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What the Japanese Bayberry Trees Have Seen Stories from the Early Years of Yamaha Motor

Introducing the stories behind Yamaha Motor's technologies.

What the Japanese Bayberry Trees Have Seen  
Stories from the Early Years of Yamaha Motor
What the Japanese Bayberry Trees Have Seen

This series of entries was originally published in Yamaha Motor’s company newsletter from 1978 to 1979, some 20 years after Yamaha was founded. It was written by one of the company directors at the time so that employees could learn about what Yamaha’s earliest years were like.

- These entries are an English translation of written and edited Japanese.

- The names of companies, groups, municipalities, facilities, historical events, technical terms, nicknames, etc., are as close as possible to how they were originally written and published.

- Yamaha company acronyms in the original text have been changed to more common wording.

- Entries use Western dating instead of the Japanese era name system, e.g., “Showa 30” is changed to “1955”.

- The text layout has been altered for website viewing.

- Some photographs have been either replaced or removed.

  1. Introduction
  2. Musical Instruments and Propellers
  3. Metal Propellers
  4. Hamilton Variable-Pitch Propellers
  5. Propeller Production
  6. Propeller Improvements
  7. The Phantom Propeller
  8. Natural Disasters and Air Raids
  9. The Sakura Factory
  10. The War Ends
  11. After the War
  12. Machines Removed From War Reparations
  13. Deciding How to Use the Machines
  14. Trial & Error
  15. The Decision is Made
  16. Japan’s Motorcycle Industry in the Early Fifties
  17. Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
  18. The Model is Chosen
  19. The First Prototype
  20. Testing the Prototype
  21. Business Plans
  22. Backs to the Wall!
  23. The 10,000 km Test
  24. Building the Factory
  25. Preparations for Marketing and Production
  26. The Hamana Factory
  27. Birth of the Red Dragonfly
  28. “Learn by doing!”
  29. The Story of the Gears
  30. Preparing for the Fuji Ascent Race
  31. “Yamaha Motor Company”
  32. We Win at Fuji
  33. Tighten Your Helmet Strap After a Victory
  34. Act According to Your Principles
  35. Testing at Norikura
  36. After the Fuji Ascent Race
  37. The Asama Highlands Race
  38. On Call as Factory Backup
  39. Victory at Asama!
  40. The YC-1 Debuts
  41. The Miyaguchi Test
  42. Production and Sales of the YC
  43. A Step Toward Expansion
  44. Our First 250cc 2-Stroke Twin
  45. “Absolute Quality”
  46. Today’s Substandard Parts
  47. Review and Restructure
  48. Lessons from the President
  49. Protecting Your Company
  50. What the Japanese Bayberry Trees Have Seen
  51. Afterword
  52. Short Message: 50 Years Before and 50 Years Later
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