Yamaha became involved in the wind instrument business in 1963. It began with efforts to improve products from Nippon Band Instruments Co., Ltd. (Nikkan), a company which it had been involved in managing since the 1930s. Genichi Kawakami, who was the president of Yamaha at the time, insisted that "if we are going to take part in this business, then we shall aim to swiftly capture the top position worldwide" and brought Nikkan’s designers to Yamaha to devote their efforts to wind instrument research and production. Three years later, in 1966, Yamaha announced its first wind instrument, the YTR-1 trumpet. It was during this dawn of a new era that Kawasaki joined the company.
At the time, Nikkan did not even possess a proper blueprint, and the company instead relied solely on the experience of its craftspeople, using overseas products for reference. President Kawakami gave the order to "address any shortcomings with the guidance of a technical advisor from abroad," and in the summer of 1966, the company signed a contract for technical assistance from Renold Schilke, a former member of The Chicago Symphony Orchestra who ran a trumpet manufacturing company in Chicago. The idea of bringing an expert in from overseas was revolutionary at the time.
Schilke first came to Japan in October of the same year and would go on to visit Yamaha wind instrument factories twice yearly without fail for the following 16 years, until just before his passing. Schilke trumpets were lauded for their balanced pitch and the precision of their pistons, and Schilke devoted himself to instilling the essence of such craftsmanship into Yamaha wind instruments.