Ibanez is a Japanese guitar brand which is owned by Hoshino Gakki. Based in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan, Hoshino Gakki were one of the first Japanese musical instrument companies to gain a significant foothold in import guitar sales in the United States and Europe.
While production and distribution of guitars under the Ibanez brand began much earlier, the company gained notoriety outside its native Japan when it started importing Ibanez guitars to the United States in the mid-1960s. These first efforts were funky-looking creations which sold at the low end of the guitar market, primarily in department stores. But the company's products continued to move up the quality ladder until the company was perceived as a legitimate market force, selling what were essentially copies of other companies' designs in the mid-1970s. A patent lawsuit from Gibson ended the sales of those copies, but Ibanez had by then gained a foothold in the guitar market globally.