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September 19, 2023 4:50 PM

Memorial Ceremony for Manji Suzuki, Founder of Suzuki

Suzuki Musical Instrument Manufacturing Co., Ltd., manufacturer of Suzuki melodicas, harmonicas and wide array of educational musical instruments held a memorial service for the company’s founder Manji Suzuki, who passed away August 2020 on July 27 at Okura Actcity Hotel Hamamatsu.

Around 600 business partners, Suzuki artists, employees of Suzuki and its group companies were greeted by a sizable Suzuki Melodion beautifully arranged with a lot of flowers and a photo of Manji Suzuki holding a Suzuki harmonica.

The mourning ceremony was followed by video showing of the memories of Manji.   

Born in 1923, little boy Manji was enthralled by harmonica. Later in 1938 he got a job at Kawai and learned making harmonica. He left Kawai in 1953 to start making harmonica himself and launched Suzuki Musical the next year.

His business successfully expanded as export demands for harmonica grew, and the instrument was adopted for entry level music education by Japanese government in 1958.

Manji developed Suzuki Melodion Super 34, first melodica manufactured in Japan in 1961 to meet the needs from music teachers who felt difficulty in teaching harmonica in class. Melodica was approved by its excellence in music education in the ensuing years. It was named as an official instrument for the Course of Study.

Suzuki Musical has expanded businesses launching distribution, export, development and production of educational music software units as well as manufacture of Hammond Suzuki electronic organs in Japan and overseas to today.

After live sessions by Suzuki artists, Hirotaka Kawai, Chairman/President of Kawai Musical Instruments Mfg., Co., Ltd. and Masato Horibe, President of Niimi Gakki Co., Ltd. (distributor) delivered eulogy. Also, a video message by Stevie Wonder, who plays Suzuki harmonica was shown.     

Ms. Reiko Suzuki, daughter and president of Suzuki thanked all participants saying, “My father devoted his life to making high quality attractive musical instruments. He spent truly a happy life, I believe. We are convinced that we follow his spirit and creed to deliver products loved by music makers.”

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