JMT Web News

February 16, 2022 11:30 AM

Obituary Ryoji Okamoto (1931 - 2021)

Ryoji Okamoto, ex-chairman of Kiwaya Co., Ltd. passed away on December 30, 2021. He was 90 years old. Funeral service was taken on Jan. 6 by family members.

Got started music products distribution business at Ide Gakki in 1946, Okamoto joined Kiwaya Co., Ltd. in 1957. After a while, He launched “Famous” brand ukulele line, known today as a leading brand made in Japan in collaboration with a manufacturer.

Even after Hawaiian music lost popularity, he continued providing ukulele players with Famous instruments. While keeping communication and help with ukulele musicians including Herb Ohta, Okamoto successfully established the brand, and took leadership in promotion of ukulele launching teaching studios himself. His passion for the instrument lasted through lifetime.

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