Japanese Music Industry

Hiroaki Oh-oka sat on a thin mat in front of a leg-less table in his traditional Japanese home where he outlined the history of the bamboo flutes his five- man company produces. The company, which his father started as a street vendor in Tokyo, holds a patent for the colorful plastic ends on the...
Yukio Ohashi is the chairman of one of Japan’s leading music instrument distributors, Prima Gakki. The company was established in 1945 as a sheet music distributor and wholesaler. Over the years Yukio has been a key player in the development of the Japan music industry, designing associations and...
Hiroo Okabe is the Director and Managing Executive Officer of Yamaha’s Musical Instrument Business Group. During his NAMM Oral History interview he provided the history of how Mr. Torakusu Yamaha began his career in the music industry by first repairing a reed organ and later, in 1900, introduced...
Ryoji Okamoto is the chairman for Kiwaya Corporation in Japan, which was established in 1919 and has since become one of the most important manufacturers of the ukulele. With his keen interest in the instrument, Mr. Okamoto has written several successful method books and created a popular training...
Ryo Okumoto began his professional musical career as a keyboardist during the height of the electronic musical instrument boom of the 1970s.  The synthesizer was growing nearly every month and new sounds were being created at nearly every NAMM Show, an opportunity Ryo-san took full advantage of as...
Yukio Sakurai studied photography and art at the university in Tokyo before his uncle asked if Yukio would come to work for him. His uncle was the founder of the Japan Music Trade Magazine and Yukio was very interested to work in the music industry, which in publishing required his training as an...
Ryoichi Sasaki was hired by Yamaha in 1967 working in the method book division.  In 1978, he formed his own publishing company, Rittor Music, which focuses on producing music-themed magazines, including guitar and technology magazines.  Ryoichi has also been very active in copyrights and the rights...
Tadahiro Sato loved music and baseball!  In fact after playing baseball for many years in his youth, he joined the music industry while playing baseball all along.  His sister's husband established Star Music in Japan in 1950, where Tadahiro began working four years later.  He and his brother-in-...
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...
Hisatake Shibuya takes great pride in developing music education opportunities for students wishing to bring music into their lives. By forming music schools in Japan and later opening the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA, Hisatake-san has created a model for extended musical education programs...

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