Business / Corporate

On Walkman's 40th anniversary, Sony opens retro exhibition in Ginza

by Hinano Kobayashi

Contributing Writer

Sony Corp. opened an exhibition Monday in Tokyo’s bustling Ginza district to mark the 40th anniversary of its signature Walkman.

The handheld audio player debuted on July 1, 1979, offering portable music to ears across the world. In the years that followed, over 400 million units would be sold.

The event at Ginza Sony Park, dubbed #009 Walkman in the Park, displays 230 Sony Walkman devices ranging from the first model, the TPS-L2, to some recent ones.

“Walkman is the strongest representative of the company, and the products have shaped the unique, creative and innovative Sony brand,” Daisuke Nagano, president of Sony Enterprise Co., said during a media preview.

“Customers’ memories generated through our Walkman product are what we should always keep in mind regardless of how the company proceeds to survive in this highly competitive business field with the presence of free music apps out there.”

Nagano added that the exhibition also offers a chance to listen to past Walkman models, as opposed to previous events where the products could only be viewed.

Browsing among the devices released over the past 40 years, visitors can see the progress and history of Sony as a company.

The main experience, located on Ginza Sony Park’s first through third basement floors, invites visitors to listen to memorable songs tied to 40 popular icons from 1979 to 2019, including musician Sakanaction and ballet dancer Nozomi Iijima, via the corresponding Walkman model released the same year.

The free entry event runs until Sept. 1.

Sony Ginza Park has hosted over 180 events, according to the company.