A TOKAI By Any Other Name?

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Sigmania

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Who all did Tokai build guitars for?

Just hoping some members can shed some light on which guitars floating around out there are actually Tokais with another name on the head stock?

Does anyone know dates and who all they built guitars for?
 
Interesting. I had thought the “Crafted in Japan” versions were made by Tokai.

That article you linked says:

“ Fender produced by Tokai from 1998 to 2008 say “Crafted in Japan” under the serial number.”

JV line by Fujigen.
 
Crafted equals made by Tokai.

Dyna Gakki are currently making Japanese Fenders as are Fujigen. JV is Fuji and JD is Dyna. Just had a 2016 Dyna made Fender Strat in my hands last week, as a friend had just bought it. Very very nicely made, it was just lovely to hold. It was a used version but from close inspection the previous owner had played a few chords and then put it back in its case.
 
Interesting. That’s two brands, Fender and Greco, that Fujigen was involved with as well.
 
guitar hiro said:
I believe there were a few Greco EGs & EGCs from the late '80s era that were produced by Tokai Gakki

Maybe some Greco SA/ES models as well?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.guitarsofjapan.com/amp/identifying-a-tokai-made-greco

MKTTBZX.jpg
 
So far it looks like Tokai made guitars at some point for:

Fender
Greco
Fernandes/Burny
CF Martin
 
mdvineng said:
Crafted equals made by Tokai.

Dyna Gakki are currently making Japanese Fenders as are Fujigen. JV is Fuji and JD is Dyna. Just had a 2016 Dyna made Fender Strat in my hands last week, as a friend had just bought it. Very very nicely made, it was just lovely to hold. It was a used version but from close inspection the previous owner had played a few chords and then put it back in its case.

I just saw this on a Wikipedia page. Not sure if it is accurate, but tossing it out there since it kind of muddies the water re: CIJ=Tokai.


"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."


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fender_Japan

xmHC1ZU.jpg
 
And I found this re Tokai making Fernandes guitars.

The following are short explanation of Fernandes Strat Replica history

1973-74 Traditional Type "Fernandes" Logo --- Kawai --- conducted by Mr. Omote and Mr. Shiino
1975-77 Spaghetti Type "Fernandes" Logo --- Kawai/Tokai --- conducted by Mr. Omote
1978-79 Stone Type "Fernandes" Logo --- Tokai
1980-81 Stone Type "Fernandes" Logo --- Changed to 22F --- Tokai
1981-90 Revival Series Logo --- Probably Tokai
2003 Revival Second Generation --- No idea about the MFG



http://www.music-trade.co.jp/fenandeshistory.html

RsbUgOr.jpg


VB23QFK.jpg


GiTqJFO.jpg
 
You can chase the Greco route next https://www.guitarsofjapan.com/post/identifying-a-tokai-made-greco 8) 8)

https://www.mylespaul.com/threads/tokai-made-greco-control-cavity-question.427152/
 
mdvineng said:
You can chase the Greco route next https://www.guitarsofjapan.com/post/identifying-a-tokai-made-greco 8) 8)

Yep. I linked that above.

I was thinking of trying to fit together a loose timeline to adjust as we get better/more reliable info. Maybe this has already been done on here by other members?

It would be cool to see the extent of their (Tokai's) operations over time.
 
Tokai guitar timeline:

1947 Company started by making harmonicas and pianos
1965 Making classical guitars
1968 First electric guitars (Hummingbirds, Mosrite clone)
1970-1973 Made Conn acoustics
1972 Began making Sigmas for CF Martin
1975 Began making Cat's Eyes acoustics
1975-77? Began making Fernandes Fender clones
1978 Tokai "Les Paul Reborn"
1977? Tokai branded Fender clones (Springy Sound, Breezy Sound)
1989-91? Tokai making some guitars for Greco?
1997-2015 Tokai making guitars for Fender

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tōkai_Gakki

uGuR1D4.jpg


xBp5ro2.jpg
 
Sigmania said:
mdvineng said:
You can chase the Greco route next https://www.guitarsofjapan.com/post/identifying-a-tokai-made-greco 8) 8)

Yep. I linked that above.

I was thinking of trying to fit together a loose timeline to adjust as we get better/more reliable info. Maybe this has already been done on here by other members?

It would be cool to see the extent of their (Tokai's) operations over time.


I'm thinking that a few companies swapped around contracts depending on demand and circumstances
 
So one observation looking at the timeline is the history of Tokai taking on designs that already existed (often American designs) and making very high quality replicas of them to the point that the original mfrs (in America) took note and asked them to build their guitars in Japan.

A few examples are Mosrite, CF Martin and Fender.

Also should be noted that Tokai was not the only company doing this in Japan, not by a long shot. But Tokai seemed to have high quality production standards. Fujigen as well. Those two companies seemed to have some parallels and both made guitars for Fender at different times.
 
Fujigen also made the Gibson models as Orville or Orville by Gibson, along with the Epiphone Elite series, of which I have two examples and are better made than the Gibson originals I had in the 70's.
 
Yep. I’ve had many, many high end Ibanez guitars made by Fujigen in the late 70s to early 80s.

As an insight, the Ibanez guitars I still have were their original designs, not their Fender or Gibson clones. Those got sold. 8)

Fujigen made Les Pauls under the badges of Ibanez, Greco, Orville, Orville by Gibson (and many many others) over the years.

These days I am biased towards Tokai ( I have never had an Orville or ObG) and appreciate the straight ahead simplicity of the Strat or Les Paul design.

If I want coil splitting or an active EQ I grab one of my old Ibbies. 8)
 
Greco "Super Real" guitars and later Orville and Orville by Gibson made by FujiGen were definite rivals for Tokai for making faithful clones of early Gibson Les Pauls from the late 70s on. And looks like there was overlap later with the Greco line with Tokai making some of them around 1990(?) or so.
 

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