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Kawamura

Kawamura main document image Kawamura main document image Kawamura main document image

Kawamura Sangyo was a quality bicycle manufacturer based in Kobe, Japan.

Their most important role in cycling history was that they produced bikes for Howie Cohen’s West Coast Cyclery - from 1964 under the American Eagle brand and then, from 1972, branded Nishiki. These were, arguably, the first quality Japanese (or indeed Asian) bikes to be brought into a western market. They were an instant hit, and, crucially, this was as much because of their quality as their price. They were the first ripples of the Asian Tsunami that would effectively drive the Europeans out of the volume bicycle industry.

Howie Cohen of West Coast Cyclery and Yukio Kawamura of Kawamura Sangyo established a pattern, that persists to this day, of frenetic, gregarious, highly perceptive, US sales and marketing skill, backed up by calm, restrained, resolute, Asian engineering and production excellence. I should make some cryptic, knowing, observation about yin and yang - but I have never quite known which is which.

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