There is no doubt that YAMAHA is one of the most well known Japanese brand name for the enthusiast around the world. Some are fascinated with plenty of nice motorcycles, some are with reliable music instruments. For decades, we Japanese have been proud of this company, especially when we see the "Triple Tuning Fork" trademark abroad.
YAMAHA was born in 1887 and started the production of piano followed by classic guitar production in 1930s. During WW II, they had to use their woodcraft capability and its facility for the aircraft propeller of military purpose instead of music instruments the symbol of peace unfortunately. However, this experience brought them the availability of making combustion engines and motorcycles, which were the big demand for the reconstruction of country after the war.
In 1966, they started the production of electric guitars. it was original design but not a copy model of American brands. It is unique kick off that can only be done by YAMAMA who were ready for big investment. The first model called SG-2 and 3 were introduced for Japanese market where surf rock style guitar instrumental band was booming.
In mid 70s, they made significant line up change with releasing typical solid body guitar SG-175 (base of Santana's "Buddha") and SX-125. With this change of direction, YAMAHA electric guitars got to be welcomed by various of players for modern rock music, pops, jazz and so on. The 335 style semi acoustic guitar "SA" was launched, and unique modern design solid guitar "SF" and "SC" were also released in those days.
My first electric guitar got in '80s was YAMAHA SG-600 as YAMAHA could get easily even at guitar shop in my local town and its famous name worked to convince parents as well. YAMAHA guitars were and have been quite reliable that is produced with super well organized Japanese quality control process. It absolutely works fine for long years and keep its condition well. Other hand, I actually felt some lack of individuality vice versa, honestly say. But recently when I get and set up old YAMAHA guitars, it always makes me astonished with its maintainability (sometimes it is restoring). Yes, YAMAHA guitars are so amazingly well made and easy to make it reborn. It is the "Japan Quality" I would say.