The company was founded in 1941 in Wadacho Higashi-Ku, Hamamatsu, as a manufacturer of aircraft parts. Hachiro Hirano, the founder, developed his company into a piano manufacturer with the support of Yamaha engineers in 1951, establishing the name Eterna.
During its early years, the company was best known for manufacturing guitars, and it was already producing guitars on behalf of Yamaha. The company became public between November 1962 to October 1969, and then merged with Nippon Gakki Seizo K.K. (Yamaha). There were over 250 piano manufacturing businesses in Japan, the most of which were acquired by Yamaha. The economy was thriving, and everyone wanted to purchase pianos.
It appears that 1983 was the year Yamaha first exported Eterna to Western countries, giving the idea that Eterna has only existed since 1983. Most western publications and websites state that Eterna was founded in 1983. However, according to investigated knowledge, Eterna and Tenryu Gakki existed before 1983. In 1983, Yamaha had yet to negotiate a cooperation with Pearl River or establish a manufacturing in China. None of the Japanese sources recorded any major events during 1983.
Yamaha and Pearl River formed a cooperation in 1995. Pearl River has extensive experience manufacturing pianos in China, and their Guangzhou facility is close enough to a port to export pianos globally. Pearl River was in charge of building the cabinet (soundboard, frame, and case) and assembling it with Japanese-made actions and Yamaha-supplied parts. The low-cost model would be offered under the "Pearl River" brand, while all pianos intended for export sales would be sold under the Eterna brand, through Yamaha USA in the United States. All of these Chinese-made Eterna piano models include an additional "C" in their model names.
Due to poor quality, Chinese-made Eterna pianos ceased to be exported in 2000, and Yamaha's relation with the Pearl River factory was discontinued. Yamaha opened their own Chinese branch in 2002 and began producing their own pianos in Hangzhou. Because Yamaha was not collaborating with any company this time, they had complete control over quality, including approved machinery and employee training. With these advancements, the Hangzhou facility has been producing pianos since 2004.
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