Japanese Mandolin Makers Suzuki

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   Masakichi Suzuki was born in 1859 in Nagoya , Japan. At the age of 14 he had worked in a lacquer-ware shop, but later trained as a music teacher. In the 1880s, he started to make and sell violins, with very little prior knowledge, and opend his first shop in 1889. He founded the Suzuki Violin Factory in 1900, and by 1910, his factory was producing 65,800 violins per year. Nagoya became the manufacturing center of string musical instruments...   Kiso Suzuki and Nagoya Suzuki were one company before WWII. But after the war they were split up into the Suzuki Violin Company (now Kiso Suzuki Violin Company) and Suzuki Violin Manufacturing Company (now Nagoya Suzuki Violin Company). There the relationship seems to have ended. 

Early Suzukis were made by Masakichi Suzuki, and they are very reminiscent of Italian instruments.

Masakichi Suzuki, was the father of Shinichi Suzuki, the inventor of the Suzuki method of violin playing.


perhaps pre-1900

  Masakichi Suzuki Masakichi Suzuki No.5 Masakichi Suzuki No.3 mandolin and label
Once the Suzuki Violin Co Ltd was set up the labelling changed, and several versions are found. As yet I cannot say when the changes took place.

probably dating from around 1900

some missing numbers
No.6 Early Suzuki Violin Sha label No.6 Kiso Fushima No.60 No.70   No 100 (thanks to Eliz. Paine)
later Suzuki Violin Sha mandolin and label No.90 Kiso Fushima 1968 No.190 Suzuki Violin Co Nagoya no date
No.201 more typical Suzuki label No.226 1965  
No.203 No.206 No.210 No.215 No.223 No.226 1968  
No.228 No.230 1481 1900      
At some point models started to have M (presumably for mandolin) as a prefix.

M210 M30