Making Music with Hoshino Gakki

All over the world, millions of people create music using varying tools and equipment. Making music dates back to thousands of years ago. Due to the people’s love for music, many developments have been made to improve not just the quality of the music that people can produce by improving musical instruments. There are several companies around the world that are dedicated to building high-quality musical instruments. One of these companies hails from Japan known as Hoshino Gakki.

A Brief History of Hoshino Gakki Co. Ltd.

ArtBrom from Seattle [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

More commonly known as Hoshino Gakki Kabushiki geisha in Japanese, Hoshino Gakki Co., Ltd. is a musical instrument company in Japan. It manufactures different kinds of musical instruments that both beginners and experts in the music industry can use and enjoy. This famous musical instrument company serves as the owner of the popular Ibanez guitars as well as the Tama drums.

Founded in the year 1908, the Hoshino company began as the Hoshino Shoten bookstore. Established by Matsujiro Hoshino, this bookstore started as a seller of books and music sheets. After some time, the company started to import musical instruments into Japan. Eventually, Matsujiro passed and he was succeeded by Yoshitaro Hoshino.

Import of guitars made by Salvador Ibáñez é Hijos from Valencia, Spain to Japan began in the year 1929. However, this company was purchased by Telesforo Julver in the year 1933. As a result, Hoshino decided to manufacture their own stringed instruments, which started in the year 1935. They still utilized the name “Ibanez Salvador” until it was simplified to just “Ibanez” later on.

Sadly, the Hoshino Gakki Ten factory faced an obstacle in the year 1945. It was destroyed due to the bombings that occurred during the Second World War. Hoshino was able to build their new headquarters ten years after its factory’s destruction in the year 1955. The headquarters was situated in Nagoya, Japan. It served as an export-only business at the time. Until the mid-1960s, Hoshino had little to no presence in the western market.

The first Ibanez guitar of the modern era was manufactured by Hoshino in the year 1957. Five years later, the son of Yoshitaro who went by the name of Junpei Hoshino opened a factory in the year 1962. This was the Tama Seisakusho factory. It was built to manufacture amplifiers and electric guitars.

One of the lines of guitars that was manufactured by the Tama Seisakusho factory included copies of other popular guitars such as the Martin Dreadnought. Simultaneously, the factory was also producing the Imperial model and the Royal model of Star Drums. In the year 1966, production of guitars at the Tama Seisakusho factory was halted.

From there, Hoshino contracted other factories to manufacture their guitars. The FujiGen Gakki guitar factory was chosen to be the next manufacturer of guitars of Hoshino in the year 1969. The headstock logo found on Ibanez guitars was also updated. From a metal logo, it was changed to a modernized decal logo.

In the early 1970s, most of the guitars of Hoshino Gakki were already being manufactured by FujiGen. Until today, this factory is still among the main manufacturers of Ibanez guitars in Japan. A US distribution channel called Elger was initiated by Hoshino in the year 1971. This channel was located in Bensalem, PA.

The company introduces its own line of effect pedals under the Ibanez brand just the following year. This product line was licensed from the company that owns the Maxon brand, the Nisshin Onpa Company. A partnership between Hoshino Gakki and Chesbro Music Company was established in the year 1973. Thanks to this partnership, distribution of Ibanez and Tama products in the US was made possible.

A launch of another line of guitars was made in the year 1975. The series was The Artist. The designs of the original guitars under this line were made by Ibanez of Hoshino Gakki and Greco of Kanda Shokai. FujiGen remained the manufacturer of this line. Initially, the Ibanez Iceman was called an “Artist 2663” prior to the launch of this new series.

Hoshino Gakki welcomed the 1980s by changing the Elger brand name in the US to Hoshino USA Inc. in the year 1980. In the early 1980s, Hoshino made several changes within its corporation. One of these changes was the update of their company name as well as creating a new branch specifically for the Japanese domestic market. This branch was called Hoshino Gakki Hanbai.

Come the year 1987, the company had exponentially grown and was able to put up another office in Los Angeles. It was also in the late 1980s when Hoshino began using manufacturers outside Japan to produce guitars under its brand. It started with guitar manufacturers in Korea until Hoshino’s influence reached China and Indonesia.

The Company’s Net Worth, Stock, and Offices in Japan and USA 

円周率3パーセント [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Following the establishment of Hoshino Gakki Co., Ltd. in the year 1908, the incorporation of the company eventually occurred in the year 1981. The address of this company is No. 22, 3-Chome, Shumoku-cho, Higashi-ku, Nagoya, Aichi in Japan. Its telephone number is (052)931-0381 while its fax number is (052)932-2684. With a capital of 45 million yen, the office has 134 employees.

The president of this company is Kimihide Hoshino. The company has businesses in the import and export of musical instruments such as guitars, electronics, percussions, and other accessories. The company also dabbles into product design, manufacturing, and market research. Its bankers are The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. and Mizuho Bank, Ltd. as of the 31st of October in the year 2017, the annual sales amount of this company is 10.52 billion yen.

Located at No. 119 Higashinagane-cho, Seto, Aichi, 489-0981, Japan, Hoshino Gakki Hanbai Co., Ltd. is part of the Hoshino Gakki group of companies. Its telephone number is (0561)89-6900 while its fax number is (0561)83-3550. This company was incorporated in the year 1982, just one year after the incorporation of Hoshino Gakki Co., Ltd.

The president of this company is Shinichi Kubo. Its business is in the domestic sales of musical instruments. This company has 24 employees and has a capital of 30 million yen. Its bankers are the same as those of Hoshino Gakki Co., Ltd. As of the 31st of October in the year 2017, the company had an annual sales amount of 1.15 billion yen.

Hoshino’s company in the US is called Hoshino (U.S.A.) Inc. Located at 1726 Winchester Rd., Bensalem, PA, 19020 U.S.A., its telephone number is (215)638-8670 while its fax number is (215)245-8583. It was established in August in the year 1971 and was incorporated nine years later in the year 1980.

The president of this company is Shogo Hayashi. Its business is in the wholesale of musical instruments as well as in market research. This company has 82 employees and has a capital of US$67,000. As of the 31st of December in the year 2016, the company had an annual sales amount of US$55 million. Hoshino Gakki also has branches in other parts of the world such as in Europe and in China.

A Catalogue of Hoshino Gakki’s Ibanez Guitars

Hoshino Gakki is probably most well-known for its Ibanez Guitars. The brand Ibanez consists of several series of guitars depending on the playability, design, and price. One of the new lines of Ibanez guitars is the Ibanez Prestige line. There are basically three principles behind the production of this lines. These three principles are precision, playability, and performance.

The guitars under this line are made with the combination of traditional Japanese craftsmanship and high-tech manufacturing methods. Creators of these guitars try to innovate in terms of design and construction to produce the best guitars that adhere to the three principles just mentioned. Ideas and suggestions of several musicians from all over the world have been incorporated in the designs of the guitars in this series.

Next up on the line is the Ibanez Premium line. Its slogan is “designed to inspire.” The guitars under this line are crafted with care and detail. Select tonewoods, hardware, and high-profile electronics are used to create the magnificent guitars under this line. Its playability is unlike any other. Coupled with a stunning appearance, these guitars can inspire guitarists to make music.

For musicians who are into the genre of metal, one of the best lines in Ibanez to check out is the Iron Label. The metal axes of these guitars are among the heaviest sounding in the industry. Several tweaks were made in order to achieve this sound. The Wizard neck of this line was upgraded into Nitro wizard. The guitars under this line can be played fast with the users still having the comfort while playing the equipment.

Of course, if one is going for exclusivity, the Ibanez J. Custom is worth looking into. The guitars under this line are built by highly skilled luthiers, which guarantee the high quality of the products. The products are created using the best woods, fret treatments, hardware, neck, and perfect pickup combos. Not only do these guitars look stunning but they also offer maximum playability as well as unparalleled sound. There are several other lines and series under the Ibanez brand that people can look into if interested.

Hoshino Gakki’s Taka Drums and Its Parts from Santa Monica, United States [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Aside from the Ibanez brand, Hoshino Gakki also has Taka for its production of drums. The new flagship line for Tama drums under Hoshino Gakki is called STAR. It is the successor of the Starclassic series. While it incorporates the greatness of its predecessor, the STAR line brings it up a notch with the enhancement of its shell resonance.

One of the drum sets under this new line is the STAR Drum Bubinga. This set consists of a shell that is much thinner in comparison to that of Starclassic Bubinga. Each shell in this set comes with Sound Focus Rings or SFR that is 9 millimeters thick that act as structural support. The configuration of this shell was made so as to make the projection and the resonance clear.

Next on the list is the STAR Drum Maple. The shell of this drum set incorporates a whole new design called “Solid Core Ply.” The unconventional shell contributes to the open and warm tone that is apparent in this drum set. It also provides sounds that are rich as well as hearty.

For people looking into drum sets that are durable, look no further than the STAR Drum Walnut. Not only it this set durable, it is also pleasing to the eyes. The tone that this drum set produced is naturally EQ-ed thanks to its drum shell material. Drummers from around the world have complimented this drum set for its playability not just in the studio but also on stage.

If one would like to check out the flagship predecessor first, take a look into the Starclassic Bubinga. At present, it's now includes an Exotic Finish line. This line features exotic wood finishes, in addition to the current regular lacquer finishes. The shells of this drum set are a little bit thicker in comparison to the STAR line. As a result, this drum set creates a fuller, darker, and deeper tone as well as a more powerful resonance compared to the other drum sets.

For a thinner shell version of Starclassic Bubinga, one can check out the Starclassic Maple. Just like Starclassic Bubinga, Starclassic Maple also now offers the new Exotic Finish Line. With this, not only does the drum set sound powerful, it also looks exotic thanks to the unique wood exteriors of the drums.

Hoshino Gakki has continuously created magnificent musical instruments through the years. With the brand names now famous around the world, the company has continued to provide high-quality guitars and drums to help musicians make and enjoy music. With Hoshino Gakki, musicians can rest assured that the products that they purchase from Hoshino Gakki are created with the highest quality of materials and made by the most skilled creators of musical instruments.