Things weren't always easy, and Shiro even found himself homeless at one point - but his guitar was always at his side, and he never gave up on his passion for it. In fact, it helped him get back on his feet when he started a new career giving lessons. By 1954, he was importing classical guitars into post-war Japan and, two years later, he founded his own company to market the instrument he loved. Another two years saw the company exporting its first Japanese guitars, which was when Shiro Arai rearranged the letters in his own name to come up with "Aria."
In the years since then, Aria has been steadily building up a reputation for delivering affordable guitars with solid quality. You can see that in instruments like the DM-380 Diamond Electric Guitar, which looks a treat and sounds great, too. Reminiscent of '60s surf band axes, the Diamond gives you a fantastic blend of vintage styling and modern construction.
More interested in acoustics? If so, take a look at the Aria AP-STD Parlor Acoustic Guitar. This well-built instrument has a compact body that makes it great for traveling and easy to play even if you're a beginner. The top is solid red cedar, and since the guitar is fairly deep despite its small profile, it puts out a level of volume and projection that could very well surprise you.
Don't be afraid to follow your instincts with Aria guitars: if one of these instruments looks right for you, then it probably is! The long history behind them is definitely a good thing - it shows how far you can go, even from humble beginnings, when you have talent and passion for your craft.