The Yamaha Corporation is a Japanese company with a wide range of products and services, predominantly musical instruments and electronics.
Yamaha was founded in 1887 as a piano and reed organ manufacturer by Torakusu Yamaha as Template:Nihongo in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka prefecture, and was incorporated on October 12, 1897. The company's origins as a musical instrument manufacturer is still reflected today in the group's logo — a trio of interlocking tuning forks..
After World War II, company president Gen-ichi Kawakami, repurposed the remains of the company's war-time production machinery and the company's expertise in metallurgical technologies to the manufacture of motorcycles. The YA-1 (aka Akatombo, the "Red Dragonfly"), of which 125 were built in the first year of production (1954), was named in honor of the founder. It was a 125cc, single cylinder, two-stroke, streetbike patterned after the German DKW RT125 (which the British munitions firm, BSA, had also copied in the post-war era and manufactured as the Bantam, and Harley-Davidson as the Hummer). In 1955, the success of the YA-1 resulted in the founding of the Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.
Yamaha has grown to become the world's largest manufacturer of musical instruments (including "silent" pianos, drums, guitars, violins, violas and celli), as well as a leading manufacturer of semiconductors, audio/visual, computer related products, sporting goods, home appliances and furniture, specialty metals, machine tools, and industrial robots.
In October 1987, on the 100th anniversary, its name was changed to The Yamaha Corporation.
In 1989, Yamaha shipped the world's first CD recorder. Since then, Yamaha has purchased Sequential Circuits in 1988 and bought a significant share (51%) of competitor Korg in 1989–1993. It also acquired German Audio Software manufacturers Steinberg in 2004, from Pinnacle.
Yamaha Corporation is also widely known for their music program that begun in the 1980s.
Other companies in the Yamaha group include:
- Yamaha Motor Company
- Yamaha Fine Technologies Co., Ltd.
- Yamaha Livingtec Corporation
- Yamaha Metanix Corporation
- Yamaha Pro Audio
- High end audio
- AV Receivers
- All-Japan Band Association - Yamaha has long been a major sponsor of this event.