(Text by Kazuo Maruyama)
My father and Koike-san’s father were brothers who were separated by age. I have two older brothers, but no younger brothers. The difference in age between Koike-san and me is just right. We were brought up together as playmates and I regarded him like a good kid brother who would never give me any cheek.
Both of us were interested in radios since we were small. But in those days, portable radios were very expensive, and the price of batteries was also high, so not many people had them.
At that time, germanium radios were used as teaching material in children’s science lessons. We really looked forward to getting our hands on them.
In March 1953 when I was 7, the SBC (Shin-etsu Broadcasting Co.) radio station opened, and an antenna for the station was built a few hundred meters from my house.
At about the same time, the event occurred that led me to take an interest in wireless.
One day, I saw an older boy riding his bicycle near the antenna of the radio station. He had embedded a germanium radio in a soap box which he had attached to the handlebars of his bicycle, and he was listening to the radio with an earphone. I was really impressed and soon I was having fun making the same thing with my brothers. Looking back now, this incident can probably be said to be the starting point for my life with wireless.
Thanks to the strong radio waves from the radio transmitting station right by my house, that cheap germanium radio for children’s lessons functioned admirably. We were able listen to the radio as much as we wanted to, even as kids. In those days, we used an earphone rather speakers to listen to our radios.
Around the time I started at junior high school, I made my own valve radio, audio amp and other kit. Then at high school, I was interested in amateur radio and built my own transceiver. I also got a wireless license and started my own radio station. My call sign was JAΦBBG.
When he was at junior high school, Koike-san got an amateur radio license and started his own radio station. His call sign was JAΦDJQ.
In 1965, the year after the Tokyo Olympics, I started my life in Tokyo. When I got settled down, I set up a new radio station, and in 1966 I started exchanging radio traffic with the wireless club station at Koike-san’s high school. At that time it was unusual to use a telephone for anything other than business, so these radio exchanges were very precious moments for us.
I and Koike-san were spending our days doing nothing but wireless, asleep or awake, every single day, and after that we were determined that our study and work should all be related to wireless too.
In 1974 when I was 27 and Koike-san was 22, we cherished our big dream of making our ideal company. So first we rented the empty building next to Koike-san’s house, and got started on our own company. We set up a small company in a space of just 14 m². Then one year later at the end of 1975, we were able to build an office building with an area of 40 m².