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Origin of Karaoke - A Japanese Word

‘Karaoke’ is a well-known word nowadays. The word ‘Karaoke’ derived from 2 Japanese words; KARA comes from the word ‘Karappo (Empty or Void) OKE (comes from the word ‘ ōkesutora’ OR ‘Orchestra’.

The word “karaoke” had long been used in Japan’s entertainment industry to refer to the use of instrumental recordings as backing tracks in situations when a live band could not be arranged for a singer.

The karaoke-styled machine was developed in various places in Japan. Even before the Invention of the first machines,

Japanese engineer Shigeichi Negishi, who ran a consumer electronics assembly business in Tokyo, made the first prototype in 1967. He subsequently began mass producing coin-operated versions under the brand name "Sparko Box," making it the first commercially available karaoke machine. For media, it used 8-track cassette tapes of commercially available instrumental recordings. Lyrics were provided in a paper booklet. However, he ran into distribution troubles and ceased production of the Sparko Box shortly thereafter.

Another early pioneer was Toshiharu Yamashita, who worked as a singing coach, and in 1970 sold an 8-track playback deck with microphone for sing-alongs.

In 1971, a Nightclub musician Daisuke Inosue in KOBE City, invented his own Karaoke Machine independently, which was considered as the first Karaoke Machine.

His biggest contribution was understanding the difficulty amateurs had in singing pop songs, recording his own versions of popular songs in keys that made them easier for casual singers. As such he also included a rudimentary reverb function to help mask singers' deficiencies. For these reasons, he is often considered to be the inventor of the modern business model for karaoke, even though he was not the first to create a machine and did not, like Negishi or Yamashita, file a patent

Although that was an 8 track Karaoke Machine (Audio).

Shortly after the development of the Laser Disc,, Pioneer started to offer Video Karaoke machines in the 1980s. These are capable of displaying lyrics over a video that accompanies the music.

Gradually it became popular, not only in east Asia and nowadays all over the world.

More songs available now for Karaoke and people around the world enjoying Karaoke to have some quality time and network purpose.

Hence, Experience Japan is also offering such opportunities to the people and invite everyone to come and join our Karaoke Club.


Experience Japan


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