Asian, (not china), 21st c. small Manufacturers click for more

Jersey Girl "Ptera" Guitalele
China does dominate the region, (and the world for that matter), when it comes to Ukulele manufacture but there are an increasing number of workshops and factories opening up elsewhere in Asia, and still a few in business from the time before China became pre-eminent. Getting information on them can be hard as the websites are often difficult to translate


Jersey Girl homemade guitars

Founded in 1991 this is a Japanese based Co-Operative of 3 craftspersons, (Eiko Goto, Akiko Oda and KasG - though these may be aliases?) who make primarily electric Guitars and Basses. They make other things too like effects pedals, Mandolins and though they don't make Ukuleles they do make the range of short scale Guitars including Guitaleles; and even a very short 12 inch scale octave Guitar, so turning out a Ukulele would not be a major step. I don't know why "Jersey Girl" as they are a Japanese company and I don't know why "homemade" as the instruments look very well crafted but they do also used the branding JGHG quite a bit.

Tokai

They were founded in 1947 and were very much part of the occupied Japan boom in chordophone making and produced instruments branded Artist, Conrad Drifter, Fernandes, Hondo, Love Rock, Mosrite, Sigma and Silver Star, They may have produced Gaban, Gallan, Gession, Hummingbird and Robin. This may not be all the brands they made, I haven't seen all of these names on Ukuleles and they may not have been the only firm producing them; my usual sort of statement when talking about Japanese Ukulele production in this period. The difference is that Tokai did make Sigma Ukuleles for Martin in the 1970's and they are still in business, in Hamamatsu, making acoustic and electric Guitars, and in 2014 they have reintroduced Ukuleles under their Cats Eyes brand, (this is one of the old brand names but they have kept it going for use on their acoustic range of guitars). I have only seen Sopranos but there may be other models out there?

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