Casio Digital Museum visit : Visit Overview
This column shows my visiting report of Casio Toshio Museum in last September. It was an impressing visit being able to know how Casio Co. has been developed as a digital giant and consecutively producing innovative products in the electronics. Here’s the small report on Casio Toshio Com-memorial Museum:
The overview, Initial and advance, Calculator development, Endeavor to Digital Watch , challenging to the new type of Musical Instrument, and tracks record of Mr. Kashio as a inventor
How I visited
In the mid-September, I visited “Kasio Toshio Memorial Museum” to see the history and collection of Casio’s calculator, watch and musical instrumentbecause I had long wanted to review the Casio’s technology and businesses. The museum is located in the Setagaya, Tokyo’s peaceful residential area. It was established by renovating the private house of Mr. Kashio (a founder of Casi), and opened in commemorate his contribution to the Casio Co. in 2012 just after the his demise. Because of its museum environment, visitors can touch homely atmosphere there which couldn’t experience in the other museums.When I walked in the entrance hall, a museum staff already there and kindly explained the origin of Casio Museum and its collection in detail for me. The museum room was divided into four sections. The first one was made for the Casio’s calculator collections, the next room is provided for exhibition of digital watches, and the third section is allocated for Casio’s musical instrument. The last one is Mr.Kashio’s working room.
Casio’ s Calculator development and its collection
In the first room, the Casio 14A (relay type) mechanical calculator was displayed which had triggered the Casio successful technology development. I have a quite impressed that the machine was still kept in active state. It was said that the Casio’s staff repaired its parts one by one to move machine which had broken 50 years ago. It is amazing matter that the 50 years age’s old machine was really moving smoothly with a small click sound. Now thanks to the LSI, all the calculators are functioned by a single plate-like machine now, but the basic concept isn’t changed yet, and we might feel how far they have been advanced them by innovative technology. In the long development process, they might have faced many challenges to overcome technology and business barriers.
Calculators entered the Digital Age
The Casio, a world scale large company now, started as an small manufacturer in the 1970, but Mr. Toshio Kasio, with his three brothers, has explored a new calculator business by his own technology invention and led the company’s business success. This memorial product of Casio was 14-A. It was the technology base leading the company’s business success. As a matter of fact, the electronic devise and computer were going to be quite popular in the 1980s. Casio quickly responded that trend, and blushed up its own technology and expanded its business in the new market. That new market entry has invited the severe business race called “Calculator Wars” with Sharp and other electric giants at that time. Among them, Casio offered a new competitive product, called “Casio Mini” calculator. It won a hundreds of thousands sales hit in the market, and the name of Casio was steadfast by them. Then generally the calculator became a popular daily machine costed only thousand yen, from a half million yen’s expensive product.
Digital Watch consolidates Casio’s business
Again Casio has advanced into electronic watch business in 1980s. That time, besides foreign watch makers, Seiko and Citizen dominated the market as a leading manufacturer. So the Casio’s chance was quite limited, but it developed a relatively inexpensive electronic watch field as its marketing target and made a digital watch. The product was the “G-Shock” watch with full digital function. This was a newly concepted watch by using calculator technology which Casio had been developing. After that success, Casio started to be recognized as a big watch manufacturer too. Looking at the exhibition of many digital watches, I admitted again that the uniqueness which has deployed by Casio’s business style and technological innovation in its history.
Casio has challenged to the new Musical Instrument
Casio had even advanced to the musical instrument. According to the museum staff, Mr. Kashio couldn’t play musical instruments, but he hoped to make entirely new concept musical instruments. So he had a dream that all the people could enjoy and play music anywhere by the digitization of sound technology which Casio had accumulated. This memorial product was the “Casio Tone”. In the musical instrument corner of museum, various musical instruments were exhibited crammed in the selves. The feature of these products is that all the sound and music are electronically operated with near natural music sound, or even colorful tones than natural ones. I have reminded once again how widely the Casio’s technologies had been covered in the electronic products field by the founder’s hand.
Mr. Kashio(s Personality and works
The final fourth room was provided for the working space of Mr. Kasio himself. There were a slight larger table and chairs placed with pencil and a few sheets of paper on the top. According to explanation of staff, Mr. Kasio had been sitting in front of the table, and had been always writing his some inspirations related arithmetic figures on his notes. Mr. Kashio was working every day even in the age of the 80. Even after the retirement of business, he had been routinely talking and discussed with young engineers about the future technological possibility and innovation of new ideas to contribute to the society. Anyway I could learned a lot by visiting the Casio Museum about what is the business and technology innovation all about, and felt the importance of business personalities engaging manufacturing technology. The Casio Museum is really worth site for young people to visit to learn the current industrial technology. .