Koichi Kawai (1886-1955) started as an employee at Yamaha (founded by Tarakusu Yamaha in 1887) and founded Kawai in 1927 in Hamamatsu (Japan), which today is known worldwide as the largest, exclusively musical instrument producing, company. Koichi Kawai strived to build an affordable and innovative piano. Due to a lack of resources, sound material and qualified piano technicians, the beginning was very difficult, but Kawai managed to survive. During the Second World War Kawai had to facilitate the war industry and from 1951 the piano production was restarted. Due to the increasing interest in Western music in Japan, in the early 1950s production rose to around 1500 pianos per year and Kawai employed 500 staff. After the sudden death of Koichi Kawai (1955), son Shigeru Kawai took over. He modernized the company and in 1961 he opened a new assembly plant in Maisaka that could handle a monthly production of over 5000 pianos. In the 1960s Kawai acquired many customers by appointing some 2000 door-to-door representatives to promote the practice of music through piano playing. In 1963, Shigeru founded Kawai America and later Kawai Europe, Kawai Canada, Kawai Australia and Kawai Asia followed.
In 1980 Shigeru opened a grand piano factory in Ryuyo. Kawai became popular under his leadership and grew steadily. Shigeru Kawai stimulated market demand by setting up a large network of Kawai Music Schools and setting up a Kawai Music Academy to provide well-trained piano teachers. The Kawai Piano Technical Center trains the technicians who ensure the maintenance level of the large number of instruments. In 1989 Shigeru's son Hirotaka Kawai took over the management of the company. He continued the successful business strategy and invested a lot of money in the realization of robotics in piano and grand piano building. Hirotaka had the 'RX Series Artist Grand Pianos' built, which were specially designed for concert venues and in 1991 Kawai reached the production number of two million instruments. Hirotaka set up representative offices in America, Europe and Australia and under his leadership production lines were established in America, China and Indonesia. He also founded Kawai Asia Manufacturing in Malaysia (1991) and Kawai Finishing in America (1995).
Kawai is a very innovative company. Since the 1970s, Kawai has been using alternative materials in the mechanics of pianos and grand pianos. In order to eliminate the effects of wood on certain instrument components, Kawai uses ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene). In 2002 Kawai introduced the Millennium III grand piano. In this grand piano Kawai used ABS-Carbon, a new composite material composed of ABS and carbon fibre. The advantages of ABS-Carbon are that it improves the touch sensitivity and the repetition speed of the mechanism, because ABS-Carbon parts are not only insensitive to moisture, but are also lighter and stronger than traditional parts.
Why buy at Bol Pianos?
At Bol, the Kawai occasion pianos and grand pianos have been technically and externally brought back into a new state. As standard, the starps, the haircut string, the keys, all axes, the introduction of the keys and the pedal work are replaced. The cabinet has been repainted in black polyester high-gloss and the keypad is equipped with a slowfall mechanism.