Welcome to the Vintage Japanese Drums Page. I have been collecting information on vintage Japanese drums since the early 90's. The information has grown to the point where a special section was required to keep it all documented and in order.

If you are here, then you are probably trying to determine if the drums you own were made in Japan. A little background is in order. During the early-mid 60's the increase of drum sales in the US was a lucrative avenue for importing instruments in to the country at a price that was less then what the big drum companies were charging.

Many Japanese drums look very similar in design to American drums. Hmm.. I wonder why that was? Many times you look at a set of Japanese drums and think they are Slingerland or Gretsch. Then after you look at them closer you can easily determine they are not. The biggest tell tale sign is the type of wood used in the shells and the direction of the wood grain. If you look inside your drums you will quickly notice the wood grain is running vertical. (Hoop to Hoop) this was an easier and cheaper way to make drum shells and required a simpler manufacturing process. The wood itself was called Luan /Lauan (Philippine Mahogany) and is a cheap wood usually used on the inside of doors and cabinets.

The badges are plenty! I have many documented and displayed on the badge section in the links at the top of this page. They were usually put on with folding grommets and many times the interior wood is splintered.

The hardware is a much cheaper version and the chrome is not very good. The hardware will rust easier then American hardware and depending on how advanced the rust is will determine if they can be restored. It was a common practice for people to use steel wool to clean drum hardware, but that has fallen out of use because it can leave fine scratches in the chrome and especially on Japanese drums. Follow the links at the top for more information on the best ways to clean and restore drums.

Here is a page of many different names associated with Japanese Manufactured drums.

If you ever have a question please visit the Vintage Drum Forum and ask it in the Non-USA drum section.

Thank you for visiting

Pearl History - New Info
Parts Identification

Added two new catalogs

Apollo Drums1

Apollo Drums 2

Apollo Arai Astro Audition Barclay Black Jack Boston CB-700 Champion Coronet Crest Crestline Crown Decca Del Ray DIA Dixie Dixon Drum Craft Drum Mate Drum Trio Edgeware Emperador Fuji Gambles Goldtone Gracy Heit HyLo Ideal Jason Kingston LaBoz Lido Lido Supreme Lyle Lyra Magnum Maier Majestic Marathon Matador Maxitone Maxwin Mayfair Mica Olympian Paramount Penncrest Polaris Prestige Raven Regency Regent Revelle Revere Rodeo Roxy Royal Star Royce Rythmline Saturn Sound Star Starlight Stewart St George Swing Star Telestar Tempro Toreador Truetone Trump UltraTone U.S. Mercury Valor Vibra Weltron Werco Westwood Whitehall Winston ZimGar

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