Growing Businesses and Friends April 2014

Starting a business is not such a big a deal I guess, but keeping it going and watching it grow is really something! Last month in Nagoya Japan, my friend Tom Hosokawa and I, along with an enthusiastic group of supporters, celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the founding of Saga Japan, which later evolved into Hosco Inc.

Mr. Hosokawa and I had already been doing business together for some years when we developed the idea of putting together an export company in Japan. It was a great adventure for me—not only to be involved directly in business in Japan, but also to be associated with Hosokawa-san in that process. Not long after we started the business together, the U.S. dollar went into a slow downward spiral and soon it was in a free-fall. During one period of less than a year the dollar lost half of its value against the Japanese yen! This is the kind of crisis that not only tests business acumen, but also the bonds of friendship. Not only did our business survive and then prosper, but the friendship did, too.

That collaboration resulted in some of the classic acoustic instruments produced in the 1980s, such as the later model Gold Star Banjos, Saga Kits for Banjo and Electric Guitar, Regal Resonator Guitars, the first round of Gypsy Jazz Guitars, and the legendary Kentucky Master Model Mandolins including the David Grisman Models designed by John Monteleone. John Monteleone was with me at the opening ceremony 30 years ago at the Nagoya Castle Hotel.

Our catalog today is somewhat larger than it was thirty years ago, but the products on these pages are designed and produced with the same care and passion as the classic instruments of the 1980s.

 

That collaboration resulted in some of the classic acoustic instruments produced in the 1980s, such as the later model Gold Star Banjos, Saga Kits for Banjo and Electric Guitar, Regal Resonator Guitars, the first round of Gypsy Jazz Guitars, and the legendary Kentucky Master Model Mandolins including the David Grisman Models designed by John Monteleone. John Monteleone was with me at the opening ceremony 30 years ago at the Nagoya Castle Hotel.

Our catalog today is somewhat larger than it was thirty years ago, but the products on these pages are designed and produced with the same care and passion as the classic instruments of the 1980s.

Richard Keldsen
San Francisco
April 2014

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