Other Japanese Manufacturers - References and Context
I have drawn from many sources for this work, but one individual I'd like to specifically mention is Mike Walker in the UK who provided some initial scans of material, together with suggestions for where to continue looking.
Print sources that I used as reference include:
- "Japan's Motorcycle Wars" written by Jeffery W. Alexander (an excellent resource).
- The "Encyclopedia of Motorcycles" edited by Erwin Tragatsch (an excellent resource).
- "Classic Japanese Motorcycle Guide" by Rod Ker (largely useless unless you just want to know about the big four).
- "A Century of Japanese Motorcycles" by Didier Ganneau and Francois-Marie Dumas ( an excellent resource).
- "The Tiddler Invasion" by Floyd M. Orr (an excellent resource).
- "Harley-Davidson, The Milwaukee Marvel" by Harry V. Sucher. Chapter 4 covers H-D's adventures in Japan and their contribution the Japanese war effort which makes for very interesting reading.
- "Japanese Motorcycles 1908-1960", (in Japanese), which is nice, but light on content.
- "Japanese Motorcycle History 1945-2007", (in Japanese) which is an excellent resource.
- I have referenced a discussion thread on the gt-rider.com site posted in 2009 by a contributor named 'HIKO'.
- The Japanese language version of Wikipedia covering defunct domestic motorcycle manufacturers is very useful and is located at this link.
- I also spent quite a bit of time sorting through a Japanese language site called 'Motorcycle Forum Central' ( モーターサイクルフォーラム中部 ) which is found at this link and which offers a wealth of information. I have credited them on photos etc. as "Yaplog" which is the name of their main site.
- There is a Facebook group focused on older Japanese machines moderated by a fellow called Joel Green (just search for "Japanese Motorcycles 1909-1959") which is excellent.
- I have been in contact with a gentleman in The Netherlands who is essentially compiling the same list as I am, but in Dutch. His name is Jos Creusen and we have agreed to swap information.
- And finally of course there is the 'net' in general, although sifting the fact from the fiction/opinion does take time.
I do not speak or read Japanese, and so I depend on machine translations which can often leave a lot to be desired. I try to verify and cross check the translations as I go along, but that isn't always possible. Any errors are my own, and I value hearing from people offering corrections.
To frame the story a bit, the two images below are interesting as they show the early genesis of the industry in Japan prior to WWII and then its evolution post WWII from the remains of the Japanese armaments industry. These two charts are both from "Japan's Motorcycle Wars" by Jeffery W. Thompson which is not an easy read, but which does offer a wealth of information and useful context.