The Hoshino Gakki company began in 1908 as the musical instrument sales division of the Hoshino Shoten, a bookstore company. The Ibanez brand name dates back to 1929 when Hoshino Gakki began importing Salvador Ibáñez from Spain. When the "Salvador Ibáñez" workshop was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, the "Ibanez Salvador" guitars were no longer available, so Hoshino Gakki bought the "Ibanez Salvador" brand name rights and started making Spanish acoustic in 1935, at first using the "Ibanez Salvador" brand name, and then later using the "Ibanez" brand name.
The modern era of Ibanez guitars began in 1957 and the late 1950s and 1960s Ibanez catalogues show guitars with some wild looking designs. The late 1980s and early 1990s were an important period for the Ibanez brand. Hoshino Gakki's relationship with Frank Zappa’s's former guitarist Steve Vai resulted in the introduction of the Ibanez JEM and the Ibanez Universe models and after the earlier successes of the Roadstar and Iceman models in the late 1970s/early 1980s, Hoshino Gakki entered the superstrat market with the RG series which were a lower priced version of the Ibanez JEM model.