The credit for getting Pro-Mark into the business of Japanese White Oak drumsticks goes to Tatsuo (Tat) Kosaka, who passed away at his home in Kobe, Japan on September 25, 2008 at the age of 80 following a long battle with cancer.
Tat was an important figure in the history of drum sticks and in the history of the Pro-Mark company. He was the "Japanese Associate" often referred to by Pro-Mark founder Herb Brochstein when recounting how the company started in 1957. After discovering Japanese white oak sticks that felt and sounded like no others, Herb set out to find the source. Referring to that search in a recent interview, Herb says, "The man from the Japanese trading company who helped me find the factory that made those sticks is Tat Kosaka. We've been working together since 1957 on a handshake."
Tat Kosaka was the president of Pro-Mark Japan, Ltd., and served as liaison for all company activities in the Pacific Rim until his death. Pro-Mark president Maury Brochstein says, "Tat was a huge part of this company. We might well not exist today were it not for his dedicated efforts early on and in the 50-plus years that followed. We will miss him."