Japanese Music Industry

Jim Funada has proudly served the music products industry in several important ways over the last 40 years. He began his career by working for the Yamaha Corp. in keyboard retailing. Beginning in the late 1960s, Jim oversaw the Yamaha school programs among keyboard dealers in the San Francisco Bay...
Takashi “Hagi” Hagiwara has been called the “godfather of Yamaha drums” as the unofficial ambassador of the company’s percussive products around the world.  His father was a silversmith in Tokyo, a profession he was thought to continue, however he decided to take a part time job as a teenager in a...
Kyoko Hara is proud to continue her family tradition of being involved in the music products industry. It all began in 1919 when her grandfather opened a small store. Her father, Ryoji Okamoto, expanded the company and began providing ukuleles for their customers. The ukulele was a key instrument...
Motohichi Harada led the movement that brought the very first marching band to Japan, which took place in 1963.  He has since worked for the NHK for over thirty years and formed the Japan Marching Band Directors Association in 1971 and the Japan Marching Band Association the following year.  Both...
Karl Hirano was an electronic engineer for Yamaha in Japan during the great MIDI boom of the early 1980s. In fact, Karl was a member of the team that gathered at the 1983 NAMM Show to discuss the MIDI spec and agree on the protocol and how MIDI would be engineered into the vast number of new...
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...
Toru Hora was classically trained on the piano and attended Juilliard. He joined the Buffet Crampon company in 1964 and both established and served as president of the Buffet Japan branch three years later.  Much of his effort in Japan was to establish the brass instruments into the market and to...
Masato Horibe is proud of the origins of his company, which date back to 1917 when Mr. Niimi opened a small store in Japan. He first began selling phonograph needles and later brought into the harmonica. After World War II, school band instruments became a major focus of the business, helping the...
Yoshitada Hoshino is the president of Hoshino Gakki Company, a music company that has remained in his family since first opening in 1908 to sell sheet music in Japan. The distribution segment of the business began to grow throughout the next hundred years. Along the way the company developed the...
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...

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