Monday, 10 May 2010


This is a blog to document my growing collection of vintage japanese-made acoustics, some of which i will sell along the way, and to discuss what i learn about the complex guitar making industry in Japan in the 70's. It's both a past-time and a small business idea for what i feel are exceptional instruments that are gathering the attention of collectors and musicians alike.

My interest in these fine old instruments came when looking for another acoustic guitar for alternate tunings; i play in variations of open D quite often and was snapping a few too many strings changing back up to standard. My main guitar was a Guild GAD-40C, which is a mighty impressive instrument that has travelled a little with me and i hope to keep for a long time. I also have a Seagull CW6+ which is terrific for dark folk songs, but not bright or cutting enough for the open tunings i was after.

My first purchase was off gumtree (a local listings website) from a fellow collector down in Edinburgh, who i can blame for getting me intrigued. It was a UK import, rebranded under the name Lorenzo, and had all the pleasing character i was looking for from a more vintage instrument; aged yellowed spruce top, yellowing binding, and a quite beautiful bookmatched 3-piece back of brazilian rosewood and curly maple. I shall have a full entry on it next time.

As of this entry i have some 20 of these vintage guitars from a number of different brands, factories, and ages, and will share photos, information, and videos of them as time goes by. For now i'd just like to welcome any fellow fans of these fine instruments and will hopefully enlighten a few people along the way.


  1. Hello Martin,
    I found you while searching for info on my newly acquired Yasuki W-250, Martin D-type model and have hugely enjoyed browsing your enviable collection. Still none the wiser about my Yasuki though... The label is signed J Iwai, and I've seen the same in two Morris models, but I've found no reference to Yasuki anywhere...The guitar actually came from Perth via Ebay oddly enough! I'm up on the North coast. ( if you fancy getting in touch I'd be happy to send some photos)

  2. I have a shinano sw 400 acoustic guitar, do you have any information about ? First it looks like a j45 gibson, same pickguard, shape and neck, body

  3. Hello... Just acquired a ZEN-ON 500SW DELUXE WESTERN GUITAR... wondered if you are still posting here. Would love to know if in your research came across this maker. Lovely collection here, and yes, these are exceptional instruments – when "made in Japan" was a very high quality statement.