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A Brief History of the Suzuki
Violin Manufacturing Corporation
Nagoya , Japan


Masakichi Suzuki was born in 1859 in Nagoya, Japan. At age 14 he had worked in a lacquer-ware shop and later began his studies to become an elementary school music teacher. His future changed when a fellow classmate expressed his desire for a violin. Suzuki immediately put his skills to work and spent a week making his first instrument. A few months later he officially decided that violin making would be his vocation. By 1888 he had hired several assistants to help in making instruments. Soon orders for violins came in one right after the other.

A public retail location was opened in Tokyo in 1889 and by 1890 Suzuki began construction on a new violin factory. Ten years later a machine was invented to cut the round violin scrolls. Suzuki researched this machinery and patented his own specialty machines, enabling the factory to begin mass production. It was at this time that Suzuki created the first fractional-sized violins.

In 1914 a severe earthquake in Europe, coupled with World War I, prompted a huge increase in orders for Suzuki violins from Japan. The high quality of Japanese workmanship was quickly discovered by the world. Suzuki's work force rapidly increased to the point of having over 1,000 employees. In 1916 they opened a second factory and a third factory was constructed in 1918. At this point they were able to export as many as 500 violins and 1,000 bows in one day. In 1930 the Suzuki Violin Manufacturing Corporation became a publicly traded company. Suzuki was President, a son-in-law was the Administrative Assistant, and his son, Umeo, became the Managing Director.

The passion of Masakichi Suzuki is shared by Suzuki’s craftsmen today. Their techniques include making the cutting tools themselves, giving the woods panels a beautiful grain, creating rich expressions with lacquer and insuring each instrument produces a top-quality sound. The expert techniques the company has developed since its foundation have evolved to make the Suzuki Violin Company a world-wide competitor.

Another contributing factor to the world-wide success of the Suzuki Violins is the famous Suzuki Method education system. Shinichi Suzuki, the younger son of Masakichi Suzuki, developed this method. Throughout the world children learn to play their musical instruments using the Suzuki Method, which strongly incorporates listening skills. Educational violins, for which the company enjoys the top market share, are the first violins that beginners take in their hands. There are seven fractional sizes available for the violin, two fractional sizes for the viola and six fractional instrument choices for the cello.

Needless to say, in this field, where reasonable pricing is required, the company does not cut corners on quality because it knows how important this is for young people. A violin that gives the joy of producing beautiful sounds without spoiling its original function is what people need when they beginning playing music. It is the expert technology Suzuki has developed and handed down through generations of craftsmen that allows it to manufacture easy-to-play, quality educational violins today. From start to finish, the Nagoya Suzuki is the most dependable and well-suited instrument for the progressing student.

Today the Suzuki Violin Manufacturing Corporation produces thousands of string instruments and bows each month. The Suzuki string instruments enjoy a well-deserved reputation of the highest quality around the world. With over 100 years of instrument making excellence and experience Nagoya has refined the process to perfection with unparalleled quality in materials, workmanship, tone and overall performance. There is no better choice for the beginner or advanced student than a string instrument from the Suzuki Violin Manufacturing Corporation.