Mr Kakehashi – The Official Statement


Here is the official announcement from MIA member ATV Corporation concerning the sad death of their Chairman and CEO, Ikutaro Kakehashi.

It is with great sadness we announce Ikutaro Kakehashi, Chairman and CEO of our company, passed away of heart failure on April 1 at 06:34 AM. On his behalf, we would like to express hereby our gratitude for your support and friendship during his lifetime.

In accordance to his will, the funeral was held prior to this announcement with only family members in attendance.

Notes: Ikutaro Kakehashi

Born: February 7, 1930 (age: 87)

Deceased: April 1, 2017, 06:34 AM

Schedule of “Ikutaro Kakehashi Celebration of Life”

Sunday, June 11, 2017, in Hamamatsu, Japan 13:00–16:00 JST

(Flower Offering 14:00–16:00 JST)

Details will soon be announced at the ATV Corporation website.

Per family wishes, no gifts or flowers.

Additional details for the Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.

For further information:

ATV Corporation Head office



Ikutaro Kakehashi

Chairman and CEO, ATV Corporation

Born February 1930 in Osaka, Japan. In 1947, at the age of 16, he opened the “Kakehashi Clock Shop.” He opened Kakehashi Musen (an electrical appliance shop) in 1954. In 1960, he founded electronic instrument manufacturer Ace Electronic Industry Co., and in 1968, formed a joint company with American company Hammond. He left both companies in 1972 to found Roland, which went on to launch a broad range of revolutionary electronic musical instruments, including many world-firsts. In 1991, he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Berklee College of Music in the US. In 1994, he founded the Kakehashi Foundation and became its director. In 2000, his handprints and signature were imprinted in the Hollywood RockWalk honoring the exceptional contributions that he has made to the music industry through technological innovations in electronic musical instruments. In 2002, he was awarded the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from MIPA, a community consisting of music and musical instrument magazines worldwide. In 2005, he was named Professor Emeritus by the Chinese Central Conservatory of Music for his worldwide contributions in the area of electronic musical instrument development, and the important impact that he had on popularizing electronic musical instruments in China. He became the first non-musician to be named Professor Emeritus by the Conservatory, and only the second Japanese person to be awarded the title, the first being conductor Seiji Ozawa. In 2008, he was named Professor Emeritus by the University of Glamorgan in UK for his contributions to the music industry and music education. In February 2013, he and Dave Smith (founder of Sequential Circuits) were jointly awarded the “Technical Grammy Award” by the Recording Academy. The two were recognized for their work in establishing “MIDI” as a worldwide, manufacturer-agnostic standard for electronic musical instruments, and for the impact that the MIDI standard had on the music industry thereafter. He founded ATV Corporation in May 2013. In 2015, his foundation changed its name to the “KAKEHASHI FOUNDATION” to which he became an honorary advisor. The first ATV products, Electronic Drums aD5 and a series of video converters, were launched in November 2015. The Electrorganic percussion aFrame was launched in 2016, and the aDrums in 2017.

He received the Special Achievement Award at the 20th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2017.

“The Future of Electronic Musical Instruments” —A message from Mr. K

In 2013, I made the decision to take leave from Roland, a company that I have run for 40 years since its founding, and launch a new company, ATV Corporation, where we are engaged in developing new systems that integrate electronic musical instruments and audio + video.   Because of my age and the physical constraints that come with it, many may say that this is a foolhardy endeavor, and I think that it is only natural that one might think so. However, the work that needs to be done in the field of electronic musical instruments cannot be completed in a single generation. Rather, I believe my mission is to develop people who will be able to carry this work forward into the next generation, and it feels right to engage in this work on a day-to-day basis to fulfill this mission.   We have settled on a vision for ATV Corporation as a company that will engage in developing new concepts and ideas to match the new era. By moving forward with a positive outlook, we have seen a variety of different possibilities come to fruition and eventually reach the market. Reflecting on this new approach, I’ve come to realize how antiquated our previous way of doing things has been, and that we have missed many opportunities due to our attachment to preconceived ideas. That said, it is also critical that we establish our foundations on the experience and technologies that we have accumulated over the years.   Our goal is to combine these in a well-balanced way, and focus on new instruments, video equipment, and audio. One thing that I can say with certainty is that building on the central role and foundation of electronic musical in their ability to produce sounds, adding video will be primary focus of our development moving forward. As I began to summarize the philosophy on which I founded ATV Corporation, I noticed that very little had changed in terms of vision from the time that I founded Roland.   I was rather surprised myself to discover, after all this time, that a philosophy that led to the same conclusion had been present all along within me. And I am also very proud that to this day I have hardly wavered in my convictions as I engaged in the area of electronic instruments.   What I have to say is: “live performance is the best in music.”   I believe the essence of music for the performing musician is in enjoying it on stage with a live audience. And the most important element of musical expression to deliver it with conviction, again, live from a stage.

Moving forward, “WE DESIGN THE FUTURE” will continue to be the motto at both Roland and ATV Corporations. (Quoted from “An Age Without Samples”)