Established in 1890, the Kubota Corporation has a long history of manufacturing agricultural machinery in Japan. With an excellent line of compact tractors, necessary on smaller Japanese farms, Kubota entered the North American market in 1969. In 1974, Kubota introduced a 12 HP four-wheel drive tractor in the US. Prior to that point, US manufacturers did not use four-wheel drive except in the largest models.
The popularity and low price of Kubota tractors led to a number of "grey market" imports of Japanese models into North America. These models lack safety equipment required in the US such as PTO shields and seatbelts. Kubota won a lawsuit in 1997 to make it illegal to distribute these tractors.
Kubota Corporation - official site