Fender Japan Guitar Serial Number Sequencing
Fender Japan Guitar Serial
Numbers
YEAR OF
MANUFACTURE
JV + 5 DIGITS  
1982-1984
SQ + 5 DIGITS (Squier models)
1983-1984
(MIJ)  E + 6 DIGITS  
1984-1987
(MIJ)  A + 6 DIGITS
1985-1986
(MIJ)  B + 6 DIGITS  
1985-1986
(MIJ)  C + 6 DIGITS   
1985-1986
(MIJ)  F + 6 DIGITS   
1986-1987
(MIJ)  G + 6 DIGITS  
1987-1988
(MIJ)  H + 6 DIGITS   
1988-1989
(MIJ)  I + 6 DIGITS
1989-1990
(MIJ)  J + 6 DIGITS
1989-1990
(MIJ)  J + 6 DIGITS
1989-1990
(MIJ)  K + 6 DIGITS
1990-1991
(MIJ)  L + 6 DIGITS
1991-1992
(MIJ)  M + 6 DIGITS
1992-1993
(MIJ)  N + 6 DIGITS
1993-1994
(MIJ)  O + 6 DIGITS
1993-1994
(MIJ)  P + 6 DIGITS
1993-1994
(MIJ)  Q + 6 DIGITS
1993-1994
(MIJ)  S + 6 DIGITS
1994-1995
(MIJ)  T + 6 DIGITS
1994-1995
(MIJ)  U + 6 DIGITS
1995-1996
(MIJ)  V + 6 DIGITS
1996-1997
(CIJ)  A + 6 DIGITS
1997-1998
(CIJ)  B + 6 DIGITS
1998-1999
(CIJ)  O + 5 DIGITS
1997-2000
(CIJ)  P + 5 DIGITS
1999-2002
(CIJ)  Q + 5 DIGITS
2002-2004
(CIJ)  R + 5 DIGITS
2004-2005
Tips to help you accurately date your Fender Japan guitar...

First, you want to determine whether your guitar is from the JV, SQ, MIJ or CIJ series.

Q: What's the difference and how can you tell?

A:  The serial number of your guitar will begin with one of the above lettering sequences.  Fender Japan used
all of the above lettering sequences for the serial numbering of their guitars and basses over the years, and
knowing this first will help you determine the year of manufacture.  These stamps can be found in different
locations on your guitar, so now I'll tell you where you need to look to find these markings...

JV... acronym for "Japan Vintage"  On these guitars you will find the letters "JV" stamped/engraved into the
       neck plate of the Stratocasters and bass guitars and on the bridges of the Telecasters and other guitar
       models.  There will be 5 numbers also engraved after the "JV" lettering.  Fender "JV" guitars were only
       made from 1982 to 1984.  On early Fender JV models, you will also find "MADE IN JAPAN" written very
       small under the Fender spaghetti logo on the headstock of the guitar.  On later Fender JV models, the
       "MADE IN JAPAN" can be found on the heel of the guitar neck, just above the metal neck plate.  All
       Fender JV models had the serial numbers engraved into either the neck plate or bridge.  Many also have
       penciled neck dates (
6-14-82) you can only see when the neck is removed from the body of the guitar.

SQ... acronym for "Squier"  These models were made by a different division of Fender and bear the Squier logo
        and not the Fender logo.  These models have the serial numbering and markings in the same location as
        Fender JV guitars, and were made only during the years 1983 to 1984.

MIJ...  acronym for "MADE IN JAPAN"  These models spanned the years from 1984 to 1997.  You will find the
        MADE IN JAPAN stamp on the heel of every guitar's neck, without variation.  On Stratocasters and bass
        guitars, you will find the serial number just below this stamp, also on the heel of the neck.  On Telecasters
        and certain other models, you will find the serial number on the bridge.  The serial numbers will start with
        a letter that corresponds to specific years of production.  My chart will help you determine those specifics.
        You will not find the MADE IN JAPAN stamp on the headstocks of Fender MIJ guitars.

CIJ...  acronym for "CRAFTED IN JAPAN"  These guitars were made from 1997 and are still being manufactured
        today.  They follow the same serial numbering patterns as the Fender MIJ models.

Please refer to the chart I have provided below in order to pinpoint the exact year your guitar was manufactured...
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