The Fountainhead Lies in the Future

The screening committee for the Audio Excellence Award met for five hours on a fine autumn day. In the end, the gold prize went to Accuphase Laboratory, Inc. for its A-65 power amplifier, and the special prize was awarded to Technical Audio Devices Laboratories, Inc. (TAD) for its TAD-M600, a power amplifier on an entirely different dimension.

This year 500 new products were entered for the Audio Excellence Award, the highest number ever, and prizewinners in each category were decided on the basis of rigorous screening. Messages from distribution companies and the sales ranking data shown in the "Market Report" at the end of Senka 21 magazine make it clear that winning prizes in the Audio Excellence Award has a direct impact on sales. The results are announced in our pure audio quarterly magazine Audio Accessory, our Senka 21 magazine, which transmits information to retail stores and makers around the country, and also on our Phile-web portal site, which constantly attracts more than a million audiovisual fans and transmits information around the world. The award is becoming more and more prestigious year by year.

Take the example of one imported product. The importing trading company had not submitted an entry, but the product was chosen by the judges. The manufacturer in Europe made an inquiry to confirm the fact, and afterward it became common for that trading company to submit entries for the Audio Excellence Award.

Today it is no exaggeration to say that the Audio Excellence Award, the Visual Grand Prix, and the Digital Camera Grand Prix are attracting worldwide attention.

Observing the large number of entries for this year' s award, I feel keenly that the audio industry is beginning to pick up steam again. Of course, since the recession that began with the subprime loan problem is continuing and deflation is tending to accelerate, ultra-deluxe products are facing harsh times. But reasonably priced products are beginning to move. For that reason, I am very much looking forward to the year-end sales battle.

The Audio Excellence Award was begun in 1978 as a commemorative project to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of our company. This year the award is being made for the thirty-first time.

The award has continued steadily and firmly, without ever straying, in accordance with our company' s philosophy ever since our founding of "contributing to the constructive development of the industry." This approach will remain completely unchanged from now on, too. As I have written several times, our company respects the universality of the awards and does not crown them with the name of the sponsoring magazine. I think this stance has been proven by the history of the awards so far.

In the past I wrote in this column about the idea of "human 100-year spotlight," and my idea remains unchanged. But now, thinking about the "river of time" and the "100-year bridge," I would like to make the "human 100-year spotlight" easier to understand and even more profound.

The time in which people live and the spotlight shines is 100 years. During those 100 years, people are born and return to the earth. Humankind has continued industriously to survive through a repetition of this 100-year cycle. When the time of 100 years, when the spotlight is shining, is viewed from this unlimited perspective, it appears just like a bridge. And just as water flows under a bridge, so time flows from the future to the past.

This is the "100-year bridge," and the flow of time is the "river of time." As long as the earth exists, the "100-year bridge" and the "river of time" will continue unchanged in human history.

In the sixty-first year of our company, I want us to step forward with out sights on the future, the fountainhead of the "river of time."