Roland Corporation is a Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, electronic equipment and software. It was founded by Ikutaro Kakehashi in Osaka on April 18, 1972 with 33 million yen in capital. Today Roland has factories in Japan, the United States, Italy, and Taiwan.
Roland uses a number of additional brand names for their products: BOSS (guitar effects pedals, effects units, rhythm machines, recording equipment), Edirol (Desktop Media Production or 'DTMP'), Rodgers Instruments (electronic, combination electronic/pipe and pipe organs) and Roland Digital Group (Roland DG).
It may seem strange for a Japanese company to have a Western name, but Roland was founded with export in mind. Ikutaro Kakehashi heard that the name of his previous company, Ace Electronic Industries Inc., was often mangled in pronunciation, sometimes unpleasantly; so he looked for a good-sounding name which would be pronounced roughly the same in all of his major export markets. He found the name Roland in a telephone directory.