The headline of this post alludes to the confusion that can come from trying to figure out where each massage chair model is made. There is so much hullabaloo about a chair being made in Japan or the USA vs. a chair manufactured in China. Typically, we understand that Japanese and American-made products are of a better quality than their Chinese-made counterparts. I am in agreement with that statement, and the numbers bare that out (Chinese-made chairs have a life expectancy of up to 10 years, a failure rate of 2-5%, and typically a 1 year parts & labor warranty. Japanese-made chairs expect to last 15+ years, have a failure rate of <1%, and come with a pretty standard 3 year parts & labor warranty).
Well, when speaking of being “Made in ____”, it may surprise you to know that it is not as simple as being made in one country. Let me explain…
When we talk about the making of a chair, we need to consider a few things, i.e. 1.) where the design and engineering of the chair is done, 2.) where the parts of the chair are made, and 3.) where chair is assembled. In some cases, all three components of the manufacturing process are done in 3 different countries.
Most chairs, nowadays, are made in China. The design and engineering, manufacturing of parts, and assembly are all done in China. The Ogawa chairs, for example, are 100% made in China. Most of the Osaki, Titan, Apex, Omega, and Infinity chairs are made 100% in China.
But, did you know that some of the non-critical components of the Inada DreamWave chair are made in China, too, although it is rightfully claimed to be made in Japan? Did you know that the Luraco iRobotics 7 chair is an American-made, designed and engineered massage chair, but a minority of it’s non-critical components are made in Taiwan? Did you know that the new Navitas Sleep chair from Human Touch was designed and engineered by the Americans and Japanese, but the components are manufactured in Taiwan and the assembly of the chair is done in China? Furthermore, did you know that all the other Human Touch massage chairs are designed and engineered in America, but manufactured and assembled in China?
Panasonic is a Japanese company and their chairs are designed and engineered there, but all production and assembly occurs in Chinese factories. I don’t know what the situation is now, but in the recent past the factories in which the Panasonic chairs have been manufactured were Panasonic-owned factories so that the Japanese parent company could still have complete quality control.
It might surprise you to know that at the time of this writing, there is only one brand of chair that is 100% designed, engineered, manufactured, and assembled in Japan? That is the Fujiiryoki chair, one of the oldest massage chair companies in the world. Osaki carries a privately labeled Fujiiryoki model and it is called the Osaki OS-4D Pro JP Premium.
So, have I confused you? I know I was sure confused when I first started learning about all the nuances of what it means to be “Made in the USA”. When Luraco first introduced their line of chairs as being made in America, there was some pushback because a few of their non-critical components were manufactured in Asia. I found out, soon thereafter, that even Inada’s famous DreamWave, touted to be made in Japan, has some Chinese-made components in it.
Manufacturing and/or assembly in China is cost-effective. Cheaper-made product ultimately costs less to the end user…that’s you and I. So, companies have tried to integrate China or Taiwan in some of the process of making a chair to keep costs down across the board.
By they way, why can a chair like DreamWave say it is made in Japan when some of it’s components are manufactured in China? Or why can Luraco say their iRobotics 7 is made in America when some of it’s components are made in Taiwan (Taiwanese products are known to be of a better quality than their Chinese counterparts, in cases you were wondering). You may be asking yourself these questions. I know I did.
All I can say about that is that each country has it’s own guidelines as to what constitutes the term “Made in _____”. I suspect it is slightly different for each country. Below is a video recently released by Luraco that specifically addresses the “Made in the USA” standard. I hope you find this helpful.
If you have any questions about any model we carry or any other model out there, feel free to contact me anytime by phone, email, or chat. I am always at your disposal.
Dr. Alan Weidner
P.S. Give us a “Like”, “Share”, or “+1” and leave me a comment or question below to share what you learned or ask any questions, so other folks can benefit from this material.