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Zen-On Guitar Co.

zen on Ukulele
Zen-On no.12 Soprano
Beltone Baritone
C.F.Mountain Soprano

The Zen-On Company was founded by Teiji Shimada in 1931 as a music publisher and in the early 1950's invested in a local guitar maker called Hayashi Gakki. I have seen 1954 given as a foundation date for Hayashi Gakki and I am not sure if Zen-On owned it or was just a shareholder, It was the case that Masao Koga was an endorser of their Guitars.

I have read they took over the bankrupt Zeon Gakufu Syuttpansya in 1968, and they may also have merged with, or took over the acoustic Guitar maker C.F. Mountain (founded in 1948). I have seen it suggested that the famous Matsumoku designer Nobuaki Hayashi had something to do with the firm, but I don't think this is the case. I have read that the firm in some form still exists today making guitar parts, (but not whole Guitars)?

Zen-On produced instruments branded Beltone, (not the Perlberg & Halpin brand), Cortez, Custom, Emperador, Morales, Mountain, Pearl, Zen-On and Zenon This may not be all the brands they made, I haven't seen all of these names on Ukuleles and they may not have been the only firm producing them?

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