It’s probably worth pointing out from the outset that Tokai doesn’t build ‘copies’: never have done.
The shapes and styles may well be familiar, but the instruments are not designed as crude replicas; these are Tokai guitars, and
play beautifully in their own right.
When a manufacturer can boast such names like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Billy Gibbons, Eric Clapton and others as endorsees and users, then they are a brand to be taken seriously.
We’ve always kept our light under a bit of a bushel simply because we don’t make too many instruments a year.
Tokai has always been a family-owned business. Started in 1947 by Tadayouki Adachi, it is now run by
his son Shohei Adachi.
The guitars were originally built in the family’s factory at and the bulk of the high-end instruments is still made there.
However, like many guitar builders, Tokai realized that in order to make the brand available to more players, then they would have to build instruments in China in order to achieve a lower price
And there’s the rub: other manufacturers will not mention China. They will refer their plants as located “in the Far East”. Tokai picked it’s partner well as a builder of quality instruments in its own right, and with regular
visits from Japan and UK to ensure quality control is maintained, the Chinese factory produces guitars that Tokai is more than happy to put it’s good name to. Oh, come on: China wouldn’t be the world’s second-largest
economy if the stuff it made wasn’t good enough. Go figure.
So in this website, you’ll see familiar looking instruments coming in at a variety of different prices, but whether
the instruments are made in Japan or China, much of the tonewood is imported from the US, the fret wire is from
Japan, and other components from around the world.
Unlike many manufacturers, we don’t discriminate against lefties: nearly all our guitars come in a left-handed version and at no extra charge. As we said, we don’t make
too many instruments a year, and they will only have Tokai on the headstock if the quality is there; we’re very particular about what we put our name to.
Rather than take our word for it, just visit a Tokai dealer, pick one up and play it: just a thought.