The Kawai Piano Story
Based in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan, Kawai Musical Instruments Manufacturing Co., Ltd. is best known for creating; grand pianos, upright pianos, electronic keyboards and electronic synthesizers. Founded by Koichi Kawai in 1927, he originally started out creating mechanical devices and inventions such as a unique pedal-driven cart he built himself. The son of a wagon maker, Kawai proved to be a gifted inventor who became the first to design and build a complete piano action in Japan. Impressed with his skills, Kawai’s neighbour Torakusu Yamaha took the teenager under his wing and began nurturing his talents. A watchmaker and reed organ builder at the time, Yamaha was struggling to build his first upright piano. With Kawai now on board, they were quickly awarded many patents, designs and inventions.
After Yamaha’s death in 1916, new management Nippon Gakki Co. took control over the company. They began to diversify the production line, which eventually lead to Kawai becoming frustrated with the company and subsequently leaving in 1927 and starting Kawai Musical Instrument Research Laboratory. He and seven friends spent the next several years developing several ideas with their passion for music and desire to produce superior pianos, clearly at the forefront of their minds.
After Koichi Kawai’s death in 1955, his son, Shigeru Kawai became the company’s president. He shared the same passion and wanted to remain true to his father’s ideals. Over the next few decades, Shigeru Kawai expanded production and in 1980 introduced the Shigeru Kawai Grand Piano line. He remained a key influence within the company, until his death in 2006, at this time his son Hirotaka Kawai took over the helm.
Under the guidance of Hirotaka Kawai, Kawai Musical Instruments Manufacturing Co., Ltd. embarked on a program that invested millions into the manufacturing process. This resulted in the introduction of several new series of grand, upright and digital pianos, as well as manufacturing facilities around the globe.
Today, the Kawai Musical Instrument Manufacturing Company distributes acoustic and digital pianos to over 80 countries. Kawai is one of the most celebrated brands within the musical instrument industry and occupies the second largest share of piano sales in the world. Countrywide Piano Centre Ltd, is proud to stock Kawai New and Secondhand Upright and Grand Pianos and we hope that you see the passion, dedication and hard work that went into every single design Kawai produces. We certainly do!