This is one of the most frustrating questions from the MIJ collector. 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.
Japanese Manufacturers of Made in Japan Badged Electric Guitars From 1960 to 1980
The Wonders of Vintage Japanese Guitars - The Guitar Repairers
Way back in the the early legend of guitar research, Michael Wright, published a short list like this in his book Guitar Stories Volume One. Many thanks need to go out to the main contributors to this list besides yours truly. These three guys are just so great for sharing what they know. So I really appreiate these fellers! As of late, the great Bill Menting has been filling in some of the missing information, and again, I appreciate it! Also, a million thanks goes to the excellent work of Michael Wright, who was writing and researching these guitars when people were just as likely to throw them in the trash. I also want to mention the great site Jedistar.
Japan has been producing high-quality guitars for decades, and although many of these guitars have been replicas of American guitars, such as Gibson and Fender models, Japan's acoustic guitars have a formidable presence on today's acoustic guitar market. The TFSBG-MAG is perhaps Takamine's crown jewel, thanks in part to its vintage tone and new electronics system, which includes an internal preamp -- the first of its kind. This Tradesman Series dreadnought is constructed using solid Adirondack spruce and Madagascar rosewood for deep, rich tones and a sensitive dynamic range. Yamaha LJ36 Yamaha makes everything from motorcycles to pianos, and its guitars range from affordable entry models to high-end acoustic, electric and classical guitars.