Morris, Japan




The company was founded in 1961. By Mr. Toshio Moridaira.


The Morris Guitars company has been building quality handcrafted instruments in Nagano, Japan for a long time. Mr. Toshio Moridaira, the founder, was the first distributor in Japan to carry both Fender and Gibson lines.


In 1964, due to his working relationship with Gibson, Mr. Moridaira was able to visit the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan. An employee at Gibson nicknamed him "Mori" at that time.


In 1967 they started making acoustic guitars by the name Yoshino Guitar in Yoshino Town, Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan.

In 1972, the name of the firm was renamed in 'the Morris Guitars company'. He named it Morris, taken from the nickname given to him a while back. Morris produced copies of dreadnought and small jumbo models based on Martin and Gibson designs, in mass production. They also made classical guitars.


In 1973 the factory was moved to a location with 3,337 square meters.
Morris started producing electric guitars around this year, but the main activity remained steelstring guitars. They mostly made copies of the famous models as the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Les Paul, SG and ES models. They produced lovely guitars of their own design though. The Mando Mania (1975), alute shaped guitar, was one of them. And the guitars designed by P. Vrolant are in a league of their own. 


There is not much documentation to be found on the electric models.

The earliest brochure I found was of 1973. They must have produced them at least till the mid 80s.

I have also found a Hurrican model that was branded Moridaira and was made in Korea. Year: unknown.


In 1974, Morris introduced their guitars at the NAMM show.


In 1978, Morris introduced the Tornado line, thin body acoustic-electric guitars inspired by the Ovation design. Up until the early 80s, the U.S. market saw a variety of guitars that Morris imported from Japan.


In 1980 the factory was expanded to 8,000 square meters.


Moridaira also produced badged guitars for Hohner including Coronado, Futurama, H.S. Anderson, Lotus (some) and Sakai.

In 2001, after a lengthy absence, Morris Guitars re-entered the U.S. market. They participate in the annual Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA. Also the website was launched.

Morris Guitars currently offers fingestyle guitars in the midprice range. Custom hand built models are also available.


Nowadays the Morris factory produces about 6,000 guitars annually.



Looking for brochures? If your Japanese is a bit in order, you can visit the following links: