The Inventor of Karaoke Speaks (Article)

Daisuke Inoue and the Juke 8 Karaoke Machine

Daisuke Inoue, Karaoke Inventor:

I took ten of the karaoke machines to acquaintances’ clubs and asked them to place them on the bar. All ten agreed. One week passed, and when I visited each drinking place, the story was the same: Some customers had asked about them but no one had touched them. There was no money in any of the machines. Convinced we just needed the right spark, I asked a female employee to act as a decoy and go around to a few of the clubs and sing a song or two on each. I figured a cute girl in a sexy outfit should help to draw interest. It paid off, and in no time the machines became moneymakers.

I don’t know who was the first customer to put in the first ¥100 coin (roughly $0.35), but the decoy girl had said it was a lot more fun than she’d expected, and that she’d go back again and again. I set up the machines to play five minutes per ¥100. The average song was three minutes, so a person would have to put in another ¥100 coin to make it through the second song. My idea was kind of like the modern-day prepaid card. After about a year, my machine had found a place in 200 drinking establishments in Kobe.


(Via The Appendix)


Curtis was born on the flat lands of Corsicana and raised in the sweaty jungles of Houston. He lives in Austin and can usually be found in the stacks at Central Library or swimming laps at Deep Eddy Pool.

The Inventor of Karaoke Speaks (Article)