador, ES-S, Ganson, Heerby, Hondo, Mei Mei and Roland. Kasuga went out of business in 1996.

Kawai Teisco

Kawai Teisco was founded by Atswo Kaneko and Doryu Matsuda. The company also produced the popular Ibanez badge in the 1960s. Kawai Teisco made their own house brands Kawai, Teisco, Del Rey and Teisco Del Rey. Badged guitars produced by the Kawai Teisco factories include Apollo, Aquarius, Arbiter, Atlas, Audition, Avar, Ayar, Barth, Beltone, Black Jack, Cameo, Cipher, Concert, Cougar, Crown, Daimaru, Decca, Diasonic, Domino, Duke, Emperador, Heit Deluxe, Holiday, Imperial, Inter-Mark Cipher, Jedson, Kay, Kent, Kimberly, Kingsley, Kingston, Keefy, Lindell, Marquis, May Queen, Minister, Noble, Prestige, Randall, Recco, Regina, Rexina, Sakai, Satellite, Schaffer, Sekova, Silvertone, Sorrento, Sterling, Swinger, Tele Star, Top Twenty, Victoria, and Winston. Possible badged guitars made by the company include: Astrotone, Demian, G-Holiday, Lafayette, Master, Orange, Tamaki and Trump.

Kyowa Shokai

This company, which may have been a distributor as opposed to a manufacturer, was a member of the Matsumoto Musical Instrument Association. They have been credited with Camel and Fresher badged guitars, although Freshers were also made by Chushin in the late 1970s.


Ampeg was swallowed up by Japanese electrical giant Magnavox in 1971, when they wanted to get in on the electric guitar copy craze of the 1970s. Magnavox produced electric and bass guitars under the Stud badge as well as the successful Ampeg brand. It's been suggested that Magnavox was also responsible for producing Selmer acoustic guitar badges during this time, but that has not been verified. Selmer was sold to Magnavox around the same time they bought Ampeg, so it certainly seems plausible they could have made Selmer acoustic badged guitars as an offering for that market. Stud badged guitars were made until '75, with Ampeg guitar production continuing until 1980. Opus was another badge made by the company. Magnavox lost their interest in Ampeg shortly thereafter and the brand languished until it was resurrected over a decade later by another American company.

Maruha Gakki

We know this company existed in the 1970s in Japan because of stickers found inside repaired Maruha guitars. Maruha made high-quality acoustics, some of which are badged F. Hashimoto (some long lost master luthier?) along with the Maruha badges. These guitars are highly sought-after because of the overall quality.


Matsumoku is one of the Japanese manufacturers that did not survive long after the heyday of the 1970s guitar market despite having a long tradition of quality stringed instrument craftsmanship. Matsumoku produced guitars for major manufacturers Greco, Guyatone and Yamaha. Matsumoku made Arai, Aria, Aria Pro II and Aria Diamond badges, with Aria being their primary badge for a majority of this time frame. Badged guitars known to have been made by Matsumoku include Apollo, Arita, Barclay, Burny, Capri, Columbus, Conrad, Cortez (electrics only), Country, Cutler, Dia, Domino, Electra, Epiphone, Granada, Hi Lo, Howard, Ibanez, Lindberg, Lyle, Luxor, Maxitone (this guitar differs from Tama's Maxitone badge), Mayfair, Memphis, Montclair, Pan, Pearl (electrics only), Raven, Stewart, Tempo, Univox ,Vantage, Ventura, Vision, Volhox, Washburn (in 1979 and 1980), Westbury, Westminster and Westone. Possible Matsumoku badges include: Bruno, Crestwood, Conqueror, Eros, Mako, Memphis, Orlando and Toledo.

Matsumoto Musical Instrument Manufacturers Association

The Matsumoto Musical Instrument Manufacturers Association was the organization responsible for Fresher guitars. Little is known about this association, other than it did not have larger guitar manufacturers Matsumoku or Fujigen Gakki as members. Nakai Gakki was a possible member of the association. Fresher guitars began production in 1973 by the Kyowa Shokai Company, an association member, which was also responsible for the Camel badge. It's interesting to note that Fresher guitars were eventually being produced by Chushin, which leads me to believe that they may have been an Association member along with Kyowa. The beginning production year was considered a low quality benchmark for the company. The Fresher brand continuously improved in quality until 1980.

Maya Guitar Company

Located in Kobe, Japan, this manufacturer made the famous Maya brand guitar. Maya guitars were in production from 1970-1980. It's been suggested that Maya may have been responsible for the Aztec badge. You'll notice that Maya has been attributed to a company known as Tahara. At this point I do not know if Maya assisted in production or if Tahara produced some Maya guitars as a subcontractor. Maya and El Maya badges have also been attributed to Chushin Gakki. More research is needed to clarify this point.

Moridaira (Morris Guitars)

Founded in 1967 by Toshio "Mori" Moridaira, the Moridaira factory produced high-quality guitars, including the infamous Morris badged guitar. Moridaira also produced badged guitars for Hohner including Coronado, Futurama, H.S. Anderson, Lotus (some) and Sakai.

Nakai Gakki

Little-known manufacturer from Osaka, Japan, this company is responsible for the oddly named John Bennet badge. Nakai has been mentioned as a possible Matusmoto Musical Instruments Association member in the past. The company still exists and is producing musical instruments, quite a feat in light of so many manufacturers who faded after the golden electric guitar age.

Shinko Musical Company

A very small, unknown company that is attributed to being the manufacturer of the Pleasant guitar from 1960 to 1966. Shinko later moved to Korea sometime in the early 1970s where they produced the Drive guitar badge.

Shiro Musical Instrument Manufacturing Company, Limited

This little-known company is responsible for the St. George badge. This particular badge was made from 1963-1967. It also produced the rare Shiro guitar. It is possible that the company may also be responsible for the Pleasant guitar badge after 1966. This company may have been a small offshoot of Aria Guitar Company, founded by Shiro Arai, but that has not been verified as of today.

STAR Instruments

This company slowly merged into Hoshino/Tama but prior to their unification, produced instruments with the Star badge, mainly drums. They also produced guitars, including the infamous Zim-Gar badged electric and acoustic guitars. Over time, drum production was segmented to Pearl, while guitar contracts were taken up by Tama. Zim-Gar production was relatively short, as these were budget guitars made for K-mart between 1962 and 1968.

Suzuki Musical Instrument Manufacturing

Suzuki had two factories in Kiso and Hamamatsu where they made popular Suzuki guitars. The Hummingbird Suzuki guitar was manufactured in the Kiso factory. Suzuki is also credited with making the Canora and Takeharu badged guitars along with Marco Polo acoustics. Holly is another badge ascribed to Suzuki, although that has not been verified.

Kiso Suzuki Violin Company

Company founded by master luthier Kiso Suzuki, it began making guitars in 1951 in the area of Kisofukushima. Badged guitars made by Kiso include Takeharu and Toredo.


Founded by a father and son, Ryohei Tahara and the unknown Tahara. I do not know which was the father and which was the son. The company existed until the late 1979 when it was bought up by Saga Musical Instruments. In all, the company existed less than a decade as Tahara. Both the Maya and El Maya badges are attributed to Tahara. Saga Musical Instruments exists to this day.


Founded in 1962 in Sakashita, Japan, this manufacturer survived the copy era and is still producing guitars to this day. Takamine was among the first to make and export electric acoustics with their own house brand, although they are primarily known for their acoustic guitars. It is unknown if they made badged guitars.


Terada was one of the smaller Japanese manufacturers of acoustic guitars during the period of 1960 to 1980, producing products for Epiphone, Fender Japan, Grapham, Gretch and Vesta. Terada produced some Kingston badges until 1975. Other badged guitars produced by Terada include some Burny badges and interesting Thumb guitars. Terada has been in continuous operation since 1912.


Tokai was founded in 1947 and is based in Hamamatsu, Japan. Tokai began production of acoustic guitars in 1965 and by 1968 was producing electric guitars for the American market. Tokai still exists as guitar manufacturer. Tokai made guitars for Fernandes, Mosrite and Fender Japan. Tokai badged guitars included the house brand Tokai as well as Cat's Eyes, Conrad, Drifter, Hondo, Love Rock, Mosrite, Sigma and Silver Star. Possible badges include Artist Ltd., Gaban, Gallan, Gession and Robin. It's suggested that Tokai made Hummingbird acoustics as well, but if these were related to those made by Humming Bird I haven't quite sorted out yet.


Tombo was the only Japanese manufacturer who produced Norma badged guitars. Tombo made Norma guitars from 1965 to 1970. Badged guitars produced by Tombo include Angelica, Asama, Columbus, Condor, Duke, Horugel, Kinor, Montaya, Queen, Regina, Schaffer and Yamato.


Is there anything T. Kurosawa didn't attempt to manufacture in the 1970s? Yes, Toyota manufactured a high-end line of acoustic, electric and bass guitars from approximately 1972. Toyota ceased manufacturing guitars in a short span of time (probably because they didn't sell), although exactly when in the 1970s production ended, I'm not sure.

Yamaha/Nippon Gakki

Founded in 1946, Yamaha is still going strong in the electric guitar market as a manufacturer. During the timeframe this article covers (1960-1980) all Yamaha guitars were made in Japan, although not necessarily in their factories as they outsourced to other manufacturers.


Yamaki was founded in the 1960 by brothers Yasuyuki and Hirotsygu. Yamaki exists today as a major manufacturer of guitar parts for outside Japanese guitar manufacturers. Yamaki produced a house brand, as well as Canyon, Daion, Dion, Grande and Jedson badged guitars. They also possibly produced JooDee guitars for a short time.

Yasuma Musical Instrument Company

Yasuma still exists as a company today, making high quality acoustic guitars. Located in Nagoya, Japan, the company may have been a source for Yamaha in the 1970s. Manufactured house brand Yasuma guitars.

Zen-On (see also Hayashi)

Little known Japanese manufacturer who was out of business by 1968. Zen-On made electric guitars with the house brand Zen-on badge, as well as Beltone, Morales and Zenon badges. Zen-On bought out Hayashi, but exactly when that took place is clouded in mystery.

List of Maker's Badges

(click column header to sort results)
Exclusive/Contract Companies   
Known Badges   
Possible Badges  
Fender Japan
Chushin Gakki
Bambu, Cobran, Charvel, El Maya, Fresher, Hisonus, Jackson
Aztec, Maya, Robin
Daion Musical Instrument Company
Daion, Johnson, JooDee
Daiwa Musical Instrument Manufacturing
Dyna Gakki
Fender Japan, Greco
Electric Sound Products (ESP)
Elk Gakki (Miyuki)
Burny, Fernandes, Nady
Fujigen Gakki
Greco, Yamaha
Antoria, Epiphone, Ibanez, Jason, Mann, Odessa,
Marlin, St. Moritz 
Barclay, Broadway, Coronado, Crestwood, Futurama, Guyatone, Howard, Ibanez, Ideal, Imperial, Johnny Guitar, Kent, Kingston, Lafayette, Marco Polo, Montclair, Omega, Orpheus, Prestige, Royalist, Saturn, Silhouette, Silvertone, Vernon, Winston, Zenta
Beeton, Bradford, Canora, Regent
Cortez, Custom, Emperador, Mountain, Pearl
Hitachi Gakki
Splender, Slendon?
Hoshino Gakki Ten (Tama)
Cimar, Cimar by Ibanez, Continental, Crest, Goldentone, Howard, Hy-Lo, Ibanez, Jamboree, Jason, King's Stone, Maxitone, Penco, Star, Starfield, Tulio
Humming Bird
Yamaha, possibly Moridara 
Ibanez, possibly Morris 
Kasuga Tokai
Kasuga, Yamaha
Conrad, Emperador, ES-S, Ganson, Kasuga, Heerby, Hondo, Mei Mei, Roland
Kawai Teisco
Del Rey, Kawai, Teisco, Teisco Del Rey
Apollo, Aquarius, Arbiter, Atlas, Audition, Avar, Ayar, Barth, Beltone, Black Jack, Cameo, CBS, Cipher, Concert, Cougar, Crown, Daimaru, Decca, Diasonic, Domino, Duke, Emperador, Heit Deluxe, Holiday, Ibanez, Imperial, Inter-Mark Cipher, Jedson, Kay, Kent, Kimberly, Kingsley, Kingston, Keefy, Lindell, Marquis, May Queen, Minister, Noble, Prestige, Randall, Recco, Regina, Rexina, Sakai, Satellite, Schaffer, Sekova, Silvertone, Sorrento, Sterling, Swinger, Tele Star, Top Twenty, Victoria, Winston
Astrotone, Demian, Holiday, G-Holiday, Layfayette, Master, Orange, Tamaki, Trump
Kyowa Shokai
Matsumoto Musical Instruments Association
Camel, Fresher
Ampeg, Opus, Stud
Maruha Gakki
Maruha, F. Hashimoto
Greco, Guyatone, Yamaha
Arai, Aria, Aria Pro II, Aria Diamond, Apollo, Arita, Barclay, Burny, Capri, Cimar, Cortez (electrics only), Columbus, Conrad, Cutler, Dia, Domino, Electra, Epiphone, Granada, Hi Lo, Howard, Ibanez, Lindberg, Lyle, Luxor, Maxitone (this guitar differs from Tama's Maxitone badge), Mayfair, Memphis, Montclair, Pan, Pearl (electrics only), Raven, Stewart, Tempo, Univox ,Vantage,V entura, Vision, Volhox, Washburn, Westbury, Westminster, Westone
Bruno, Conqueror, Country, Crestwood, Eros, Mako, Memphis, Orlando
Matsumoko Musical Instrument
Fresher, Camel 
Maya Guitar Company 
Moridara (Morris)
Coronado, Futurama, H.S. Anderson, Morris, Lotus (some), Sakai.
Nakai Gakki
John Bennet
Shinko Musical Company 
Shiro Musical Instrument Manufacturing
Shiro, St. George 
STAR Instruments
Star, Zim-Gar
Suzuki Musical Instrument Manufacturing
Camora, Takeharu
Kiso Suzuki Violin Company
Kiso Suzuki
Takeharu, Toredo
Maya, El Maya
Fender Japan, Grapham, Gretch, Vesta 
Burny, Epiphone, Kingston,Thumb
Fernandes, Fender Japan, Mosrite
Cat's Eyes, Conrad, Drifter, Hondo, Love Rock, Mosrite, Sigma and Silver Star
Artist Ltd,, Gaban, Gallan, Gession, Robin
Angelica, Asama, Columbus, Condor, Duke, Horugel, Kinor, Montaya, Queen, Regina, Schaffer,Yamato
Canyon, Dion, Daion, Grande, Jedson
Yasuma Musical Instruments Company
Zen-On, Zenon 
Beltone, Morales 

Unknown Maker Badge Names

Unassigned maker badge names are AGS, Alex, Andre, Aquila, Asco, Avon, Axiom, Bradley, CG Winner, Clear Sound, CMI, Columbia, Commodore, Cortley, Crestline, Crown, D. Lewis (?), Danelectro, Dynelectron (some), Diplomat, Dixon, Dorado, Eagle, El Degas, Exceltro, Exper, Encore, Fandel, Garzia, Goya, Grant, Grenn, Laguna, LTD, Magnum (?), Maier, Monroe, Marchis, Mark II, Masaaki (?), Matador, Norwood, Palmer, Prairie, President, Rodeo, Sanox, S.G.C., Splender, Stella, Targa, Taro, Voxton by Vox, and Yoshi. Some of these badges are attributed to the importer as the 'maker', which is untrue. It's possible that some of these badges were made by smaller Japanese manufacturers that have faded into history.

Unknown Maker Badges

(click column header to sort results)
AGS, Alex, Andre, Aquila, Asco, Avon, Axiom  
CG Winner, Clear Sound, CMI, Columbia, Commodore, Cortley, Crestline, Crown
D. Lewis, Danelectro, Dynelectron, Diplomat, Dixon, Dorado
Eagle, El Degas, Encore, Exceltro, Exper
Garzia, Goya, Grant, Grenn
Laguna, LTD
Magnum, Maier, Monroe, Marchis, Mark II, Masaaki,Matador
Palmer, Prairie, President
Sanox, S.G.C., Splender, Stella
Targa, Taro


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    • steve 5 years ago

      But I still can't find my guitar listed. Sure wish some one could ID it. It has S G C on headstock.

    • Torch Harrison profile image

      Torch Harrison 5 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Hey, Steve...thanks for reading. Yet another guitar to identify with a maker! I'll add it to my unidentified list until I get time to look into it...I certainly haven't ever seen or heard of an S.G.C. guitar before...maybe Suzuki?

    • Memag 5 years ago

      Hey Torch,

      thanks for the extensive info.

      I have gathered some info on El Maya and Bambu guitars (Chushin gakki) and similarities between two models/ badges. You can rad about it here:


      According to this research Chushin made El Maya

      and possibly some Maya's for Maya Musical Instrument CO.

      Check out the catalog pages and inspector hons.

      They fit.

      Thanks and cheers!

    • Torch Harrison profile image

      Torch Harrison 5 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Hey Memag! Thanks for the info! It's so great when something is confirmed. Interesting that they might have made Maya guitars at one point...I had a hunch that that might have been the case. I added your home link to my blog so other Ibanez collectors can find another resource.

    • Dan Evans 5 years ago

      Under Unknown above on your webpage is a brand Matador. I'm looking for info and willing to exchange info on this small Japanese amplifier. Year? Distributed by or sold by? (Sears, Montgomery Wards, Radio Shack, etc)? I purchased a used one at a thrift shop and it works great......can I send Photos or chat with other owners?

    • Enrico 5 years ago

      You Rock ! Thanks Heaps .

      This will help with the sleepless nights ,wondering who made what ,when etc ?I have a guitar j 200 copy 70 s mij

      Which is labeled MENDEZ (Australian market )I belive it to be an IBANEZ --Any thoughts ? thanks again.

    • Nick  5 years ago

      Very enjoyable read. Thanks.

      I have a couple of Sigma electric guitars from the early to mid 1970s and read they were made by Tokai. I read it in a Vintage Guitar magazine article about Martin electrics. Sigma was a Martin budget line. The Sigma electrics are almost identical to Ampeg badged guitars of the same period with the exception the peghead shape and the Ampeg name. My assumption is the Ampegs were also made by Tokai.

      I also used to own a Simga 12-string acoustic which was a great sounding guitar despite the laminated woods used in its construction. I've always wondered who made that Sigma acoustic. I don't think I can make the assumption they were also made by Tokai but considering the quality and great sound it had, I suppose it's possible.

    • Torch Harrison profile image

      Torch Harrison 5 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Hey Nick! Thank for the heads up on Sigma. Tokai did make acoustics from 1965 on and made a line of Hummingbird acoustics as well from the 1970's. It's interesting you bring up Ampeg, too as I've recently begun to look into the Ampeg story and I should have the up on the blog pretty soon. I'm grateful you took the time to help me out and improve my page! Thanks.

    • Memag 5 years ago

      Chushin - Cobran badge

      As far as El Maya goes, I GUESS it could be made in their own factory in Kobe, and that Chushin was a hardware subcontractor.I have "A product of Maya Musical Instrument CO. Kobe, Japan" on ELMaya EM1300 head stock and gray guitar case. It would make sense since the factory was destroyed all the manufacturing stopped, whether they could outsource the production to Chushin after the quake. I stumbled upon old chushin product sheet with exact numbers of guitars they produced in that period, but I didn't save the document and can't find it now.

    • memag 5 years ago

      Chushin - Azumi badge

      I have the identical inspector's hon on El Maya and Bambu neck pickup cavity, although the date varies the "yamada" inspector is the same.

    • Memag 5 years ago

      Chushin - Azumi badge

      I have the identical inspector's hon on El Maya and Bambu neck pickup cavity, although the date varies the "yamada" inspector is the same.

    • Memag 5 years ago

      Chushin also made Robin and Fresher, it seems.

    • Memag 5 years ago

      Chushin - Ibanez

      "Most Ibanez models with this serial number format were made by FujiGen Gakki. Exceptions are the Ibanez Blazer models which were made by Dyna Gakki and the Axstar by Ibanez models AX40, AX45, AX48, AXB50, AXB60, AXB65, AX70, AX75 which were made by Chushin Gakki. The Ibanez Axstar AXB1000 model was made by FujiGen Gakki.[3]"

    • memag 5 years ago

    • Memag 5 years ago

      Signature STR-1 HB Les Paul - Fujigen

    • Glen 5 years ago

      you spelled Barclay with an a, those guitars were made in Chicago Ill. The o9nes made in Japan were spelled Barcley with an E.

    • HowzitUSA 5 years ago

      Hi there Torch. What do you know about Oakland guitars? This site claims made in Japan by Matsumoku.

    • Mal 5 years ago

      Thanks for the info Torch. Great Information.

      I have a guitar labled as Made in Japan, which I bought new in 1982. Info on lable is Denver Guitar, The ASAMA, Hand crafted, Model M-2000. Do you know anything about this company?

    • SGC Guitars 5 years ago

      There was a SGC (Sexton Guitar Company) that was owned by a Japanese company Nanyo that made mainly basses in the '80's and I understand they stopped making guitars in 1992. My guitar shop has a very pretty cherry-burst SGC Les Paul but I do not think it is related. However, Sexton Guitar Company was a British guitar maker that made guitars before being bought by Nanyo.

    • Memag 5 years ago

      Fujigen made "Signature STR" guitars.Brief and excellent quality series. A Les Paul style, but with unique body shape,a bit squashed but sexy.Not many made, top quality.

      Fujigen also made "Orville" (by Gibson), Epiphone "Elitist" and today they have their own guitar models under their "FGN" brand, such as "Flame","Odyssey","Elan","Director" as well as top quality LP clones under the name "Neo Classic".

    • Memag 5 years ago

      Chushin made "Azumi".

    • bill laird 5 years ago

      indeed my lp copy is was my grand fathers..but has no name on it or any identifiable marks..7 ply binding on body front and back.. 3 ply on headstock neck through... beautifull from the 70's i think...but you have enlightened a lil bit... still tryign to find more like mine...

    • Mark Morey 5 years ago

      Help!!!! I bought an Acoustic guitar it labeled on neck top as Conqueror, neck back made in Japan, Paper label inside says Bruno in big letters in paper label with big sword but no number anywhere??? Some one please tell me what I bought???

    • Memag 5 years ago

      Matsumoku made Oakland guitars.

      I stumbled upon some models while searching for Chushin made Bambu CB615 guitar.Veryt similar in design.

    • Memag 5 years ago

      Chushin made "Oakland & CO" branded guitars,

      that are twin brothers to "Bambu" guitars.

      Could be it was re-branded for export, or are just made earlier (head stock says "EST 1976")?

      Also the difference is that "Oakland & CO" neck is maple while "Bambu" sported laminated bamboo neck.

      Not to confuse with "Oakland" guitars made by Matsumoku,

      which had dozens of models.

      I have proof in form of pictures, if you need those.

    • Memag 5 years ago

      "Gerrinez" guitars were made by Maya Musical Instruments co. (their Maya plant , not Chushin)

    • Jason 4 years ago

      I have 2 SGC guitars. They are both very nice looking. One electric and one acoustic. They are Springfield Guitar Company. Don't know much about them.

    • Dorado by Gretsch 4 years ago

      Dorado by Gretsch: I understand these were made by Tokai Gakki - Do you have any knowledge of this?

    • Memag 4 years ago

      Chushin (or Maya) made some "Vantage" strat models identical to "El Maya - Original" model.

    • Jim T 4 years ago

      Hi Torch,

      You have Crestline listed under unknown maker. I think I can link it to Maya because they both produced

      Gibson Marauder copies whose headstocks are identical to

      each other, but different from a Gibson ( the Gibson has

      a larger volute at the neck joint ). If you're interested

      I've collected some pictures from the web that shows this.

    • melindah 4 years ago

      i have a kasuga ukelele that looks to be one of the original from around 1945-1950 does anyone have any ideal of the value?

    • victor 4 years ago

      Hey Torch I have a Memphis Les Paul with Tobacco finish (Gibson style open book head stock)sticker serial #02277 on heal of neck.Its a set neck, binding on edge of frets (like Gibson does).Took out neck pickup and 277 is penciled on end of the set neck?? Black open face humbuckers wooden blocks under the 2 coils on both pickups..Its has a 3 piece solid body 2 inches thick with the seems showing on both sides(carved top),not maple carved top.Pickup cavities are unpainted with very little finish inside, the control cavities are the same.The input jack hole is drilled straight through to the switch cavity not routed out like most i've seen.It has a Gibson style ABR - 1 bridge.It weights in at 10 plus pounds very heavy and excellent sustain and ring without my Vox VT AD 100 Amp.Oh by the way i paid $20 for it... thanx for the info on these guitars...

    • Joe Delga 4 years ago

      My uncle gave me a guitar that states it Japan Tulio 165 F I have not been able to fine anything on this guitar do you or anyone else might know about this...

    • Lance 4 years ago

      Hi Torch

      I have a Sterling Jazz Persision Bass very cool the only info I have on it is the company was around from 1960-1970 it looks like a 69 J Bass any info would be greatly appreciated.

    • Memag 4 years ago

      @Joe, Teisco made Tulio brand.

    • Ashley220691 4 years ago

      Hi there!

      Just wondering if anyone would know of or be able to assist in putting me in the right direction of finding out the price (value - roughly) of a Barclay 1803 Model.

      Any information would be appreciated.

      Thank you in Advance.

    • Jead72 4 years ago

      Kasuga and Terada also made some Electra guitars. This info is from a prominent SLM figure. I can provide a reference if wanted.

    • Eric 4 years ago

      I have a MIJ SG copy with the Excetro brand on the headstock. It's a good player, and it's not listed here yet, so... :-)

    • Scott65 4 years ago

      Hey guys, Can anyone enlighten me on who made or badged CORONET guitars and basses. I have purchased a 60's bass with some resemblence to Hagstrom 60's bass, but not a direct copy. Neckplate has "Made In Japan" Logo has a little gold crown above the letter C on the headstock.

    • Scott65 4 years ago

      Have done some more research & actually it appears Coronet were made by Teisco, as it looks very much like 60's Silvertone bass' made by Teisco. Only the shaping of the headstock is different.

    • philsfenders profile image

      philsfenders 4 years ago from S.Wales UK

      Hi Guys, The Fender 'F' Series acoustic range of guitars were manufactured by Moridaira in Matsumoto Japan. I'm in contact with an ex employee who has confirmed this information for me. Also in my F series collection, I have a Fender F-50, which still has the original Moridaira Musical Inst label attached to the headstock.

    • memag 4 years ago

      This sounds plausible.

      [color=blue]"This gets a little involved... It appears that Maya was a brand first produced by the Matsumoto Musical Instruments Manufacturers Association, but distributed and later (1976) acquired outright by the trading house Rokkomann. Mayas were then built at their factory in Kobe until it was destroyed by an earthquake in the 90's. Imports to the UK were rebranded e.g. Avon (Rose Morris) or Columbus. Quality was average for the time.

      El Maya, on the other hand, was a deluxe line built for Rokkomann by the Tahara company of Matsumoto, some at the Chushin plant in Nagano. I've played a couple of El Maya LP copy guitars, and they were very high quality."[/color]


    • Denis 4 years ago

      Hi Mister Torch Harrison,

      I am french and I would like to show you 3 wonderful vintage guitars badged "Monroe". They have been built at the end of the sixties. I think they have been made by Kawai teisco. I hope those guitars could be interesting for you and I would like to send you some photos. This is my email if you want to have more informations:

      Those guitars are very very rares and I would be very glad if you could give me some informations.

      I wish to have the pleasure to read you soon.

      Best regards


    • oyengonzalvo 4 years ago

      Hi Guys,

      Is there anybody out there who knows about S.G. Galan electric guitars (Les Paul Copy). I can not find any information in the internet. The back plate of the guitar only says "galan" "produce by S&G" "JAPAN".

      Thanks a lot.


    • Dominique 4 years ago

      Hi guys,

      Great info! I stumbled upon an "Oakland&Co est 1876" acoustic guitar and i would like to know if these are worth anything or if they were just low-end guitars ? The model is DW159.

    • Sabra 4 years ago

      Need some help please. I have my grandads guitar made at least end of 70's or earlier. its an electric and on the head of it, there is a crest type logo with the letter A in it. just trying to figure out who made it.

      Thanks! :))

    • Geoff 4 years ago

      The Excetro guitars were made, according to the neck plate, by Teisco. I have 4 - an SG copy and 3 Telecaster copies (2 types). All have the same thing stamped on the neck plate: STELL (sic) ADJUSTABLE NECK TEISCO GENGAKKI KK. I have been collecting photos of other Excetro guitars (16 different guitar and bass models, multiple finishes and a wah pedal so far) and the same thing is on nearly all those with neck plates. The sticker from inside another model says TEISCO GENGAKKI HANBAI.

      My first Excetro was purchaced new in Australia in either 1969 or 1970.

      Hope this helps fill some gaps in the database. It's a great idea.

    • jimi 11 4 years ago

      hello have a eks technology cyclone 24 fret electric guitar ..lookin for any info , cheers jimi

    • jeffity 4 years ago

      I have two early 80's Washburn Wing series guitars. One Falcon & one top of the line Eagle. They're both neck thru. The Falcon has a rosewood top/Ash body. The eagle has a Maple top/Ash body. Both were made by Yamaki and they are great guitars and the workmanship is top notch. Later Wing series guitars were made by Matsumoku-still great guitars but for some reason the Yamaki's stand out.

    • Martin 4 years ago


      I have a Rodeo acoustic steel stringed guitar....some kind of Martin copy?

      Who made it?


    • Greatguitars 4 years ago

      As far as the Tama story goes there is an unofficial Tama site called

      Hufschlag. Hoshino Gakki Ten indeed made very good guitars under their own TAMA brandname but they also produced for Ibanez (the

      early Japanese Artwood series) which are comparable. moreover it

      should be noted that they produced guitars for the world market for

      Juan Orozco, Kohno and Sakurai. The higher end guitars are usually

      recognizable on the double ebeony stripes in the neck and of course the lattice bracing. To learn miore about these stories you may check my blog regarding Juan Orozco.

    • Kai 4 years ago

      There is on more brand witch has been produced at Chushin Gakki, Camac. This becomes evident because these guitars are so similar to El maya guitars.

    • Jay Holly profile image

      Jay Holly 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Anyone know where I can find a link to a 70's HS Anderson guitar catalog? Any info on these guitars, besides the history of the Madcat would be great!

    • Rodrah 4 years ago


      I have an arch top acoustic gutar branded "Morena" whch have owned since 1967 or thereabouts. I have seen a couple of electric Morena guitars that were made in Japan, but no one seems to know much about them. I'd be grateful for any info!

    • HD4Mel 4 years ago

      I have a LP style guitar that I have not found any information on. I hope some one has seen or heard of it and can give me more information. It has the word on the Headstock (" eagle "with an eagle head design right after the name ). This is a very heavy guitar. Trying to find out where and when it could have been made. Thanks, Mel

    • WPGOTIS 4 years ago

      Torch - Good job collecting this info. One thing clearly missing is the "Fujigen Gakki / Fender" relationship. In the early 80's Fender was about to sign with Tokai, yet at the last minute decided to use "Fujigen Gakki". This produced the early MIJ Fenders and were responsible for the Squier JV and SQ line! Some of the finest Fender clones to ever exist!

    • Jimmy John 4 years ago

      I have a "Realistic" brand bass with a made in Japan badge on the back...Radio Shack owned Realistic at some point, but I'm unclear if they were cOmpletely separate entities ever...Any info?

    • thegoodies123 4 years ago


      I have a J Watson & Co guitar purchased new in the early 1980 which I am finding hard to get much info on even though there were a few sold.

      I believe it was built by Suzuki in Japan and initially based on the Gibson Dove ,although it also has some design characteristic's of the some same era Matons. The name apparently comes from Johnny Watson a well known American blues guitarist who was popular in Japan about this time.

      So if you have a Watson, hope this is of interest, and if you know any more I'd love to hear you comments.

      Cheers Chris

    • david 4 years ago

      I have a solid and lightwieght body electric guitar from japan i've searched everywhere i can't find out what kind it is. It has a metal sticker badge on the back right under the neck and it says model no. ET-200, serial no.758833 any help is appreciated

    • victor 4 years ago

      *F = Factory: G, J & K beginning the serial numbers denote that is was made by the Terada factory:

      the "G" ink stamp means the guitar should have Gibson

      USA pickups, and "J" for Japanese pickups. K stands for Kuramae, Yamano's wholesales division.

      No letter beginning the serial number = FujiGen Factory-built.

      *Y = Production Year

      *M = Production Month

      *P = Production Number

      Mfg. Years Serial # Example Making Sense... Notes...


      S/N Type 1



      Made by Terada factory in

      1988, production # 4016.

      *The "J" in this model #

      denotes the use of Japanese pickups.


      S/N Type 2



      Made by FujiGen factory in

      May of 1991,

      production # 437.

      *This example has no letter

      at the beginning, which was the way FujiGen made their models.


      S/N Type 3

      F YYPPPP

      K 026154

      Made by Terada factory in

      1992, production # 6154.

      *** The serial numbers were

      ink-stamped onto silver

      stickers attached to the

      backs of the headstocks. If

      you see no serial number on your Orville, the sticker was likely removed.


      '57 & '59 Les Paul Reissues

      and the '61 SG Reissue

      S/N Type 4

      FY MPPP

      G3 07415

      Made by Terada factory in

      July of 1993, production #


      There is a space between

      the year and the

      month/production #.


      '57 & '59 Les Paul Reissues

      and the '61 SG Reissue

      S/N Type 5

      FY PPPP

      G2 5478

      Made by Terada factory in

      1992, production # 5478.

      There is a space between

      the year and the

      month/production #. I found this while surfing the net..The serial number on my mij guitar is 02277 (1970 feb 277th production or 1972 feb 77th production) what would your guess be??

    • setneck 4 years ago

      Torch, in your description of Lida you wrote "There is speculation that Iida may have assisted Moridara for a short period in making Morris badged guitars, but that is not verified.

      Well I just came across this on the bay

      Check out the label, looks like the speculation is correct. This is a Morris acoustic by Iida


    • AuctionPro 4 years ago

      Mann was the name that Ibanez started building under when they were being sued by gibson and fender for making replica's of the top guitars, The authorities were

      seizing the Japanese shipments and sawing the headstocks off of guitars by the boat load. Ibanez did this to protect themselves from the lawsuit and preserve the

      main company name. When they lost the lawsuit Mann was forced to shut down and the inventory was confiscated and destroyed. Because of this the Mann

      versions Are very rare and hard to come by, Especially a set neck and a solid neck that's one piece, (not a laminated fretboard). With brass fret markers etc....

      Even to this day, try getting an Ibanez case or guitar into Canada for example........ Enter Mann, they were the simple answer to get these guitars into Canada and

      other countries as well. The Authorities got smart to that in The USA though and confiscated both the Ibanez and Mann versions but the Mann versions were rare in the US to begin with.... That brings the value of the set neck version up through the roof here. I have sold a couple of rare ones at auction in the USA for over two grand, but that's in mint condition with original case and paperwork.

    • Memag 4 years ago

      Dyna Gakki made Ibanez Blazer series.

    • Dave Rossow 4 years ago

      I just picked up a Bradley Les Paul copy (black, gold hardware) in a local pawnshop here in Boise, Idaho. The neckplate states that it was made by Matsumoku. They may not have been the only manufacturer to have produced that brand but at least its proof of one that did.

    • Rudy Devo 4 years ago

      Hi, Do you know something about Harmony Guitars? Seems to be MIJ but didn't find in the lists below. Thanks

    • Rudy Devo 4 years ago

      Hi again

      Do you know something about Condor Corporation Limited Guitars? Seems to be MIJ but didn't find in the lists below. Thanks a lot

    • Rudy Devo 4 years ago

      Hi again & again

      Do you know something about Bird Guitars? Seems to be MIJ but didn't find in the lists below. Thanks a lot Too

    • Carl Beckman 4 years ago

      I bought an electric 6 string with the name Rodeo on it. On the back silver plate it s Japan stamped in it. It has two chrome and gold pickups and a really long head stock with all 6 machine heads in a row and the gears are shown on the back as the machine head are open. It has 2 Volume knobs and 1 Tone knob on it, along with 2 rocker type switches for turning each pickup on/off? It has an tremlo system with 3 springs showing on top behind an adjustable white bridge. The lever is missing and possibly it had an ashtray cover over the springs? I got this guitar out of a Pawn Shop in Dallas Texas ad paid $35.00 cash for it and it plays, :), If anyone has any parts or information on this possible Badge Guitar, please email me at thanks

    • Jay Holly 3 years ago

      Dose anyone who made know "Bill Brothers" guitars? I heard it was made by Morris, as one of there high end lines. Possibly even the top of there line. That would make it even higher then HS Anderson? If so, WOW! Lastly dose anybody know how to date a Bill Brothers guitar? Much Thanks!

    • Chris 3 years ago

      hello there!

      I got brilliant "Salvarez" copy of strat. It's really killer! and I also seen copy of les paul and jazz bass. Some research in web helped me that brand SALVAREZ was producing instruments only in 1980-82. Made in Japan of course:)

      greets- Chris

    • michelu 3 years ago


      I've found an old strat copy, "made in japan" badged "G B".

      G and B are golden letters with a small tail downward (B is like a beta).

      Anyone has informations about this guitar?

    • terribreeze profile image

      Terri Breeze 3 years ago from Vancouver, BC, Canada

      Hi Torch,

      What a fabulous resource this page is! I run a site called Bass-Aholic ( where I've documented over 900 brands of bass guitars. Your page has filled in lots of gaps for me. Will be linking back here. Thanks for the great research! - Terri

    • terribreeze profile image

      Terri Breeze 3 years ago from Vancouver, BC, Canada

      Rudy, Harmony was an American company. You can learn more about them here... -- Terri

    • setneck 3 years ago


      If you run a bass site, you should connect with my buddy in Australia; Paul Carrol. He runs a web site called Jedistar that is trying to documet every brand of guitar & bass ever made. Thanks, Ben in Ontario

    • terribreeze profile image

      Terri Breeze 3 years ago from Vancouver, BC, Canada

      Hi Ben, I'm very familiar with Jedistar. It's a wonderful resource. I've never been in contact with Paul. What's the best way to connect with him? -- Terri

    • John Egan 3 years ago


      I have a Suzuki dreadnought with a label which says "Kiso Suzuki Violin Company". It is obviously made to resemble a Guild, complete with "Chesterfield" logo, but interestingly, above this is inlaid "CF Suzuki Company Ltd" in an arc - I assume to resemble a Martin logo ! Interesting !! Seems to be mid-quality. Plays and records nicely.

      Regards, John

    • John Egan 3 years ago


      Just a small amendment to my previous post. The inlay above the Chesterfield logo reads "CF Suzuki & Co".

      Regards, John

    • Zack 3 years ago

      Please anyone help... I have just purchased a rather rough conditioned Diplomat Guitar Made In Japan...a recent Internet site read since lost suggested these were Aria made guitars...can anyone corroborate this? Aside from that can anyone provide anymore Info on Diplomat labelled Les Paul copies made in Japan?

    • Mr brown 3 years ago

      Bought a Japanese made Axiom guitar that looks like a SG Gibson. think it's got a bigsbee wammy bar. Can anyone tell me if this guitar is rare or not or any info about it ...thanks.

    • setneck 3 years ago

      "Axiom guitars are Japanese made in the early 1970s. ? an Australian brand"

      lifted from Jedistar site.

      On the site they have an Axiom copy of an Ibanez custom agent almost spot on, so it was probably made by Fuji Gen ( same as Ibanez). Another possibility is Matsumoku because I had owned a "Memphis" copy of the Custom Agent but it was not as accurate as the Axiom ( it did not have the inlay at the base of the guitar below the bridge). Ben

    • jargust 3 years ago

      Hey I have an Excetro guitar, an ES 335 copy which was given to me by my brother in the early seventies. His buddy brought it back from Vietnam. The guy at my local guitar shop absolutely loves it but of course I can find little or no info or any other photos like it. I would like to get in touch with Geoff who posted here 1 year ago....

    • Super44 3 years ago

      I have a Targa electric with bolt on neck. It is absolutely gorgeous. I am trying to find there year it was made. The Serial # is WO 21280. I have seen pics on the inter-net but can't trace the model or year it was made. Any clues as to how I can find out?

    • super8 3 years ago

      I have a Yasuma acoustic guitar that says Made in Japan Model No 200. It also says Est. 1950 Hand made by Yasuma Musical Inst., Co. I am trying to find out the year it was made. Any clues on how I can do that?

    • mgfupstate 3 years ago

      Has anyone ever heard of a Daiwa classical guitar? No model or series # on mfg tag inside. "Daiwa Musical Instr. Mfg., Toyoko, Japan" I've been researching for months w/o significant findings. Possibly part of Toyota instrument mfg? JPGs available. Tks for any info/leads.

    • Minnesotastrats 3 years ago

      I have a Crestline single gold foil pickup guitar that I am sure was made by Kawai/Teisco late 60's or early '70's. I have been told these were sold at Sears along with their Silvertone line.

    • paul 3 years ago

      Hi I have a rickenbaker copy by EXCETRO 330/360 guitar plays fantastic it looks stunning can anyone give any info I think tiesco was the main line to excetro in the early 70s thanks paul

    • sydpinto 3 years ago

      To Super44; I have an early 80's "TARGA" Electric Guitar with "neck-through-body" style. It features 2 cream coloured "active" pickups, small toggle switches, tiny LED light, front-installed jack socket and rear battery compartment with black plastic cover. The Slim neck is very easy to play.

      Bought in early 1983 at Music Mecca in Toronto, Canada as an engagement gift by my wife so have no intention of selling it. I believe it was imported from the Orient by a Quebec Dealer though have no proof of that. In GR8 condition as seldom used over the years.

    • Nathan 3 years ago

      Did anone ever have an answer for this question?

      HD4Mel 14 months ago

      I have a LP style guitar that I have not found any information on. I hope some one has seen or heard of it and can give me more information. It has the word on the Headstock (" eagle "with an eagle head design right after the name ). This is a very heavy guitar. Trying to find out where and when it could have been made. Thanks, Mel

    • darkhorse 3 years ago

      Hey, I have a really old MIJ 335 hollowbody copy, with a badge on the headstock that reads "President" - and "Made in Japan" on the neckplate. I can't find any info at all about this so ANYTHING would be much appreciated! Thanks folks!

    • Clive shakedown 3 years ago

      Hi, does anyone have any information on sanox guitars?

    • prasad 2 years ago

      hi.... have any place to buy "ibanez RG450dxb" left hand guitar in vietnam??

    • Laser 2 years ago

      @Clive shakedown:

      I have a Sanox Sound Creator, cool natural wood colour neck-through version. Very heavy, tons of sustain. Search the internet for more information, I have no further details about factory, series, etc.

    • jtblues77 2 years ago

      Not sure if I came to the right place, but I have a chance to purchase a 1960's model Hy Lo guitar (it also has the Kent Label?). It looks like a 335 knock off for around $250, any advice would be appreciated. I don't want to get ripped off.

    • Jean Philippe 2 years ago

      Hi from France ! I am very impressed by the information found on your website. Despite my research, I have not found the EXPER brand, supposed to be japanese and vintage. Som of my contacts told me it could be a badged guitar from Kasuga but I'm not sure of that and really would like to know. Could you please tell me whayt you think about that ? Many thanks. Jean Philippe

    • Bjarke 2 years ago

      I have a Sakai guitar.

      It's made by the Fujigen, Maya and Matsomoku company's.

    • townhouse 2 years ago

      I am restoring a 1970s Les Paul copy with 'Grant' in the Gibson position on the headstock. I has a 4 bolt neck and the neckplate says 'Made in Japan'. I know that these were imported by a music store called 'Grant' in Glasgow, Scotland and there are web references around to verify the provenance. What I don't know is which factory made it.

      After 40+ years, it is battered and the original player used very heavy gauge strings, so the low frets are pretty shot, but after cleaning out the electrics, everything works and the sound is good. It certainly sounds better sounding that my Ibanez 2344 Melody Maker copy of the same vintage. Any ideas on the factory?

    • martin 2 years ago

      hi, I have a Commodore semi acoustic made in Japan in the seventies. This seems to be a UK brand name. I don't know which factory made it...

    • Emily 2 years ago

      got my dad's guitar after he passed away. its electric solid wood has a tone knob and volume knob next to the cord plug in and two little black slider buttons. I don't know anything about guitars but it only has one marker on the back its on the silver plate and it just says Japan in all caps. there is no brand name on the headstock or anywhere else on the guitar that I can find and I've looked at over many times.

    • mike 2 years ago

      do anybody know about a hondo deluxe series h757g telacaster

    • Bradderby 2 years ago

      Great post a lot of useful information here I found this old acoustic guitar made by lotus I have never heard of this brand and have been trying to research it for about a month now and haven't gotten any closer to finding out the history of it if anyone know anything about them I'm all ears it has a tag on the inside model no. LW 65 or g5 lotus made in japan thanks in advance for any information I can get

    • RickyDonalds 2 years ago

      Just purchased a Toredo FG model 8018. The inner label reads "Designed serviced and adjusted by Meilsel Music, subsidiary of Avnet inc." The only information I could find on the web was a picture, no other details.

      Hopefully the obscurity doesn't mean its total crap :)

      would appreciate any information provided! thanks

    • miki 2 years ago

      I have my El Maya EM 1300 ( El Maya Japan, Kobe instruments) since 1989 but it was built during the end of 1982 and EL Maya Strat version, guitars are neck trough body, amazing instruments they are better then any guitars i ever played maybe I'm not objective , only my US Hamer is close or on that level. Does Anybody have any El Maya? and that you maybe wish to sell it? More over what are the fer prices for the almost mint state of those guitars, regards miki.

    • ANDY 2 years ago

      Hi there, i have just acquired a walnut coloured strat rosewood neck brass bridge saddle pieces the brand name is thomson mij in the 70s does any one know anything about this guitar. thanks.

    • Chris 2 years ago

      Just to clarify:

      The bass in the link I posted has the same neck, headstock and pickups to my bass. The body shape and finish are different.

      Thanks and I hope to finally identify the little beast...

    • WaBaTa 2 years ago

      Hi There,

      I'm about to buy a MIJ Stratocaster, the pearloide Logo on the big headstock says Concorde , not Concord. Can't find any good info online, except for some german vintage guitar site, suggests it might be badge madr bij Maya guitars.. csn yoy help me out here?

    • tiw99 2 years ago

      You have very good info but not on my guitar!

      It is a 1971 Sakura 9-12 12 string guitar. I would like to know how made it and what the back and side woods were made of.

      I also have Hohner HG 9-12 Arbor series 12 string and found some info on it but not what Japanese company made it.

      Any help on these two guitars? Especially the Sakura

    • Mike 2 years ago

      I have an acoustic that I bought from a lady I know who said she has had it since the early 70's. It says 'Maya' on the headstock and the reinforcement rod cover is stamped with 'Takamine'. The sticker inside the sound hole says 'Maya', "We made this guitar for the people who love guitar music", Made by Takamine, Model No. TF1o1S, Japan. On the inside of the sound hole at the top, the wood block there is stamped with 46.6.3. The guitar is only about 3 1/4 inches deep and approx. 15 inches wide at its widest spot. Small guitar with a big beautiful sound.

    • londonaccountants profile image

      Goringe Accountants 2 years ago from London, UK

      Amazing resource! Thank you for putting this together!!

    • Ron 2 years ago

      Would you have any information about BC Rich Acoustic Guitars???

    • Delfin 2 years ago

      Would you have information on a Toyama Japan Archtop. It looks like a Gibson L-4. Thanks

    • david 2 years ago

      hi, i own a Concorde(yes, with an e at the end) bass-guitar, a fender jazz bass copy. i read somewhere that it was made in kobe, but not sure.

      it's a fantastic bass, i love it, found it at a fleamarket in austria. does anyone know more about this brand?


    • Zdenek 2 years ago

      What is guitar Bird Made in Japan ?

    • Zdenek 2 years ago

      This guitar name BIRD is strat.

    • Zdenek 2 years ago

      When was made the guitar BIRD made in Japan ? It is japan cipy Fender Lead. Thanks.

    • Zdenek 2 years ago

      Copy Fender Lead.

    • Freddi 24 months ago

      Hi, my cousin gave me a bass guitar, the brand is called Cyclone by EKS Technology Inc. I looked it up and I could find barely anything. the bass has been in his garage since the early '90s and he told he that Fender bought the brand sometime around then, but I still can't find anything about the brand, apart from that they also produce electric guitars. almost as if the brand has been wiped from history. Any information regarding this brand would be gratefully accepted!

    • Freddi 24 months ago

      Forgot to add, he also told me that the brand (from his memory) was manufactured somewhere along the late 80's.

    • Marc Bristol profile image

      Marc Bristol 24 months ago from Duvall, Washington

      Hi - Long ago I had a vaguely Mustang like guitar with a Samiel badge. I don't see it listed here, though I assume it was Japanese made. The guitar inspired my (so far) best known song "Sucker For A Cheap Guitar." I traded it off, and have been trying to track it back down, not sure I even have a photo anywhere that shows it. Discovered your page because I just acquired a nice Fender Jazz bass copy that says Eagle on it, but I see there's no information as yet. The guy I got it from is from Brazil, and he may have bought it there, perhaps it's even a Brazilian brand, like the amp (Attack Audio System) that I got with it. I was also happy to learn a little more about Maruha, I had a nice archtop Jazz guitar with that name on it, until trading it off, possibly for the Samiel and an autoharp, I can't remember now! It was back in the '70s. both were probably manufactured in the '60s.

    • LJ 23 months ago

      i have a rock solid Gibson S-1 clone from late 70s, MIJ, SIGMA brand on the flying V neck, plays like à dream, never sen any news on this one, who made them etc. Visible difference to S-1 is the colour on the head and PUP encasing having rounded edges vs the rectangles on Bill Lawrences original S-1.

    • EH 18 months ago

      Great info. I found an interesting connection when researching a recently-acquired Intermark Cipher, as it's said here to be a Teisco, yet it bears a close resemblance to a model of Pleasant, which was credited to the obscure Shinko Musical Company. I wish i could post pics, but essentially, both have the Teisco-like headstock, identical pickups with off-white covers and square pegs, body shape is virtually identical except for the upper cutaway having a slightly different contour, the Pleasant having one more pickup and larger pickguard, both having switches above the pickups. I came upon a drowinginguitars video ( describing in the video description how Kawai (-Teisco?) bought the "Pleasant Guitar Co." (Shinko?). This video isn't the model I have, my Cipher resembles the Pleasant sel-220.

    • glenn 18 months ago

      I have a Berkley (not barclay ) labelled acoustic guitar I bought in the early 70s would be grateful for any information you may have

    • No blues 18 months ago

      Hi, I have a Les Paul copy - says, Yamato on the "open book" headstock. Has a bolt on Mahogany neck and on the plate says, 'made in japan' 1/4 sawn mahogany body and looks to be a maple top in cherry sunburst. Has nice 3 piece binding all the way around. plays well , nice action. Any info? thanx!

    • mersastra 18 months ago

      Hi Torch, appreciate the work gone into this , fantastically informative piece. Good to see such a following as well , too many Gibson / Fender fanatics out there that dismiss Jap / Asian guitars as inferior. Having played god knows how many guitars over 50 years I've had good and bad in both top and lesser known brands. Started off at 15 years old with a Tiesco ( cost me £15 S/H at the time. lol ). Admittedly it was a piece of junk, but hey it got me started. Just picked up a Strat copy made in China for £10 ( as new condition) Branded Excell , out plays my Aria by a country mile. I have an old acoustic here about 40 years old, cost £62.50 at the time. No place of origin , serial No or anything. Imported by Rose Morris with the brand Avon on the head stock. This baby out plays any acoustic I've ever played, including a couple of Martins, As any guitarist should know a guitar is how it feels and plays not it's name. Nothing wrong with Jap / Asian guitars , could be made in Iceland for all I care it's the guitar that counts. Keep up the good work. Regards and thanks.

    • Dan 16 months ago

      Do you know who made Mansfield guitars in Japan? I have a six string Mansfield 693 Dove acoustic.

    • Larry 16 months ago

      I have a Crown classic folk guitar. It says crown on the fretboard and has what looks like a gibson inlay in it. Anyone know anything about its value, it is in perfect condition. thanks,

    • Rick 15 months ago

      Been hunting down a maker or info all morning on a LP guitar seen on ebay thinking about buying. On the headstock it has "I" and "C" incorporated together. Its very nice but the same too its a big mystery, there is no other clues

    • GET 14 months ago

      S.G. Galan(GibsonCopy)

      共和商会(Kyowa Shokai)originalbrand

      Japanese source

      共和商会(Kyowa Shokai)=Caparison Guitar Company

    • yakitori-sio 14 months ago

      I am glad if I serve as a reference

      From Japan with the friendship!

    • mic_horns 13 months ago

      SG Galan is the original brand of Japan's Shimokura musical instrument store.

      Currently, we continue as a low-cost wind instrument brand.

      Saxophone two types, only it is confirmed.

    • terje foss 13 months ago

      Have a copy of a les paul branded "Boogie", was importet from Japan between 1975-1980, by company Sound House, Oslo, Norway.

      Have anyone seen this headstock before?

    • mersastra 13 months ago

      Just purchased this vintage 1970s satellite guitar. Not the usual LP /Strat copy , plays nice and looks gorgeous.

      I was wondering about origins and came across the same model on Ebay (Link below ) The seller puts this in his description

      " When you look up satellite, they were cheap japanese guitars possibly made in the matsumoku factory, but this was their prestige model ".

      Think I have too many guitars as it is but couldn't resist this one , was local and picked it up for £32.50 the guy on Ebay is asking £350

      for his , either he's dreaming or I have really got a bargain. Always loved the look of a neck-through and natural wood , love it.

    • Lana 11 months ago

      I have a "President" brand guitar made by the Luthier Maruchu Shokai in Hamamatsu, Japan. Can anyone tell me how old it is, or anything else about it?

    • Ronnie 9 months ago

      Any clue on Global? I don't see them listed.

    • Roger 9 months ago

      Tune was a Japanese brand from the 80's producing good quality basses such as the Wood Bass

    • Evan 9 months ago

      I have a SHIMA JN-70 Made in Japan, classical, looks to be 60s or 70s, no info whatsoever.

    • Peter Clarke 9 months ago

      Yamahas were not all made in Japan from 60-80. At least some of the acoustics were made in Taiwan from about 1975.

    • Anonymous 9 months ago

      Have a Columbus series 3 superstrat. Jackson/charvel knockoff. It plays ok with a dimarrzio bucker and 2 single coils od unknown origin. It original had a locking trem which could only dive and I replaced with a FR that can only do same because I wouldn't risk routing the ply body. Anyway the interesting point (and I'd love to find out) is that under the "Columbus series 3" badge can clearly be see the faint etching of another badge in gothic script "Winchester". Any thoughts?

    • No-Way 8 months ago

      It's confirmed. Eagle in Norway was not associated with Eagle/Sweagele (Eagle Instruments, in Sweeden). Eagle/Sweagle was manufactured by Unsung in Korea! (ref. correspondense with

    • Ed 8 months ago

      Yamaki produced Washburn guitars and basses in the early 80s.

    • mike 7 months ago

      I found a 70's made in japan electric guitar Watson, double cut, neck through, looks similar to Memphis MG300 Matsumoko.

      Anyone knows anything about this badge ?


    • George 7 months ago

      I have Bolero dreadnought that I am not able to find the manufacturing details. The trust rod cover says Tokai I have contacted the Manufacturer in Japan but they did not confirm nor deny that made that brand :(

    • Simon Beck 7 months ago

      Very interesting and well-researched. I would take issue with your repeated use of the word "infamous" - it means notorious, or famous for a bad reason. Perhaps you should just use the word "famous" instead.

    • Dave Feller 7 months ago

      Legion classical guitar, model 4104, square label inside with made in japan in bottom right corner, along with make and model.Any ideas? Looks like a maple laminate top...

    • Dave 6 months ago

      Anyone ever heard of a blaZe, it looksi in all aspects like a fender strat but the head is blaZe. Plays great and sounds real good but no ones ever heard of it?

    • Eddie 6 months ago


      I purchased a Vibromatic and told it's a 1970's guitar with "made in Japan" on the back (See photos attached). It's not your guitar listed of makers. I have had not joy in searching the "web" can you help me identify the history of me new beloved Vibromatic.

      i can email photos

      thanks Eddie

    • Grant 6 months ago

      Anyone heard of a Dara? Says made in Japan. It's from the 60's or 70's but I can t find any info on it.

    • Pat Mc 5 months ago

      I'm looking for some deeper research than I can find. I have a Hohner 310 Limited Edition that I bought in October, 1975 in Canada. Common Hohners have a meaningless SN (does not relate to date made). They are also listed as having been made from 1978-1984.

      Mine was bought before this and does not have a SN. It is a very well built, Martin D-28 copy. It is also very similar to the Morris W35, except for the snowflake fret markers vs dots. The headstock looks identical although they could have been purchased.

      The label clearly says "HOHNER INTERNATIONAL", and a wood label beside the paper reads "Hand made for HOHNER".

      OK, so is this a Moridara (Morris) or is it by someone else? When did Moridara start making Hohners? Thanks if anyone knows more than I.

    • gerardo tex 5 months ago

      does anybody knows about this japanese guitar brand? STRIKERY, or anybody has one of this, something to help me identify it. thanks

    • Scott 4 months ago

      I have a Dixon model 2846 MIJ. It is basically a guild d-50 knockoff but has a Martin type three piece rosewood back. This guitar is very high quality. The same guitar is sold under the Ibanez name in the mid 70's.

      So any information on the brand, Dixon. What factory it was made and what year?

      Send any info to


    • Heinrich 3 months ago

      I have a guitar that my wife got from her granddad. I have taken it in for repairs and the person told me that it is Carlton 60 era Japanese guitar. I cant find any information on this brand.

      Can you help?

    • Konrad 3 months ago


      I was informed by Mark Erlewine that his japanese made "Automatic" guitar in the early 80ies were made by

      Chushin Factory / Matsumoku, Japan (not the Hondo made guitars).

      Maybe another sign that Chushin may have been a member of the Matsumoto Musical Instruments Association in these days


    • Notts 2 months ago

      I have what I believe to be a 1970 Morris Mando Mania and am trying to source some background information.

      It has a Florentine scroll with twin pickups and the headstock reads "The Morris" and a name plate inside the f-hole reads "Morris Gakki Co. MORRIS Custom".

      The only reference to it is that Pete Cosey played one in the 70's with Miles Davis and there are a few pictures on Google but that's it!

      Any help would be much appreciated.

      I can supply photos for authenticity if it helps.

    • Jim P. 2 months ago

      I just thought you'd like to know that Takamine produced for other names. I've just bought a 1973 Wayne which has a Takamine label inside stating it was made for Wayne. Its a Takamine 375 thats a Martin D35 copy. Wayne were guitar makers in Melbourne Australia in the 1950s and 60s and began importing under their name briefly in the 70s. It sounds amazing.

    • Whiteyak1 2 months ago

      Morning everyone, well it is here in UK anyway. Who can help with my find. It's a Dia Hummingbird labelled F 315 but no serial number. So from what I can find Dia was a brand used by Matsumoku but I can only see electrics under Dia brand when I search. However it looks identical to a Aria F315 Hummingbird on eBay USA at present, and identical to an Aria Pro II from the 1976 catalogue but labelled W 30 model I believe. I won't put a link on here in case I'm breaking rules. It has that weird aluminium compensated bridge and seriously, this one looks brand new with two tiny dings that would make it a second or an ex-demo if it was on sale. Action at low E 12th is about 2.7mm and about 1.8 at high e. It's in such good condition I began to question if in fact it is a 'knock off of a knock off' though why anyone would think that would work I can't guess. It is very very playable, and at first I wasn't keen on the tone though sustain is great (despite bridge) but I changed to heavier strings (13) with much improvement. I'm seeing a luthier friend next week who is finishing off work on a brilliant Terada FW 613 (D18 clone if you like), but I'm wondering whether to get him to replace the whole alloy bridge. I can do a couple of pics if anyone is interested. Any help in identification of maybe year (guessing 1976) and origin greatly appreciated. I think it's a keeper, but should I change that bridge ? Has anyone done similar on one of these compensated aluminium designs and what were results. Many thanks.

    • 2 months ago

      you put in a lot of work, its not biblical correct, pretty good...but take with a grain of salt. but some guitars are made in Korea. I bought a Yamaha 3 piece back like a Kiso Suzuki, I would it was made in Japan The tuners said made Japan. I thought the pawn shop was crazy. I got it for $100 Love this guitar and then one day I looked at the the decal in the sound hole and in the tiniest print "Made in Korea" I felt a pang like o' crap I bought a Korean guitar. But I have a few Acoustics High end a Guild made in the 80's and this Yamaha is incredible. better or just as good as my old Suzuki

    • Ryan M 5 weeks ago

      I found a Na Yang Acoustic Guitar and I can't find the name, maker or anything on line about it. It looks like a Martin D-45 copy. It does have nice pearl inlay around the body and on the nick. Anyone out there ever seen or heard of a Na Yang guitar???? Model# W-945

    • Glen Jones 4 weeks ago

      I have a Bass Guitar with the name SAKAI on the head. Don't know anything about it.

    • Patrick Maher 3 weeks ago

      I lost a wonderful EMPRO les paul custom model In a plain top brown finish (it was at a friends house in Dallas Texas who died in 2002 and was auctioned off before I could get down there from Michigan). It was my first electric guitar, bought at a pawn shop in Sulphur Springs, TX in 1989. I loved that guitar and have only seen about three other Empros since then. I did not see the Empro badge on this site. Anybody know the maker?

    • DG 6 days ago

      I have a Triumph Les Paul, also not listed here but MIJ. No other info, apart from serial number 9332 at top of head. Have not opened the guitar, s not sure is there is more in there.

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