My first synth and drum machine were both Korg products, so I can say with no sense of hyperbole, that Tsutomu Katoh had a direct impact on the direction my life would take. In his honor, I think I will go annoy my cats with my Monotron. Below is the official statement that was released by Korg:
"Dear Sirs and Madams,
I would like to inform you that our founder and chairman Mr. Tsutomu Katoh passed away early this morning (March 15, 2011) after a long fight with cancer.
Since he founded Korg Inc. in 1963, Mr. Katoh has led our company with great talent, vision and leadership. He was loved and respected by all the employees, all Korg family members and made a huge contribution to the lives of countless musicians around the world.
Plans for a memorial service will follow very soon.
I would appreciate your prayers for him and hope he can rest peacefully now.