Celebrating Three Decades of Roland Innovation and Creativity
For all those who attended, it was the trip of a lifetime. In April 2012, Roland DG celebrated its 30th anniversary in a week-long, action-packed celebration attended by employees, friends, customers and colleagues. Held at the company’s headquarters in Hamamatsu, Japan, the event paid tribute to thirty years of Roland innovation and creativity that have advanced industries and empowered individuals.
Honoured guests included the 16 regional finalists in the company’s recent Roland Creative Awards international competition, chosen from the 1,193 entries received from 120 countries. The top 16 and their guests were invited to join in the celebration while competing for the competition grand prize.
The celebration included a day of learning and festivities at Roland DG headquarters, followed by whirlwind tours of Kyoto and Tokyo. The event highlight came on the first evening during the Roland Creative Awards recognition ceremony where the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts in North Eastern China received the coveted grand prize.
From all the excitement of the contest to the informative presentations, fantastic city tours and world-class dining and entertainment, participants agreed that Roland DG’s 30th anniversary event was an experience like no other.
Here are a few of the week’s highlights:
Roland Creative Awards Gallery
Leading up the event, Roland held its first-ever international contest, inviting customers to participate by entering their best creative projects produced with Roland technology. The contest was highly successful, attracting more than 1,100 entries across sixteen international regions. Contest finalists, the winners for each region, each received an invitation for themselves and a guest to attend the 30th anniversary event compliments of Roland DG. In Hamamatsu, they competed for the grand prize by exhibiting their entry at the awards banquet. From digitally printed wall murals, fine art and vehicle wraps to custom apparel items, figurines, jewellery and product prototypes, the gallery was the centerpiece of the event. The grand prize winning entry, an elaborate scale model of a tunneling machine produced on a Roland MDX-540 benchtop milling machine, demonstrated the precision and versatility of Roland subtractive rapid prototyping technology.
“I called the President of our Academy immediately after the announcement to let him know this big news. Winning the Roland award is important to our school as it provides visibility to our efforts and assists us in attaining funding for future projects,” said Du, Haibin, professor of industrial design at the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts in North Eastern China. “We are really proud of this great honour.”
During their day at Roland DG headquarters, guests toured the Roland D-Shop, further advanced Digital Yatai production facility, which comprises state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies and serves as a model for major manufacturers across the globe. Roland’s D-Shop follows a cell-based production model in which each product is assembled by a single employee aided by detailed computerised instruction. The process, considered revolutionary in the manufacturing industry, has won numerous awards for its precise quality control measures.
“I was so impressed with the Roland factory and the company’s methods of manufacturing,” said Barbara Carroz of BACA DG. “I expected to see a robotic or automatic manufacturing plant, but instead it was the perfect balance of human touch and a well-thought-out system. I was also able to meet a few of the Roland employees who, with much care and pride, assemble each Roland machine.”
World Class Entertainment
The entertainment throughout the day-long celebration was exceptional. At the company’s Hamana Lake music facility, guests were treated to a mini organ concert by Ms. Kanako Kumanomido, an award-winning musician who has been playing the electronic organ since the age of four and today travels the world giving performances. According to Dede Sabey, Roland DGA’s marketing communications manager, her ability to use almost every feature of the Roland Atelier digital organ was nothing short of phenomenal. “She would weave in a blending of exotic instruments and operatic voices along with noises you might hear in the wild and on city streets,” she said. “It was so artfully composed and full of surprises – I’ve never heard anything like it.”
Other entertainers followed during the evening awards event, including Japanese calligrapher MAAYO SHO and the professional percussionists from world renowned Wadaiko Unit KOH. MAAYO SHO invited guests to participate in a calligraphy exhibition. KOH rocked the house in traditional Japanese wadaiko style.
“The highlight of the trip for me was the celebration event in Hamamatsu,” said B. Jaya Raj Reddy of M/s Supriya Signs in India. “I was very impressed.”
A Day in Kyoto
Following the ceremony, the week continued with travel by bullet train at maximum speed of 178 mph (285km/h) to two of Japan’s most interesting and historic cities. The first tour took place in Kyoto, a city rich in history and cultural icons and originally the capital of Japan for more than a thousand years. As part of their tour, guests were taken to two temples. The first, the Kiyomizu-dera temple, was founded in the Heian period 778 and is nestled in a beautiful hillside.
The second, Kinkakuji, is also called the Golden Pavilion, a Zen temple dating back to 1397 distinguished by its dramatic architecture, including two stories of rooms encased in more than 100 pounds of gold leaf, and surrounded by a Koi pond. Visitors also traveled to Nishijin-ori-Kaikan, a museum dedicated to the weavers who for centuries produced elegant textiles for the imperial family and nobility. There they experienced all the glamour of the renowned Kimono Fashion Show.
The day ended with shopping in Ni-nen-zaka/San-nen-zaka and a traditional Japanese dinner at Torihisa.
“Throughout the trip, I was astonished by the perfect mix of Japanese tradition, technology, and the care taken to arrange even the smallest details,” said Mr.Mauro Chiarillo of Le idee di Archimede, based in Italy.
A Day in Tokyo
The next day, guests traveled to Tokyo, eating lunch at the world-famous fish market – the perfect place to enjoy fresh sushi and sashimi. Then the group took a path around the outer garden of the Imperial Palace, the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. It is a large park-like area with a historic complex of buildings surrounded by a moat. The next stop on the tour was the Akihabara District, Tokyo’s most popular shopping area for electronics and computer equipment.
Guests travelled from there to Asakusa and Nakamise, part of Tokyo’s downtown district, best known for its many temples. The most famous of them, Sensōji (also known as Asakusa Kannon), is Tokyo's largest Buddhist temple and a major attraction for Japanese and foreign visitors alike.
After their day around town, guests ended the trip with an elegant dinner cruise on Tokyo Bay, where they dined and viewed the city lights.
Rave Reviews from Guests
“This has been ‘sushi heaven,’” said Roman Karkachev of Russia-based Karolina TransArt Co., Ltd. Karkachev’s business partner and travel guest, Walton Conway said “It’s hard to single out one highlight of this amazing week. It was a short blitz of many, many highlights and it was all so great. I was especially struck by the hospitality and welcoming spirit of the DG employees.”
“It was incredible,” said Coral Finol Hernandez, a guest from Venezuela. “This experience has been more than I ever imagined. It has been the best experience of my business life.”
“The sights in Hamamatsu, Kyoto and Tokyo were incredible,” said Phillip Yu, of Gamut Media in Brea, Calif., U.S. “Roland really went all out. The last day we were in Tokyo, we stayed at the new Otani hotel. As we were leaving, there were bodyguards and news reporters everywhere – It turns out the prime minister of Japan was meeting foreign dignitaries there. The tour we took was phenomenal, and the memories will stay with us for a lifetime.”
All photos from the trip can be found on Roland's Facebook page.
We will place links to all the Roland Creative Awards entries within here for you to see and comment
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