Legendary Collaborations Realized

For years, the Ibanez Japan Custom Shop has been at the center of innovation and design for Ibanez guitars. They work in the background, developing ideas for mass production and prototyping them out. They also work closely with our international artists to design and build their own bespoke, custom models. The Japan Custom Shop may be one of the best kept secrets at Ibanez. So, in what can only be described as a once in a blue moon level event, the exquisite and inventive designs that come from this exclusive facility will be made available to the public for the first time ever in celebration of Hoshino USA’s 50th anniversary. The shop is staffed by several master luthiers and their operations are led by Hoshino Gakki’s own Junji Hotta. The team worked closely with their counterparts in the U.S. to create some of the most awe-inspiring creations to ever bare the Ibanez name. These are truly spectacular, exhibition-grade instruments; heirloom pieces designed to be passed down from generation to generation, delivering multiple lifetimes worth of brilliant tone, playability, and inspired musical creativity.

Meet the Build Team

Junji Hotta

Highly-experienced in the world of musical instruments, Junji Hotta first joined Hoshino in 1996 as a representative of the Tokyo regional sales team. Three years later, he was brought to company headquarters in Nagoya, where he was head of electric guitar product planning and purchasing for the Japanese market. He remained in that role for 10 years until 2009 when he assumed that same role in the U.S. for Hoshino U.S.A. Upon returning to Japan in 2016, he then moved to the R&D side of the company and eventually went on to manage Ibanez’s Guitar Development Center, where all the planning and prototyping for production instruments occurs. It’s this unique combination of knowledge and experience that afforded Junji the ideal perspective to lead the Japan Custom Shop team through this defining and noteworthy project.

Kazuya Kuroki

Kazuya Kuroki studied luthiery at technical school before working for a number of OEM guitar manufacturers. He then began his career with Hoshino in 2004 in the paint department of the TAMA factory where he worked until 2009. He then moved over to the Ibanez Custom Shop in Japan, where he works on prototyping and custom builds for artists. Some of his notable builds include prototypes of the Ashula Bass, 30 fret RG, as well as custom builds for Pat Metheny, Kiko Loureiro, and Martin Miller.

Akira Iida

Akira Iida joined Hoshino in 2009 and spent a year working in the QC department. Then in 2010, he assumed a QC management role at the OEM Ibanez factory in Indonesia. Upon returning to Japan in 2017 he took up a role in Artist Relations in the Japanese market where he was in charge of the maintenance and setups of artist instruments. He remained in this role until 2018 when he moved to the Japan custom shop and began building prototypes and instruments for artists. His notable instruments include prototypes for the Quest series as well as artist builds for players such as Tom Quayle, Tim Henson, and Ichika.

Thoughts from the Artists

Explore These Awe-Inspiring, Custom Creations

Whether you’re a die-hard shredder, life-long blues player, or lean towards the jazz life, there’s a custom in this collection just waiting to be discovered. All you have to do is open the door…

Behind the Scenes