Yamaha Corporation is a diverse Japanese technology company. Yamaha currently produces musical instruments, consumer electronics, heavy industrial equipment, microprocessors, and motor vehicles. The company is recognized as a leader in fields as diversified as audio research and development, to small engine and motorcycle design, to robotics. Yamaha currently has official distribution channels in almost every country in the world, and operates laboratories and research facilities on almost every continent.
Torakusu Yamaha first began selling reed organs in 1887, and incorporated his company ten years later as The Nippon Gakki Co, Ltd. Within five years of incorporation the company diversified into furniture making, as the wood finishing expertise learning in organ and piano making was well suited to fine furniture. This diversification would become a hallmark of the company, as Yamaha would diversify and expand it's operations at almost every opportunity. By the second world war, Yamaha was a world leader in acoustics research, and was manufacturing phonographic equipment in addition to furniture and musical instruments. In 1955 the company introduced Yamaha Motor Corporation, selling a re-engineered German motorcycle of WWII design. Today, the Yamaha logo consists of three tuning forks against the silhouette of a cymbal, homage to the company's roots as a musical instrument manufacturer.
Yamaha owes it's success to it's management's continuous willingness to take business risks and diversify. In the 1930s, Yamaha pioneered acoustics research and helped develop some of the world's leading concert halls of the time. Yamaha introduced the world's first 3-wheeled ATV, was the first company to fit single shock absorption systems to production motocross bikes, and the first company to market a 5-valve cylinder head. Recent Yamaha motorcycle innovations include electronically-controlled variable intake stacks, quick-release touring windshield and passenger backrest with touring bags, and even a small airbag system. Recent Yamaha musical innovations include singing synthesis software, concert-quality carbon-bodied bows, and electric "silent" string instruments such as violins, bass, and cellos. Ground-breaking and risky technologies are marketed in all Yamaha products, from high-sales motorcycle markets to specialty niche markets such as electric violins.
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