- acoustic guitars
- bass guitars
- classical guitars
- electric guitars
Fuji Gen Gakki (FujiGen) Manufacturing Corp was established in 1960 as a Japanese stringed instrument manufacturer. Fuji Gen Gakki started out as a classical guitar manufacturer, but soon shifted to electric guitars to meet a quickly growing demand by overseas business partners, especially in the USA, where electric guitars were becoming very popular.
Classical guitars were initially their main product in the domestic Japanese market but in 1965 The Ventures became popular in Japan causing a surge in electric guitar demand. Many other upcoming Japanese guitar manufacturing companies tried to compete in this new market but FujiGen was the market leader. At the end of the 1960's the guitar boom subsided and many factories closed, in the Matsumoto area in Nagano alone, over 50 guitar manufacturing companies went bankrupt. After the crash, only a few manufacturing companies survived, among them FUJIGEN.
The years 1965 to 1975 were not very successful for FujiGen, party because of the oil crisis, the high-rising yen but also because other foreign makers (such as Korean companies) were entering the guitar manufacturing market. In response to this situation FujiGen aimed to become the world's leading guitar manufacturer by focusing investment on the development of products. In 1977, through a joint capital investment between Roland Corporation and FUJIGEN, the FUJI ROLAND CORP was established, based in Matsumoto. Together they developed the world's first guitar synthesizer the GR-500.
In 1982, FujiGen began a collaboration with CBS Fender Corporation to strengthen their presence in the American market. In the early 1980's many famous brands had their production outsourced to OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). FujiGen was a top OEM, making guitars for Ibanez, Fender Japan, Gretsch, Orville by Gibson, Epiphone and Yamaha . Their monthly output was around 14,000 electric guitars. This meant FujiGen was the world leader in guitar manufacturing in the early 1980s, but this situation did not last for long.
Rising costs for production and labor made it soon difficult to manufacture guitars cost effectively in Japan. Both producers and OEM suppliers started to look for lower production costs. Production moved to low-cost factories, typically in China and Korea. It was impossible for FujiGen to continue OEM manufacturing on a large scale in Japan. In April 1989 they changed their name from "Fuji Gen Gakki Manufacturing Corp." to "FujiGen". OEM manufacturing continued but not on the same scale as in the early 1980s.
Today, FujiGen has two business divisions: The M.I. Division (Music Instruments) and the C.A. Division (Car Audio). FUJIGEN's M.I. division concentrates on high quality signature models for famous domestic and overseas brands. They also produce their own original FUJIGEN brand guitars and the FgN series for the Japanese market.