Fender Japan has developed a rabid cult following, but do its crazy-limited electric guitars live up to the hype? I finally gave in and bought one to find out

Fender Japan Elemental Jazzmaster electric guitar
(Image credit: Michael Astley-Brown/Future)

I’ve always wanted to go to Japan. I long to experience the culture shock that touring bands always talk about: that unlikely union of tradition and hyper-modernization, existing in perfect harmony.

Perhaps that’s why everything off the Fender Japan production line has always chimed with me and, indeed, areas of the wider guitar community who need more than yet another sunburst Stratocaster to get them hot under the collar.

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Michael Astley-Brown
Editor-in-Chief, GuitarWorld.com

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.