- acoustic guitars
- classical guitars
Kazuo Yairi was a Japanese classical guitar maker who was born in 1932. He learned his trade with his luthier father, Gi’ichi Yairi in the mountains near Nagoya. At the age of 18 he started his own workshop making classical guitars exclusively. He was joined by his three younger brothers, who still work with 20 others at the rural Yairi factory in the village of Kani, making lutes, vihuelas, classical and dreadnought steel string guitars .
Kazuo Yairi established a partnership in the 1960s with the American distributors & manufacturers St Louis Music. This led to the Alvarez Yairi acoustic guitar range. He took over his father’s business in 1965 and steadily expanded production. After studying steel string guitar making in the United States to study, he opened the Yairi Guitar Factory and began exporting handmade acoustic and classical guitars .
Kazuo Yairi's guitars were played by musicains like Paul McCartney and Carlos Santana. Despite his insitence on traditional craftsmanship and reliance on hand-tools, Yairi was also an innovator. His K. Yairi “Direct Coupled Bridge” help to give his instruments their responsive feel. He also employed distinctive mahogany dovetail neck joints and open-pore finish on the back and sides of his instruments.
Kazuo Yairi died in 2014 aged 81.
Source: Kazuo Yairi obituary. Daily Telegraph 26th March 2014