The Sankyo name can be divided into two Japanese words: SAN+KYO, where SAN means “three” and KYO means “hibiki” which translates to “sound.” The “three sounds” represents their company’s three founders, Kikuo Hisakura, Hideo Takei and Taichi Oki and their pursuit of the essence of music: the intangible connections between craftsman–musician–audience.
Hisakura, Takei and Oki formed their own company in 1968, building their first flutes in a garage. Kikuo Hisakura’s prior career managing another flute company’s production had established his reputation as a “genius” of flute-making. He designed almost all of the Sankyo mechanical systems, scale and headjoints as well as many specialized tools and equipment.
Hideo Takei managed the company in the beginning and contributed greatly to the finishing aspects of manufacturing, such as pad design development and expertise in padding technique. Although he is now long retired, Mr. Takei still visits the factory almost every day. Taichi Oki went on to establish his own company specializing in the polishing of small parts.
The company is now managed by Hisakura’s son, Yutaka. While his role is to manage he can still often be found in the production section doing what he enjoys most: building flutes.