Our story began in 1947 when Kakuji Katayama, the founder of our parent company Katayama Kogyo, began manufacturing auto parts. Over time, the business grew and became the go-to outfitters for many household names such as Mitsubishi, Mazda, Subaru, Honda and Suzuki. Those relationships have grown and flourished throughout generations.
In the second generation of the business, Norio Katayama took the helm and established international presence. An American subsidiary was established in Kentucky, USA and Norio’s son Masayuki Katayama joined the business after earning his MBA and became CEO in 2008.
Masayuki Katayama had his sights set on the future of mobility and its shift towards sustainability. This led him to think about how he could create a product that was in line with the future of transportation.
The idea for the Walking Bicycle sparked when board member, Masao Inuoe came to Mr. Katayama with a problem. Masao’s Father loved to walk but his ability to do so in the future was called into question with his increased age and declining health. He posed the question, “can Katayama come up with a form of mobility that will enable him to walk even with his declining abilities?”.
This led Masayuki to think about the world as a whole and how he might provide access to people limited abilities might be able to move in spite of their limitations. In 2014, five years later, after extensive research, trial and error, and hours of tinkering the Walking Bicycle was born. Since then, it has become a staple in Japan as a unique way to explore, move, and see the world.