Akai was established in July 1929 as a manufacturer of radio components, sockets and other electrical parts. The company was founded by Masukichi Akai. A true cottage industry, Akai was started in a backyard shed. The workplace was so small it could hardly be called a factory and his employees were entirely from his immediate family.
It wasn't until 1984 that Akai entered the electronic musical instrument market. Akai's first product in the field of electronic instruments was the Akai Micro Studio System which was announced at that year's "Musik Masse" in West Germany. The system included a multi-track recorder (MG-1212) and Akai's first analogue synthesizer, the AX80. This product aimed to provide an easily accessible way to perform music recording and mixing which previously was possible only in an actual recording studio. ------[from Akai's web pages]