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Genichi Kawakami, Founder of Yamaha, 1912 – 2002

Published May 27th, 2002

Genichi Kawakami, the man who established Yamaha Motor Co. in 1955, died Saturday May 25th at the age of 90 in Hamamatsu, Japan.



[img1] His success story begins in 1937. After commercial studies, Mr. Kawakami joined the company was run by his father, Nippon Gakki Co. He became president in 1950 and revolutionized the manufacturing process of pianos. Mr. Kawakami grew the company into the world’s top manufacturer of pianos. Five years later, the history of Yamaha Motor Co. began. Mr. Genichi had to imagine the reconversion of his machine tools shortly after the defeat against the Allies in 1945.



He decided it should be the motorcycling industry. The first 125 YA-1 left the factory in January 1955.



Mr. Kawakami handed over the leadership of Yamaha to his son Hiroshi in 1983.



[img2] Mr. Kawakami died but leaves a philosophical heritage, which every motorcyclist hopes for: “We create Kando. Kando is the word we use in Japanese to express feelings of excitement and deep satisfaction”.



Courtesy of NIPPON NEWS / Laurent Benchana







Genichi Kawakami, Founder of Yamaha, 1912 - 2002 - Photo 1 of 2
Mr. Kawakami





Genichi Kawakami, Founder of Yamaha, 1912 - 2002 - Photo 2 of 2
Mr. Kawakami





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