Sadao Yairi was born in 1908.
In 1923 he entered the employment of Suzuki Violin Mfg., Co., Ltd. He worked there making violins until 1932 when he left to start his own business. In 1935 his son Hiroshi was born, and this was the milestone in his life to become independent.
He rented two buildings, lived in one and the other became his first guitar "factory". He made only flat top steel string guitars at this time.
In 1940 he saw one foreign made "gut" guitar and heard the sound it made and was completely fascinated with it. "This is a real guitar" and he began to study the gut guitar. "I wanted to made guitars as good as the foreign ones, but in those days I did not have the money to buy the machines." "It was also difficult to control the materials." Sadao Yairi spent most of his spare time towards this "new" guitar, working day and night.
Yairi Gakki was successful and had reached the peak during the early 1940’s. He had 7 workmen and the monthly produciton of guitars were around 100. The situation did not continue due to the war in Japan,Yairi Gakki had been completely shut down and all the equipment and workers ended up working for Kasuga Gakki Mfg. Co. in Kaizugun, Gifu.
At wars end in 1945, Sadao left the Kasuga factory, and once again started out on his own. Starting from scratch it took him 5 years to get back on his feet. New workmen and tools were brought in, but they had no experience in making guitars, so he had to TRAIN them first. It was frustrating for him, in that it was easier for him to make the guitars himself than train the new workers.
Once again he concentrated on steel string flat top guitars, slowly adding in the new "gut" guitars. By 1960 production of gut guitars had increased and made up half of the total production. Only in 1965 the production of gut guitars had made it into the main line. Monthly production reached 500 guitars and the factory was at full capacity.
…. to be continued….