TOMA’s History pt. 2

In the early 1980s, a technology that gave a great impact on the style of future karaoke was developed. It is a “picture karaoke” (LD, CD, VHD). The development of this picture karaoke allowed signers to look at the lyrics on the screen while singing. It also featured background images.


LaserDisc (LD) karaoke was first developed by Pioneer in 1982. Accordingly, companies who sold conventional karaoke, as well as movie record companies, developed movie software that went along such hardware. It is the arrival of the LaserDisc era.

Just like the first karaoke, Toma was the first to bring LD karaoke to Hawaii in the early 90s. Because of its high cost, LD was not so popular in the beginning. Thus, Toma served monthly costs in the form of a lease. However, around this time, karaoke enters its golden age. There was karaoke at any bar, including those who featured expensive LD autochangers. New rivals entered the market, throwing Toma into the competition.

Then, today’s popular style: the “karaoke box” appeared. It originated in Okayama in 1985 when the modified ship container was used as an outdoor karaoke room. It rapidly spread throughout the country in the early 90s. Toma also started the karaoke box at the location today from 1990. There were two LD players per room, a total of 14 players where there is a door for Room 1 today. The customers found a number for the songs from the book and requested them to use paper and pencil. Now that I think about it, it was such a cumbersome system. The competitors also appeared, marking the golden age of the Hawaiian karaoke boxes.

The machines are very durable that it is still used today. Please try and look for it the next time you visit us. If you don’t know how to use it, feel free to ask.

At the time when Naoko was an employee, I used to go there alone and the songs I wanted to sing automatically played. In other words, she chose and played the songs for me. Likewise, many others were grateful for such customer service, a specialty of that time.