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SunTour-Maeda Industries - Sakai, Japan (see the picture gallery)
Item# SunTour Maeda [SunTour Maeda]
Categories: Who's Who-Mfgr's of Components, Parts/Accessories & Employees ,
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Since Howie Cohen's passing, no items are for sale.
Maeda Industries was founded by Tetsuo Maeda`s father in 1922. Howie first met Tetsuo (`TED`) at the New York International Cycle Show in about 1965. WCC was using the SunTour Skitter dérailleur on a high-riser bicycle model and the plastic cover of the stick-shifter would often crack when the user jammed the stick-shifter while shifting. I tried to explain the problem to Ted but he spoke little or no English & I spoke no Japanese. After that initial unsatisfactory meeting, our relationship blossomed and SunTour played an important part in the development of WCC and the American Eagle & Nishiki bicycles. In the mid 1960`s when WCC was developing high-end dérailleur bicycles in the American Eagle line, Shimano did not yet produce a satisfactory light alloy dérailleur. Howie was introduced to Mr. Junzo Kawai (`Junchan`), the then president of SunTour and a man with great passion for bicycling in general and especially in high-end bicycle components. SunTour supplied us with the VGT alloy derailleur and our business relationship developed into a close personal relationship as Junchan assisted me to convince the executives of other Japanese component factories to produce high-end components; they all supported WCC`s effort to produce high quality Japanese bicycles. Mr. Ozaki was one of the engineers that strongly pushed the high-end SunTour products. This picture is of Howie introducing & thanking Junchan at the WCC 1972 Cycle Rama Show. Additional pictures and text pending. See the picture gallery.

Picture Gallery for this Item (click images to enlarge)

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Howie introducing Ichiro Kawai ('Sonny') to the Dealers at the WCC 1972 Cycle Rama Show. Sonny is Junchan's eldest son.

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(R to L) 3 SunTour & 2 Dia-Compe gents posing in front of the SunTour/Dia-Compe display at the WCC 1972 Cycle Rama Show; Sonny Kawai, Junzo Kawai (Junchan), Tsugio Takimoto (Taki), Kozo Yoshigai, Kiyokazu Yoshigai. Taki lived in the Cohen's home for several months while studying the US bicycle market; he is now married to Hiroe, the eldest daughter of Junzo & Kei Kawai.

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An executive meeting at SunTour's Sakai-Mihara factory. (L to R) Mr. Ozaki (chief engineer), two unidentified gents, Junzo 'Junchan' Kawai, Tetsuo 'Ted' Maeda, two more unidentified gents. The Mihara factory had a beautiful 'bicycle meeting room', a portion of which can be seen in this picture (copied from SunTour's 60 Anniversary Book which was published in 1982). Page 41 of this book has a message from Howie to Kawai-san and SunTour.

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The business card for Mr. Junzo Kawai (Junchan)

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The business card for Mr. Junzo Kawai at OFFICE K, after he retired from Maeda-SunTour

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The business card for Mr. Junzo Kawai at LINK. Junchan assisted his son, Ichiro (Sonny) in establishing LINK as an import and distribution company. Sonny used the trade name of Nitro for his line of components.

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The business card for Junzo Kawai (printed in Japanese). Notice the 8.8.8. logo in the upper right corner. The upper left corner has JASCA embossed in the card.


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c.1969 photo of a group that went Sunday Morning Cycling (Ohaiyo Cycling) in Osaka. Standing and starting with the third person; Kiyokazu Yoshigai (Dia-Compe), Kozo Yoshigai (Dia-Compe), Howie Cohen (WCC), Keizo Kozaki (Kozaki Trading Co), Junzo Kawai (Maeda SunTour), Katchan & Naoya Kitaguchi (Taihei Saddle), unidentified gent, Tetsuo (Ted) Maeda (Maeda SunTour) is peeking around the unidentified gent. SunTour's chief engineer, Ozaki-san, is kneeling behind the rear wheel of Howie's bicycle.

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c.1969 a garden party luncheon in the backyard of the Kawai residence after the Sunday Morning Cycling (Ohaiyo Cycling).Starting on the right side, upper: Kozo Yoshigai, Mrs. Junzo Kawai (Kei), Junzo Kawai, unidentified gent, Kiyokazu Yoshigai, Ted Maeda, Naoya (with his back to the camera), Howie, Keizo Kozaki, Katchan Kitaguchi, Ichiro or Mamoru Kawai.

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c.1969 a garden party luncheon in the backyard of the Kawai residence after the Sunday Morning Cycling (Ohaiyo Cycling). (R to L) Junzo Kawai (wearing white cap), unidentified lady pouring beer for Howie, Ted Maeda, Howie, Katchan Kitaguchi. That's onigiri on the table; we enjoyed many garden parties at the Kawai home.

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Kampai! c.1969 a garden party luncheon in the backyard of the Kawai residence after the Sunday Morning Cycling (Ohaiyo Cycling). (R to L) unidentified gent with his back to the camera, Howie, Ted Maeda, Keizo Kozaki, Katchan Kitaguchi. We enjoyed many garden parties at the Kawai home.

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