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Kiwaya was originally established in 1919 as a maintenance service company for gramophones in Kanda, Tokyo. In the 1940's Kiwaya transitioned from gramophone maintenance to a music shop and in 1947 Kiwaya moved from Kanda to Matsugaya, where it is now located. Ryouji Okamoto produced Kiwaya's first brand ukulele, under the name "Famous". In 1993, Ryouji bought the trademark for Luna and began selling Luna branded ukuleles through Kiwaya. around this time, Ryouji also started to sell the "Nakanishi" Ukulele, made by Seiichi Nakanishi, which are said to rival Martins In 2002, Ryouji became the CEO of Kiwaya. He assigned Kyoko Hara, his oldest daughter, to be the president of Kiwaya. Kiwaya USA was established in 2006.

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