It's not often I get a possible three makers for a badged guitar, but that's the current situation I have with Maya guitars.
Maya guitars were manufactured in Japan in the 1970 decade. I always thought that Chushin and Maya Guitar Company were the manufacturers responsible for producing the badge. Not so!
Recently I discovered evidence to the contrary in the form of a new unknown company: Tahara. And it seems pretty ironclad. So what's the problem you ask?
The problem is that there are three manufacturers who have been cited as being the producer of the badge: Chushin Gakki, who may have produced a few Maya guitars here and there, the Maya Guitar Company which existed in Kobe, Japan, and finally Tahara, which was eventually sold to Saga Musical Instruments. Saga has published a letter stating that Tahara did in fact, produce Maya guitars during the 1970's.
Chushin Gakki often did work for other larger manufacturers back in the 1970's, usually those with contracts from American companies like Charvel. We know that some Maya guitars were made by this company, because they were shipped to foreign countries, including America, where they were sold. These Maya guitars are copies of the famous El Maya badge.
So the problem arises between Tahara and the Maya Guitar Company (also known as Maya Musical Instruments). Tahara did not exist long, less than a decade. Maya might have been some sort of collaborative effort or association, whereby various companies worked together on a project. Maya also existed for a relatively short period of time. So who gets credit for the Maya guitar badge? The case for Tahara seems far more substantial in light of the evidence provided by the company now in existence after Tahara's demise. But I truly wonder if perhaps Maya existed as a company and if they had as a collaborator Chushin Gakki and Tahara. It's a marvelous tangle to unwind. Were there Maya guitar badges that were different from El Maya? Were Chushin Maya's different than Tahara Maya guitars?
It's something I'll be looking into over the next few months. If I figure it all out or find someone who knows the answer, I'll share it with you here.
Maya. A badge with an uncertain maker.