Torakusu Yamaha founded the Yamaha Corporation, which is renowned for designing and building a vast line of quality pianos, as well as other instruments. At a young age, Torakusu was fascinated with science and technology. Early in his career, he began making watches. Years later, he used his technical skills to repair medical equipment.
Torakusu’s ability to build and repair machinery and instruments gained the notice of his elementary school principal, who asked him to see if he could repair a broken reed organ. His success in that venture ignited his interest in musical instruments. During the process, Torakusu had the foresight to document the blueprint of the organ, which he later used to create his own version. It was this organ that he trekked over mountains to personally deliver to the Music Institute, which is known today as the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.
After his organ was not well received due to poor tuning, Torakusu pursued studies in tuning and music theory. Four months and much work later, he completed an improved version of his organ, which included the tuning fork mark.
In 1887, Torakusu founded Japan Musical Instrument Manufacturing Corporation, Limited, which eventually became the Yamaha Corporation. Originally a piano and reed organ manufacturer, the company diversified and included in its products motorcycles, industrial robots, home appliances, golf carts, and archery products, among others. Eventually, these companies branched off, each forming their own division and brand.
Today, the Yahama Piano logo still contains an image of the tuning forks that were the hallmark of young Torakusu Yamaha’s success. The company’s three musical instrument factories are located in Japan.
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