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History

  • 1910 - 1926 (Meiji-Taisho era)
  • 1926 - 1989 (Showa era)
  • 1989 - (Heisei era)
1910 - 1926

1910

  • Established as Nippon Phonograph Co., the predecessor of Columbia Music Entertainment, Inc. (Then president : Fredrick W. Horn)
  • Released single-sided records on labels such as Symphony, Royal, American, Universal and Globe.
  • Introduced 4 models of Nipponophone, the first Japanese-made gramophone to the market.

Photo : Single-sided records and Nipponophone

Single-sided records

Nipponophone

1914

  • Sumako Matsui's "Song of Katyusha" became a country-wide hit.
  • Double-sided records start to become the norm.

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1926 - 1989

1927

  • Released first domestically pressed Columbia black vinyl records featuring western music.
  • Marketed the Eagle gramophone.

Photo : Poster when released black vinyl records

Poster of when domestically pressed Columbia black vinyl records featuring western music first released.

1931

  • Adopted the Columbia brand name from US Columbia and standardized record logo to the current musical note.
  • Raised the neon sign of the Columbia logo, which is the largest neon sign in Asia, on the roof of the Kawasaki factory.

1939

  • Announced a domestically produced TV set and demonstrated it in Takashimaya department store.
  • Released "Marching song for beloved horse" and "Starting from a cup of coffee" by Noboru Kirishima and Misao Matsubara.

Photo : Domestically produced TV set

Domestically produced TV set

1946

  • Changed the company name to Nippon Columbia Co., Ltd.
  • "The Apple Song" by Michiko Namiki became a big hit.

1950

  • Held the 1st “Columbia Zenkoku Kayo Konkuru” (Columbia National Song Contest) in celebration of the company’s 40th anniversary.

1951

  • Released the first long playing (LP) record in Japan.
  • Started the music entertainment program “Columbia Awa” (Columbia Hour) at the same time as the launch of private TV broadcasting.

Photo : The first LP in Japan

The first long playing (LP) record in Japan

1960

  • Held the “Columbia Dai Geino-sai” (Columbia Big Entertainment Festival) at the Kabukiza in celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary

1962

  • Launched Elepian, an electric piano.

1963

  • Acquired Nihon Electric Sound Co.
  • Developed the DL-103 cartridge in conjunction with NHK.

Photo : DL-103 cartridge

DL-103 cartridge

1965

  • Completed construction of new Head Office Building in Akasaka. (Opening of the Akasaka Studio.)

1969

  • Established a business alliance with Hitachi, Ltd.

1971

  • Began sales of DENON products, including DP players and PMA amps.

1982

  • Released world's first CDs and CD players.
  • Commenced full-scale video cassette sales.

Photo : CDs

1986

  • The CD player "DCD-1500" gained an excellent reputation both in Japan and overseas, including receiving the highest evaluation in the USA and Germany.
  • Recorded a cumulated total production of 100 million music cassettes.
  • Awarded the Japan Audio Society Prize for our promotion of digital recording.

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1989 -

1989

  • Hibari Misora, a renowned artist under exclusive contract passed away. Demand for her work, including "The Complete Works of Hibari Misoraquot", grew significantly.

Photo : Hibari Misora's items

1990

  • Completed the central research center in the Kawasaki pressing factory compound.
  • Celebrated the company's 80th anniversary.

1995

  • Established a multimedia studio in Yoyogi, Tokyo.

2001

  • Transferred the AV/media device section to a separate company, DENON, Ltd.

2002

  • Changed the company name to Columbia Music Entertainment, Inc.
  • Spun off the main production operation of the Kawasaki pressing factory into a separate company, Columbia Digital Media, Inc.
 

2005

  • Closed Columbia Akasaka Studio.
  • Moved the Head Office from Akasaka to Roppongi.
  • Established Columbia Artist Management company.

2007

  • Acquired all shares of TDK Core, Ltd.

2008

  • Changed company name of TDK Core, Ltd. to Creative Core, Ltd.

2009

  • Moved Head Office from Roppongi to Toranomon.
 

2010

  • Consolidated Creative Core’s music, audio-visual, and game divisions into Nippon Columbia.
  • Became a part of the Faith Group.
  • Celebrated the company’s 100th anniversary
  • Changed the company name back from Columbia Music Entertainment Co., Ltd to Nippon Columbia Co., Ltd

  • Held a convention in commemoration of the company’s 100th anniversary.

2011

  • Established Future Records KK as a joint venture company with Faith Inc.

2012

  • Established Columbia Marketing Co., Ltd.

2013

  • Acquired 100% shareholdings in Omagatoki Co., Ltd. and Sirius Co., Ltd.

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