Japan?

Burny FLG

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2017
Messages
290
Reaction score
196
Similar in England - a gentleman dresses to be invisible etc. No ostentatious show of wealth. And America if you flaunt your wealth the tax dept takes notice.
 

AlanH

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
654
Reaction score
592
Given that Japan is such a big market for guitars I'm really surprised not to see Japanese contributors to the various internet forums. You see other non-english-speaking nation contributors from South America, Europe, the Indian sub continent etc. but I can't recollect a post from a Japanese forum member. You do come across the Japanese equivalent of Chappers and the Captain on YouTube - good player there!
 

Macronaut

Silver Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2016
Messages
1,460
Reaction score
1,481
Agreed....but I bet LPs over there command premium prices we DON’T ever want to see!!

I wonder what kind of prices they get for a regular, every day Gibson Les Paul?
I was thinking more about other makes/brands we never see...including but, not limited to LP styles.
 

Prometheus

Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
1,916
Reaction score
2,804
@Leña_Costoso what you say is partly true, I reckon it's more of a bygone age tendencies tho. But let's say if you are wearing Rolex at work and your boss wears a Seiko, you gonna attract unwanted attention to yourself. Because to older generation, Rolex is cream of the crop, but if you are wearing, say IWC or Jaeger Lecoultre, no one will be wiser ;) or why not Patek Philippe lol

@AlanH Hey I'm a japanese! (Granted, I do live in Sweden, but it still counts! Right? XD)

@Macronaut Well, even smaller stores got plenty of Gibson and Fender guitars, and aside from that, more obscure brands like Zemantis, Knaggs and others, oh and those japanese brands you never hear about abroad, most of times Tele, Strat or LP shapes with more exotic woods. On reflection, I just realized that I've never seen ESP eclipse and other "regular" ESP models over there, only extravagant models with insane prices
 

AlanH

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
654
Reaction score
592
@Prometheus
Do you see many of your fellow countrymen on English language forums? You probably spot them whereas the likes of me don't notice.
 

Prometheus

Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
1,916
Reaction score
2,804
@Prometheus
Do you see many of your fellow countrymen on English language forums? You probably spot them whereas the likes of me don't notice.
Nope not at all, because like most of japanese ppl are like "lolwut, english? me no speak english"
Besides, there are online forums intended for japanese ppl out there you know? Like yahoo chie-bukuro and some such
 

AlanH

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
654
Reaction score
592
Nope not at all, because like most of japanese ppl are like "lolwut, english? me no speak english"
Besides, there are online forums intended for japanese ppl out there you know? Like yahoo chie-bukuro and some such
I thought this might be the case. It's a shame because both the Japanese and the rest of the world are missing out on each other's views and opinions because of a language barrier.
 

Prometheus

Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
1,916
Reaction score
2,804
I thought this might be the case. It's a shame because both the Japanese and the rest of the world are missing out on each other's views and opinions because of a language barrier.
Behold, I am the bridge!

Tbh tho, you lot know far too better when it comes to LP things than I will ever dream of XD and far greater than Gibson themselves lol
 

AlanH

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
654
Reaction score
592
Behold, I am the bridge!

Tbh tho, you lot know far too better when it comes to LP things than I will ever dream of XD and far greater than Gibson themselves lol
Get yourself on the Japanese forums and extend our invitation. We don't mind pigeon English and you can help right? Do the Japanese study English in school BTW?
 

Prometheus

Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
1,916
Reaction score
2,804
Get yourself on the Japanese forums and extend our invitation. We don't mind pigeon English and you can help right? Do the Japanese study English in school BTW?
Now that's a tall order there mate XD I mean I can't run around like a translator everywhere you know?

Yeah they (we) do, but first of all, it starts kinda late, at junior high, and exposure to proper english is a rather rare occasion in japan since most of movies and TV shows are dubbed
and english classes.... oh man, they are piss poor at the best of times
 

Roxy13

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
5,133
Reaction score
17,238
I think I have seen Japanese members in the Other Single Cuts area. Makes sense though as we are mostly discussing MIJ guitars there. Granted, I haven't been here long and have only noticed 1 or 2.

I often see Japanese guitar forums on google searches, but can't get translation to work for me on them. Probably too much to try to translate, and translation to English often leaves me scratching my head as to meaning. As one who often peruses MIJ guitars on the 'net I have learned some of what these off translations actually mean, but I wish I wasn't as literal as I am because I would likely understand them better.
 

Leña_Costoso

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
746
Reaction score
701
@Leña_Costoso what you say is partly true, I reckon it's more of a bygone age tendencies tho. But let's say if you are wearing Rolex at work and your boss wears a Seiko, you gonna attract unwanted attention to yourself. Because to older generation, Rolex is cream of the crop, but if you are wearing, say IWC or Jaeger Lecoultre, no one will be wiser ;) or why not Patek Philippe lol
I think we are in agreement. The point is knowing your place. If you came in with Patek Philippe, and the boss knew his stuff, you'd be toast!
 

Roxy13

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
5,133
Reaction score
17,238
The Japanese have an interesting persona, as a culture. Not sayings its bad, or good, or anything, other than its the Japanese way. As a people, and as a culture, they are very much connected with each other, unlike, European cultures including the Brits, or certainly the USA, or even Canada.

Culturally, there is a pride in what is known as JDM products. Japan Domestic Market. Its seen with Gibson guitars, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Japanese cameras and electronics, Japanese watches, even Swiss, French and other Eurozone watches. I'm sure there are other genres and product families that have their own JDM niche as well.

Quality is important, but so is the uniqueness, the relative rarity, and the status that ownership brings. In the country where the winning team is careful to not "win by too much", the same is also true with ownership of certain products. You don't want to buy (too far) above (or below) your socioeconomic standing.

Its strange over there. For instance.... and all money aside... if you were a middle class guy, managed to save, or deal your way into buying a Rolex, and you wore it, you'd get more than a bit of humiliation. The "who do you think you are?" routine. If you had it, kept it secret, but kept dealing your way into more of them, then it would be ok to wear. Why? You'd still be average, a middle class guy, but now a respected "collector", so it would be ok. Not showing off, but having inner passion about it. Like I said... its a funny culture by Western standards. One's awareness of "correct" place in society is very strongly felt, and taught directly and indirectly at home, and in schools.

One of my best friends spent her entire life in Japan until age 25 or so as a Navy brat, then teacher of English (since she knew the three main forms of Japanese fluently), so Japan is a topic of discussion whenever we get together for a visit with each other. Hence a bit of inside track on the Japanese (and why she's a basket case here in the USA)
Thanks for your insight because I learned a lot from your post.
 

Leña_Costoso

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
746
Reaction score
701
English is a required 2nd language in the schools of Japan.

Why? Because English is the language of business.

Same holds true for say... the Swiss. They learn English as a required 2nd (or 3rd, or 4th) language. Same reason. English is the language of business.

There should be little issue with most Japanese under age 60 knowing how to communicate using written English, even though spelling and grammar may be rusty. YMMV of course.

Back to the thread....

As Americans, we have a mindset of economic imperialism. WTF? I mean we assume our products as we enjoy them in the USofA, are the same products and enjoyed the same way "everywhere they are sold", and that they are probably sold everywhere. You go get that MickyD burger in Outer Slobovia, and good God, they got the recipe down to a frikkin' science! Same slop in the bag.

The opening of Pulp Fiction, with the "Le Grande Royale" and the fries with mayo made me laugh, because the comments were so true.

Here in the USA we tend to say "WTF? We build 'em here, they're the cream of the crop, and they're only available in Japan? Who in hell came up with THAT scenario?".

In Japan, they say "We build these here, for Japanese enjoyment only".

Japan is a country that has words to describe the out of focus part of a photograph, and whether the out of focus part is "good" or "bad". They have words to describe the softness of a pastel flower petal, and its relative perfection. They have words to describe normal wear and tear that make items more desirable. While we would describe old jeans as funky, old, soft, comfy, the Japanese take it far beyond that, describing the desirable and undesirable parts of wear. As a westerner, you can spend ages trying to understand wabi sabi. The Japanese grow up understanding it.
 

Prometheus

Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
1,916
Reaction score
2,804
@Leña_Costoso if your boss is a WIS, I think you both gonna get along rather nicely tho

Gotta say, I was NOT expecting to read about wabi sabi here! But you know, old guitars with genuine and honest wears, I see wabi sabi in them!
 

Leña_Costoso

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
746
Reaction score
701
Yes, and old amplifiers.

I once saw a series of Fender "relic" guitars, that were all pretty much the same. There were three of 'em. Each had the cigarette burn, not exactly the same of course, but almost exactly. Each had buckle rash that was pretty much the same, even to the extent of the outlying deep scratches. Each had the same "wear" areas on the fretboard. Same scratches on the pickguard.

And today I wonder, what would the Japanese market think of that? Not wabi sabi at all, but trying to be. A wannabe. A cheap (or not cheap really) imitation of wear.

My only connection with the Japanese guitar market was with the Tak Matsumoto pickup. I got one of the first LP Standard Faded guitars, by chance, it was off the rack, sight unseen from Elderly when they still were a Gibson dealer. Months later, again by chance, I met an employee of Gibson Nashville online. Naturally we chatted some over the course of a few weeks. He asked me to check my pickups. He explained that the first production of the LP Std Faded were built with the wrong pickups. They needed a reverse creme/black pickup for the product photo shoot, and the intended pickups (reverse color BBucker Pro) was not available yet. So, they stuck Tak Matsumoto pickups in the prototype and used it for the photoshoot. Somehow, the Taks were used in the first couple of hundred guitars, until they caught the error, and reworked them all. Almost. The first shipments had already been made, and while I forget the number he told me, it was like maybe 75 or so got out into the wild. Sure enough, I got "BB-Tak#1" and "BB-Tak#2" in mine. Those are basically wax potted BB#1 and BB#2 with reverse black/creme coils.

I'm not sure if Gibson quality is better in Japan. Certainly they get the equivalent of the best USA quality. But they do get colors, and variations that are not available here in Yankeeland.
 

Prometheus

Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
1,916
Reaction score
2,804
@Leña_Costoso a wannabe sabi if you will lol
There are always some oddballs out there who gonna like those things I guess, after all distressed jeans are in fact selling over there as well

Well Gibson quality is... Gibson quality, let's face it, it will never come to the japanese made guitar standard. But most japanese ppl I've spoke with say "I know quality is kinda meh, but man, the sound you get out of them, sometimes, that's american wildness right there"
 

Leña_Costoso

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
746
Reaction score
701
Correct on the wannabe. I have no idea if Fender actually sells them over there, or maybe... maybe they offer unique wear for the JDM, at an upcharge (of course!).

Just realize when I say "I have", its a bit of wistful force of habit, as the ex got everything. I'm down to a LP Tribute, and SG Classic, and Adamas.... and a recreation of my dream amp 5F4 Super.
 




Top