The early years in Japan was a time when it was financially unfeasible for an artist, or for that matter an orchestra, to obtain string instruments of exceptional quality.
As the years progressed, values rose and there began to form a void between those who could afford a fine instrument and those who needed a quality violin.
Shirakawa Sogyo was founded in 1961 to provide these artists with an alternative to the old Italian violins and French bows that, until then, were the only instruments of any quality really available.
We offered new quality violins from various violin makers and since 1968, have held nine exhibitions for contemporary violin makers. We believe exhibitions, have developed and enlightened the works of other makers. We are proud to say, because of these exhibitions, we feel, the fine works of these and other contemporary makers will undoubtedly benefit our descendants well into the 21st century.
In commemoration of the 30 years since our establishment, we would like to showcase eleven makers who we feel epitomize the art of contemporary, violin making. Selecting these makers was a difficult task considering the number of top manufacturers, however, their works stood the scrutiny of meticulous customers who demanded excellence, and though only one piece could be imported at times, it was always of superb quality.
We would like to recognize here, the loyal and tireless efforts of the late Mr. Takeshi Nemoto, who as a member of our company since its inception, strived to promote the fine works of contemporary artists for many long years. His passing before the completion of this album is especially regretful. May his soul rest in peace knowing his work was not in vain.
We would also like to express our extreme gratitude to Mr. Shinichi Yokoyama, without whose experience and cooperation towards us and the various manufacturers involved, this album’s completion would be questionable.
Shirakawa Sogyo Co.,Ltd.
Copyright 1990 (c) Shirakawa Sogyo Co., Ltd.
Photographer Shinichi Yokoyama
Translation Dennis T.Sato / Reginald Williams