Spotlight – HAMAMATSU CITY
Hamamatsu City has a long and storied history of craftsmanship, entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and tradition that make it a fascinating place to visit.
A CITY OF CRAFTSMEN
Traditional Crafts, Museum of Musical Instruments, Yamaha Innovation Road, Suzuki Plaza and Honda Soichiro Craftsmanship Center
Hamamatsu City is well known worldwide as the factory hometown for many famous brands like Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, Kawai, and Roland.
The city’s positive spirit of “Yaramaika” (“let’s give it a try” in the local dialect) has helped foster creativity and innovation as they actively embrace new challenges to keep moving forward.
Today visitors to Hamamatsu City can experience local craftsmanship and traditional skills that have been passed down through generations which encapsulate the entrepreneurial spirit and manufacturing prowess the people of Hamamatsu still pride themselves on.
From traditional crafts to modern technology, Hamamatsu still produces everything from taiko drums, harmonica, hand-dyed ‘tenugui‘ towels, and soy sauce.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
Hamamatsu City is often called a town of “monozukuri” (creative manufacturing) and is renown as a town of music hailing back to it’s cultural history of producing some of the best world-class musical instruments.
In testament to its musical roots, Hamamatsu City have actively organized musical events such as the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition, leading the city to become recognized at the forefront of Japan’s musical aspirations.
A STORIED HISTORY OF CRAFTSMANSHIP
Hamamatsu City has a long and rich history of nurturing entrepreneurship and innovation headlined by The Big 3 – Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki.
Torakusu Yamaha established Nippon Gakki Co. Ltd (Gakki means instrument in Japanese) in Hamamatsu City in the late 1800s to produce pianos and reed organs.
The company would later become Yamaha Corporation and split into Yamaha Music and Yamaha Motors and become one of the most recognised brands in the World.
Torakusu had an apprentice by the name of Koichi Kawai who eventually went on to found a company by the name of Kawai Musical Instruments.
Today you can visit the Yamaha Innovation Road in Hamamatsu City to learn more about the company and its progression from reed organs to DJ mixing desks, to electronic violins, and more.
Although it is in neighboring Kakegawa for piano lovers a tour of the Yamaha Piano Factory will give you insights, and a new level of appreciation of the craftsmanship that goes into every Yamaha piano.
Born in a small village in the outskirts of Hamamatsu City in 1906 Honda Soichiro became fascinated when he first saw a motorized vehicle at the age of 8 years old.
He set up an auto repair shop in Hamamatsu in his early 20s and gained a reputation for his craftsmanship and abilities – nearly 100 years later the company that bears his name is one of the biggest automakers in the World – Visit the HONDA SOICHIRO CRAFTSMANSHIP CENTER.
The Suzuki Loom Works company was established in 1909 by Hamamatsu local Michio Suzuki to build weaving looms for the Japanese silk industry.
After 30 years of innovation and pioneering of the weaving machine business, Michio turned his craftsmanship talents to the burgeoning motor vehicle industry no doubt inspired by what Soichiro Honda had achieved.
Nearly 100 years later this iconic Hamamatsu-born company, just like Yamaha and Honda, through innovation and a focus on craftsmanship, is still going strong and you can visit the Suzuki Plaza in Hamamatsu City to learn more.