• Kyodo

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Musical instrument-maker Sakae Rhythm, known for providing drums to renowned musicians such as Jimmy Chamberlin and Greg Hutchinson, has suspended its business with debts totaling ¥772 million ($6.96 million), according to credit research firm Teikoku Databank.

The company, also known for making the instrument for the mechanical drum-playing doll Kuidaore Taro — a famous landmark mascot in Osaka — was established in 1925 and has also sold drums to Yamaha Corp.

Sakae, based in the city of Osaka, saw its sales reach ¥1.46 billion in the year to September 1988. But as orders began falling from major customers and sales of its own brand drums were also faltering, sales dropped to ¥313 million in the year to September 2016, according to Teikoku Databank.

As banks stopped extending loans, lawyers started debt settlement procedures this month.