FujiGen Gakki (Japanese) フジゲン 楽器 is a musical instrument manufacturer based at Matsumoto in Japan and is named after the famous Mount Fuji. Gen means stringed instruments and Gakki means musical instrument - the name being literally translated as "Fuji Stringed Musical Instruments". FujiGen does OEM guitar manufacturing for well known guitar brands and they also manufacture their own brands of guitars such as Heartfield and FgN.
FujiGen started production in 1960, making violins and Classical guitars. In 1962 FujiGen started production of electric guitars. In the 1970s FujiGen started making guitars (OEM) for companies such as Hoshino Gakki (Ibanez), CSL (Antoria), Kanda Shokai (Greco guitars) and Yamaha. In 1977/1978 FujiGen went into a joint venture with Roland to produce guitar synthesizers. In 1981 FujiGen opted out of acoustic guitar production to mainly concentrate on solid body guitar production. FujiGen obtained a CNC router in mid 1981 for making guitar parts and also began to manufacture their own pickups starting in late 1981.
In 1981/1982 FujiGen obtained the Fender Japan contract which lasted until 1996/1997 and in 1983 FujiGen were producing 14,000 guitars a month with 80% of the guitars being made for export markets and 20% being made for Japanese domestic markets. In mid/late 1992 FujiGen obtained a part of the Orville by Gibson contract which ended in 1998 and from then on have made Epiphone Japan solid body guitars, some Gretsch models and their own branded FgN guitars. FujiGen still do OEM guitar manufacturing for companies like Ibanez and Epiphone but in much smaller quantities than in the past. FujiGen has 3 factories, the Omachi factory in Nagano, the Hirooka factory (established around 1992) in Nagano and the Matsumoto head office factory in Nagano.
Other Japanese OEM Guitar Manufacturers
Tokai (Tōkai Guitars) were established in 1947 at Hamamatsu and have built guitars for many well-known brands over the years. They have their own Tokai brand guitars. They currently build some of the Fender Japan guitars.
Dyna Gakki were established in 1972 at Nagano and currently build some of the Fender Japan guitars and also build some of the Gretsch guitars as well. Dyna Gakki made the early 1980s Ibanez Blazer guitars for Hoshino Gakki and have also made Greco guitars for Kanda Shokai. Dyna Gakki made the Yamaki/Daion/Founder/Joodee solid body guitars for Daion in the 1970s and early 1980s (the Daion "Joodee" brand should not be confused with the "T and Joodee" brand by Japanese luthier Shiroh Tsuji).
Terada were established in 1912 at Nagoya and concentrate mostly on making Semi-acoustic and Acoustic guitars and have made guitars for Ibanez, Orville by Gibson, Epiphone Japan, Gretsch and other well-known brands as well. At their production peak (in the late 1970s/1980s/early 1990s) they were producing around 10,000 guitars a month using 3 factories, the Higashiku factory, the Kanie factory and the Shirakawa factory. Terada's output is now about an 1/8 of what it was at their peak and they are still actively producing guitars at their Kanie factory.
Ida Gakki (Iida) were established in 1958 at Nagoya and have made Solid Body, Semi-acoustic and Acoustic guitars for well-known brands such as Ibanez, Yamaha and Caparison. Ida Gakki (Iida) also own the Peerless guitar factory in Korea.
Kasuga were established in 1935 at Nagoya and made the Heerby and Ganson Gibson replica guitars in the 1970s/1980s. They were involved in a joint venture with Roland for guitar synths in the late 1970s. They also made Acoustic guitars for Yamaha in the 1980s before the Yamaha Acoustic production moved to Taiwan. They went out of business in the early/mid-1990s.
Matsumoku were established at Matsumoto and built Aria and Epiphone guitars and also built guitars for many other well-known brands in the 1970s/1980s. They went out of business around 1986/1987.
Chushin Gakki established in 1948 by K. Miyazawa at Nagano and have made electric guitars since 1961 since production of all other instruments ceased. They made Charvel and Jackson guitars, Robin in the early 1980s, as well as original designs, such as Bambu and El Maya (EM series), collaboration of Maya Musical Instrument CO and famous American manufacturer engineer (Alembic?), starting in the 1977 through the early 1980s.
1986/1987 tour of Fujigen factory, Rainer Daeschler. http://www.daeschler.com/articles/fujigen/