The Shape of Everything
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October 30, 2023

five watt world has a great 18 minute video on the history of Fender guitars made in Japan : Fender Japan: A Short History

One of my favorite guitars, a '62 Stratocaster reissue, was made in Japan. It's always been exceptionally good for what I paid for it, and I can still remember the first time I plugged it into an amp and played it. There was just something special about it, and I couldn't believe someone would have traded it in (I got it used, and made an even trade with a more expensive guitar for the swap. I just had to have it).

Years after I acquired the strat (and decades ago at this point), I was reading an article about older Japanese reissue strats, and that some folks were trying to pass them off as original 60's. There was really only one external sign on the guitar that gave it away - which was a "Made in Japan" sticker under the finish at the heal of the neck. Apparently people would try and remove it, but it was placed under the finish so it was impossible to remove without damaging the guitar.

I walked over to my guitar, flipped it over, and saw right away that someone had tried to scratch off the "Made in Japan" sticker. It made me laugh.

Sadly the neck warped sideways a number of years ago, so it's no longer "original". I've since put on a matching neck and still play it all the time.