Japanese Music Industry

Ken Taniguchi runs the store his father opened in 1936 in Ochanomizu, Japan.  The store started as a repair shop for accordions in the years before World War II.  When US soldiers came in for repairs on all manner of instruments, the shop developed a strong reputation and soon expanded.  Ken came...
Nobunari Yanagisawa is the president of the company his father established just before World War II.  The company began as a repair shop, which focused on the saxophone.  The factory was used for military projects during the war but closed after the war.  His father had a difficult time finding raw...
Kazuhiko Shima is the director of the Hamamatsu Musical Instrument Museum, which opened to the public in 1995.  He was hired the year before to help assemble the instruments and create the displays.  He is proud of the programs they have developed over the years to engage visitors of all ages.  The...
Sanjiro Kawamorita was drafted into the Japanese Army during World War II. He served under Shigeru Kawai who hired Kawamorita-San and other soldiers from his unit after the war. He remained with the piano manufacturer, based in Hamamatsu Japan until his retirement for a total of 53 years!  Before...
Ken Oda was hired by Yamaha in 1967 to run their retail store in San Francisco, California.  He continued to work for the company until his retirement at which point he joined Fender Musical Instruments.  While at Yamaha he met and worked with Bill Schultz who later hired Ken to help grow the Asian...
Akio Hiyoshi was on the engineering team at Yamaha in 1959 that designed the Electone Organ, which brought the small piano manufacturer into the electronic musical instrument market, where they would become dominant for decades.  The team also worked on the Clavinova, the CS 80 (Yamaha's last...
Hirokazu Kato took part in the innovative engineering team at Yamaha in Japan who utilized FM Synthesis to create an electronic musical instrument, first the TRX prototype and then the revolutionary DX7.  Kato-san began his career with Yamaha in 1965 when he helped design the company's first...
Mitsuo Kasahara served as the first president of Yamaha Corporation of America after setting up the branch office in Southern California in 1961.  Three years earlier he established the first Yamaha office in Mexico as well!  These were the first branches in North America, which led to a period of...
Masahiro Iijima enjoyed working as an engineer in the music industry and was hopeful to one day create his own company and brands.  He worked for KORG in Japan for 5 years, which is where he developed a strong friendship with the associate, who established the company together, Mr. Michi Nozokido...
Masaru Sawano began playing guitar as a young student when he first heard the Beatles.  He took a liking to music and the first job he took after college is the one he still has, working for Japan Music Trades.  Although today he is president of the magazine and he started out as a part time...

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