Fender Japan, Ltd. was a joint venture between Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, Kanda Shokai (神田商会) and Yamano Gakki (山野楽器) to produce and sell Fender-branded instruments for the Japanese market. The collaboration began in 1982 and ended on March 31, 2015, with Fender's launch of Fender Music Corporation (Japan) taking over the Japanese business effective April 1, 2015 with a Fender-manufactured product line. The Japanese-made Fender guitars sold by Fender Music Corporation (Japan) have since been categorized as the 'Japan Exclusive' series.
The new Fender did not acquire any physical assets of the old company, just the name 'Fender'. Hence during 1985 to 1987, production of Fender guitars was only done in Japan, while USA Fender created a new factory in California. The Japanese-made Fenders do have some slight serial number differences (typically a 'J' serial number prefix). The following is the serial number breakdown for the 110 & 112 Round Fender tractors: 1963 110 (2,550 - 3,550) 1964 110 (3,551 - 15,000) 1965 110. Log in or Sign up Welcome to JD Fanatics Forum. Serial Numbers The early Fender Japan E series serial numbers from 1984-1987 follow the Fender USA serial number format of E = eighties and the first digit of the serial number representing the year. For example E6XXXXX = 1986. Most of the Fender Japan serial numbers do not follow this format.
In the late 1970s, Fender was facing competition from lower-priced Japanese-made guitars. The higher-priced Fender guitars were made in the United States and could not compete directly with Japanese-made Fender copies. In Japan, Fender was also losing sales to Japanese guitar brands such as Tōkai, Greco and Fernandes. Since Japanese labor and production costs were much lower than in the United States, Fender moved the lower-priced Fender guitar production to Japan and began negotiations with several Japanese musical instrument distributors.
In March 1982, Fender Japan, Ltd. was officially established as a joint venture between Fender, Kanda Shokai (神田商会) and Yamano Gakki (山野楽器).
Kanda Shokai is a musical instrument wholesaler that does not own any retail outlets of its own. Kanda Shokai also owns the brand name, Greco. One of the conditions in the Fender Japan agreement was that Kanda Shokai cease production of its Greco Fender copies. Yamano is another musical instrument wholesaler/retailer with its own retail outlets and was once a part of the Orville by Gibson venture. Neither company manufactures guitars, instead ordering them from Japanese guitar factories and distribute them through retail outlets. Yamano distributes through its own retail outlets and also various other retail outlets, while Kanda Shokai distributes through various retail outlets, including the Ishibashi chain of music stores in Japan.
The Japanese guitar factories that produced Fender Japan guitars at various times were FujiGen Gakki, Tōkai Gakki and Dyna Gakki.
At the beginning of the Fender Japan venture, Tokai was seriously being considered as the manufacturer, but after a breakdown in negotiations, FujiGen Gakki was chosen instead. Some FujiGen-made Fender Japan models between 1982 and 1996 have necks made by Atlansia.
Tōkai Gakki and Dyna Gakki took over the manufacture of the Fender Japan models in 1996/1997. The Tōkai-made Fender Japan guitars were not exported, but some of the Dyna-made Fender Japan guitars were. Dyna Gakki have made various guitars for Kanda Shokai's Greco brand.
Terada made the Fender Japan acoustic guitars such as the Fender Catalina.
'Made in Japan' and 'Crafted in Japan'
Fender Japan Serial Numbers Jd 2
- 'Made in Japan' = FujiGen Gakki
- 'Crafted in Japan' = Others (Tōkai Gakki, Dyna Gakki)
According to a Fender representative, it was stipulated in the Fender Japan contract that if there was a change of manufacturer from FujiGen Gakki to another guitar factory, the production inscription in the guitar would be changed from 'Made in Japan' (MIJ) to 'Crafted in Japan' (CIJ). Most of the Japanese-made Fenders up until 1996/1997 were MIJ Fenders.
The first CIJ Fenders started around 1992, when Dyna Gakki took over some of the production requirements of Fender Japan. This resulted in the 'Crafted in Japan' inscription appearing on some Japanese Fenders during this period. Dyna took over because FujiGen was expanding its own factory operations.
CIJ was used entirely on Japanese Fenders produced from 1996/1997 until 2015, after Tōkai and Dyna took over the Fender Japan manufacturing contract. The Fender Squier range was also brought in line with the Japanese Fenders at around the same time (1996/1997), with the CIJ inscription being used.
Fender Japan Serial Numbers Jd 500
1982: Fender Japan starts production with FujiGen Gakki having the manufacturing contract. The 'Made in Japan' (MIJ) logo is used.
1984: CBS sells Fender to its current owners and while waiting for a new US factory to begin production, Fender Japan models and leftover US stock were mostly sold in the US for a few years.
1993: The first 'Crafted in Japan' (CIJ) models start appearing due to Dyna Gakki taking over some of the manufacturing while FujiGen Gakki were expanding their operations.
1996/1997: 'Crafted in Japan' (CIJ) is used instead of 'Made in Japan' (MIJ) because Tōkai Gakki and Dyna Gakki take over the manufacturing contract from FujiGen Gakki.
2015:Fender, Yamano and Kanda Shokai end the Fender Japan joint venture on March 31, 2015. Fender took over the Japanese business effective April 1, 2015.
Fender Japan Serial Numbers Jd 1
- ^'Fender Japan History'. Daeschler.com. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
- (in Japanese)FujiGen Gakki History
- (in Japanese)Atlansia
Until 1997 the serial number of these guitars was paired with the 'Made in Japan' decal (period called MIJ Era); since 1997 Fender has replaced this decal with the 'Crafted in Japan' one, paving the way for the CIJ Era (some CIJs, however, appeared already in 1995). After 2007 Fender used again the “Made in Japan” decal, though for a few years both were printed.
The serial number of the Japanese guitars was similar to that of the American Stratocasters: in fact this also was composed by one or two letters followed by some numbers. The first series of the Japanese Stratocasters is that called “JV”, and it is surrounded by an aura of magic: there are many guitarists who, after having tried them, have praised their construction quality and sound. It is important to note that some CIJ serial numbers overlap the MIJ ones, so that to distinguish them it is essential to see which decal is applied.