1908. A company named Hoshino began as a sheet music store and later music products distributor in Nagoya Japan.
But for most of us, Ibanez pretty much begins almost 30 years ago, when Hoshino opened an office near Philadelphia, PA for more efficiently distributing Ibanez guitars to the United States. Most of those guitars were Ibanez´ famous high quality (but very inexpensive) copies of just about everything–you name it, we probably made a version of it. At that time many American instruments were going through an unfortunate period of increasing prices with decreasing quality, and these copies hit a ready market.
By 1976, the Ibanez copy era officially came to an end when one of the major American guitar manufacturers--no longer amused by the copiers–successfully sued the highest profile copier, Ibanez. But by that time it didn´t matter–Ibanez had already left the copies behind and was fast becoming an innovative guitar company in its own right.
By the mid-80´s with the interest in instrumental rock guitar on the rise, Ibanez collaborated with players such as Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Paul Gilbert and brought out the JEM, JS, RG and S models. Today, present day versions such as these models still considered the standard in hard rock and instrumental rock guitars.