Mahalo, meaning “thank-you” or “gratitude in Hawai’ian, was the word chosen by Kikutani Music, a musical products distributor based in Nagoya, Japan as the brand name for their then, new range of ukuleles in 1999.
Originally manufactured in China for Kikutani, Mahalo ukuleles were developed with a promise to deliver a “real musical instrument experience at an entry-level price point”. Prior to this, entry level ukes were generally considered toys and most were musically unplayable.
Initially, the range of Mahalo ukuleles was quite small, but as they were the first high quality, inexpensive, playable instrument on the market, the quantity sold into Japan was extraordinary.
At this point, the Chinese manufacturer of Mahalo, began distributing the brand around the world under license to Kikutani Music and quite literally became an enormous overnight success.
It’s debatable to what degree Mahalo sparked the worldwide ukulele phenomenon, however there is no doubt that Mahalo played a part in the strong resurgence and popularity of the ukulele. The sheer quantities sold worldwide prior to and during the current ukulele boom underlines Mahalo’s place as a major driving force in today’s world ukulele market.
Mahalo is now the No. 1 selling ukulele brand in many countries and arguably, the world. Thousands of music stores around the world stock Mahalo as their main ukulele line. These experts do this because Mahalo ukuleles represent the very best value for money on the market! It’s for this reason alone that millions of ukers around the world started their musical journeys on a Mahalo ukulele.