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Instruments currently manufactured in Japan, China, and Korea since the early 1960s. Distributed by ESP Guitars in North Hollywood, CA.
Takamine was originally founded in Japan during the early 1960s and is named from the mountain near their factory in Sakashita, Japan. Mass Hirade, who has a line of classical guitars named after him in Takamine's line, came to work for Takamine in the late 1960s, and it was at this time when Takamine began to take off. Originally, Takamine built guitars for Martin's Sigma series through the Coast distributors. Kaman Music Corporation bought Coast in the mid-1970s, which forced Martin to contract their Sigma guitars to another company. At the same time Kaman/Ovation encouraged Takamine to start building guitars under their own trademark. Soon thereafter, Kaman started importing Takamine-branded guitars into the U.S. (Takamine was also distributed in many other countries). Most early models were copies of popular American designs - especially several Martin models. Not only are many of these guitars similar in design, but the logo was a near match other than the name. In the late 1970s, Takamine, along with many other Japanese manufacturers, were sued by a few American guitar builders, including Martin, for trademark infringement. Takamine agreed to stop using Martin's logo on their guitars and came up with their own. Guitars from this era are known to most guitar collectors as the pre-lawsuit era, and many of these instruments have become extremely collectible today.
Takamine continues to produce a wide variety of acoustic instruments ranging from entry-level guitars to highly ornate and limited edition models. While most guitars were produced in Japan, Takamine has shifted some production to Korea and China in the 2000s. Also, Takamine briefly entered the electric market with a few models in the 1980s. Takamine is still part of Kaman Music and is viewed as a traditional alternative to Ovation's bowl-back guitars. In late 2007, the Fender Musical Instrument Corporation (FMIC) bought Kaman Music, which included the Takamine brand. For more information, visit Takamine's website or contact them directly.

From Blue Book Publications:

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