Owing to its wild and wacky electric guitars – of which there have been plenty this year alone – Fender Japan seems to be one of the most popular guitar manufacturers currently in operation.
Though the majority of its models are exclusive to the Japanese market, Fender Japan’s sensational six-strings have drawn the gaze of literally hundreds, if not thousands, of guitar fans around the world, all of whom flock to check out the latest bizarre creation from the Big F’s Japan factory.
To celebrate its successes – and to give punters another chance to scoop one its best guitars of recent memory – Fender Japan has introduced a limited-edition run of three "Top-Selling" six-strings.
There is a heavy hitter from each of Fender’s biggest families, with representatives arriving from the Telecaster, Stratcoaster and Jazzmaster clans – and when you get a proper look at them, you’ll quickly realize why they’re the top-selling models.
As an overview, the Strats and Teles both come from Fender Japan’s Hybrid II collection – a range that is available outside of Japan, but whose nicest colorways and appointments are reserved for Japanese markets – while the Jazzmaster heralds from the Made in Japan Traditional range.
To get a proper appreciation of each eye-catching model, cast your gaze below.
Fender Japan Traditional Jazzmaster Limited Run
First mention has got to go to the Made in Japan Traditional Jazzmaster, because… well, just look at it. With a Sonic Blue finish, color-matched headstock and tortoiseshell pickguard, it easily stakes a serious claim as being the nicest-looking offset of 2022.
At its core, the Jazzmaster features a basswood body and a U-shaped maple neck, as well as a 9.5” radius, 21 frets, 25.5” scale length and dot inlays. Tones, meanwhile, come by way of vintage-style Jazzmaster pickups, which are wired to a three-way switch and the usual expanded Jazzmaster control set.
Granted, it’s not the most groundbreaking spec sheet, but it doesn’t need to be: those aesthetics do all the heavy lifting for the Jazzmaster, and it really is no surprise it’s emerged as a top-selling instrument.
Despite being the nicest-looking, it's also the cheapest of bunch, weighing in at 137,500 Yen (approximately $1,015).
Fender Japan Hybrid II Stratocaster HSS Limited Run
Joining it is the equally desirable Graffiti Yellow Fender Stratocaster HSS, which flashes the yellowest of yellows and a neat white racing stripe motif to boot.
Again, the highlight of this model is its overall look, which is unlike anything currently on offer from the standard US Fender lineup. The eyebrow-raising aesthetics aren’t the only notable thing here, though: that HSS configuration is particularly neat, with the guitar coming loaded with a Modern Modified bridge humbucker.
A word on the rest of its spec sheet, though, because it’s almost as strong as its looks. An alder body lines up alongside a modern C-profile maple neck and rosewood fingerboard, which in turn is topped with 21 narrow tall frets, a bone nut and white dot inlays.
Specifics include a 9.5” ‘board radius, 25.5” scale length and a two-point synchronized tremolo with vintage-style stamped steel saddles and vintage-style locking tuners.
The Graffiti Yellow Strat is priced at 143,000 Yen (approximately $1,055).
Fender Japan Hybrid II Telecaster Thinline Limited run
Last but certainly not least is the Gold Top Hybrid II Thinline Telecaster, which is undeniably the most ornate and formal of the bunch, and mighty reminiscent of Spoon man Britt Daniel’s Tele Thinline.
The gold sparkle top is complemented by black body binding, which separates the alder top from the natural-finished back, as well as a one-ply black pickguard, light maple fretboard and black dot inlays.
Fender Japan’s standout semi-hollow also sports the Thinline’s trademark sole f-hole, Hybrid II custom-voiced single-coil Telecaster pickups and a vintage-style Tele bridge with three brass saddles.
Other notable appointments include vintage-style F-stamped tuners, 22 narrow tall frets and a standard Thinline control layout comprising a three-way switch and master parameters for volume and tone.
Perhaps not quite up there with the aforementioned Stratocaster and Jazzmaster in terms of overall aesthetics, but a worthy and deserving addition to the prestigious trio nonetheless.
The Tele is the most expensive of the bunch, weighing in at 148,500 ($1,095).
To check out the trio, head over to Fender Japan (opens in new tab).
If we had to pick our own three favorites from Fender Japan's 2022 collection, we'd probably go for any model from its Japan Junior collection of short-scale six-strings, Scandal's sensationally styled signature models and its recently revived Limited International Color series.