“Yanmar” is one of the world-famous brands of agricultural machines, the founder of which is M. Yamaoka (山岡 孫吉). Yamaoka was born in a small countryside of the Northern region of Shiga in 1888. After graduating from a junior high, he left his hometown for Osaka with an ambition to make his fortune for his family. After repeating ups and downs, he finally invented a small sized diesel engine for the first time in the world. Main factory of Yanmar opened in 1942 at the center of Nagahama, which was near his hometown. Through a robust business in the 2nd world war, Yamaoka expanded to manufacture engines for marine, agriculture and electricity generation, as well. And Yamaoka contributed a lot for commemorating Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel, German machine engineer, who invented a new-type engine named after his last name. That is why Nagahama (Yamaoka’s hometown) and Mr. Diesel’s base place Augsburg in Germany became a sister city in 1959.
Yanmar museum opened in 2013 near the Nagahama factory as the company’s 100 years anniversary project. The theme is “Do it, first. Don’t mind if you fail. Never give up!” There is “Challenge Area”, where kids (and Oyaji, like me) are motivated to enjoy a “challenge” through many experiences, together with “Exhibition Area”.