Masaru Kohno is the first luthier of great fame to come out of Japan. He studied with the great Arcangel Fernandez in Spain to learn the Spanish techniques of building in the style of Antonio de Torres. He used these techniques and developed an instrument that was easier and comfortable to play yet retained the strong voice of guitars from Spain. For this he won a gold medal in 1967 at the Concours National de Guitares in Liege, Belgium. In 1975, along with his nephew Masaki Kohno, he opened a factory to build affordable instruments of good quality.
Visit his website here: http://www.kohno-guitar.org