Konosuke Matsushita Founded Panasonic
On the 7th of March the founder, Konosuke Matsushita, founded Matsushita Electric Housewares Manufacturing Works in Osaka, Japan. The company began manufacturing wiring equipment. Their workplace consisted of three rooms on the ground floor of a two-story home that they converted into a workshop and equipped with two small hand-operated presses for molding insulation. The small company was started by only three people: the founder, his wife, and his brother-in-law (Toshio Iue -- who later founded Sanyo Electric).
* The image shows a photograph taken the year after the company was founded. (Back row from left: Konosuke, Toshio Iue, Mumeno Matsushita)Corporate History | Panasonic
Launched First Products: Attachment Plug and 2-Way Socket
The founder, Konosuke Matsushita, was convinced that there would be a huge demand from ordinary households for convenient, high-quality wiring products. As a result, the company manufactured and marketed its first products, an attachment plug and 2-way socket. Since homes generally had only a single power outlet for one lamp at the time, a product that allowed the use of two lamps, or a lamp and an iron, was popular.
* The photo shows the company’s first products: an attachment plug (left) and, in 1920, a 2-way socket (right).Corporate History | Panasonic
Established First Head Office and Factory
In February 1920, the founder designed a trademark for the company consisting of the letter M overlaid with an arrow and surrounded by a wide diamond. In March, the company established a representative office in Tokyo. In 1922, the company decided to build a new factory and office, which the founder designed himself. Though the economy worsened, the company continued to grow as sales of its products increased. In the four years since the company's inception, it had become a full-fledged business with its own factory.
* The photo shows the factory around 1924.Panasonic Corporate History
Launched a Bullet-Shaped, Battery-Powered Bicycle Lamp
Panasonic launched a bicycle lamp using a special assembly battery and new miniature light bulb. Whereas dry cell batteries at that time had a short lifetime (generally around 2-3 hours), the company's battery had a lifetime of more than 30 hours, making it a revolutionary, hit product.Corporate History | Panasonic
“National Lamp” Marketed as the First Product to Use the National Trademark
In 1925, the founder created the National trademark for a square-shaped lamp that the company had been producing, and for which the trademark rights were granted the following year. The National Lamp, which was the first product to use the National name, was expected to become a daily necessity for people all over the nation, and was launched in 1927. It became extremely popular not only for bicycle use, but as a convenient and safe light source that could be set down or carried about. Sales grew rapidly and the National trademark became synonymous with battery-powered lamps as the product spread all over Japan.Panasonic Corporate History
Established the Electric Heating Department
The founder, Konosuke Matsushita, established the Electric Heating Department because he wanted to produce high-quality electric devices at prices that the ordinary home could afford. With this in mind, development first started on irons. The "Super Iron," which was launched three months later, used a new structure in which the heater was sandwiched between iron plates. Offering the same level of quality as conventional irons, its price was 30% lower. The engineer who developed the "Super Iron," Tetsujiro Nakao, created a wide variety of new technologies and new products as a leader in Panasonic technology.
Established Management Objective and Company Creed
In March of this year, the founder changed the name Matsushita Electric Housewares Manufacturing Works to Matsushita Electric Manufacturing Works. At the same time, the responsibility of the company to society was defined as the ‘Management Objective.’ ‘Finding harmony between profit and social justice, devoting ourselves to the development of national industry, and fostering progress and promoting the general welfare of society.’This has evolved with the growth of the business, but the spirit still lives on in today's Panasonic. Konosuke Matsushita, who had considered the company primarily a private endeavor, changed his management philosophy for the company from merely the pursuit of profit to an enterprise whose purpose is to be a servant of society. The Company Creed was also formulated as follows: ‘Progress and development can be realized only through the combined efforts and cooperation of each employee of our company. United in spirit, we pledge to perform our corporate duties with dedication, diligence and integrity.’Corporate History | PanasonicCode of Conduct | Panasonic
Established a Trade Department and Started the Export Business
In the previous year, 1931, the production of batteries and radios began and the scale of the company expanded dramatically. As a result, the eyes of the founder, Konosuke Matsushita, turned overseas and a foreign trade department was established in April 1932 in line with the founder’s idea that the company would “make and export things itself.” Panasonic’s overseas business began with the export of wiring fixtures, lamps, and dry cell batteries, mainly to China. At this time, Japan’s overseas trading was done only by trading companies and foreign freight companies so the establishment of a manufacturer controlling its own exports was ground-breaking.
The Founder, Konosuke Matsushita Announced the True Mission of the Company
Konosuke started thinking deeply about the mission of producers as a result of observing a religious organization. And at the Central Electric Club on May 5, his company's true mission was announced to all 168 employees: "Even though water from a tap is a processed product with a price, no one objects if a passerby drinks from a roadside tap. That is because the supply of water is plentiful and its price is low. The mission of a manufacturer is to create material abundance by providing goods as plentiful and inexpensive as tap water." We can overcome people's poverty and enrich society by providing products more cheaply. This way of thinking was called the "water philosophy" and became famous as a leading idea for the company. Konosuke then announced a 250-year plan for the company to fulfill its mission. The loftiness of the mission and boldness of the plan were deeply felt by all of the employees, and filled the hall with excitement. Konosuke set that day as the "founding anniversary" because that was when everyone knew the true mission of the company, and deemed 1932 to be the "first year of the true mission enlightenment."
* The photo shows the true founding anniversary celebration at the Central Electric Club in Osaka.Corporate History | Panasonic
Purchased the Rights to Radio Patents and Released Them to the Public Domain
At the time, radio manufacturers, including the company, were in a difficult position because the use of multi－pole vacuum tube high－frequency circuits would infringe on the inventor's patents. For this reason, the founder purchased the patents in October of this year. He then released them to the public free of charge so other manufacturers could use them. This greatly helped to advance the radio industry as a whole, bringing widespread praise and appreciation to the company.Corporate History | Panasonic
Moved the Head Office and Created the Business Divisional System
The company, which couldn’t fulfill all of its orders even at full production, bought a site of 70,000 square meters northeast of Osaka in suburban Kadoma. A new head office and rows of factories were constructed and the core of the business was moved to the new site. In May of that same year, the founder, Konosuke Matsushita decided to make each enterprise responsible for the products they produced. Due to this reorganization, each business division had a factory and a branch office in its domain, and was responsible for managing its factories and offices, developing, manufacturing and selling products, and maintaining profitable operations with an independent accounting system.
* The photo shows Konosuke explaining explains the business divisional system.Panasonic Corporate History
Opened the Employee Training Institute
The founder, Konosuke Matsushita, firmly believed that "Business depends on people." He stressed the importance of "creating people before creating products." As such, he placed special emphasis on training. In line with this, the Employee Training Institute was established this year. The purpose of this institute was for elementary school graduates to attain the same level of academic ability as a 5-year secondary school while completing both business and industrial courses and graduating in just three years. Upon graduation, employees could immediately assume positions in a company.Panasonic Corporate History
Pricing Policy Based on Co-Existence and Mutual Prosperity Philosophy
Matsushita devoted his energies to offering products of high quality at prices the average household could afford. He believed that selling products at a fair profit would contribute to the stability of both the manufacturer and the retailer, would simplify consumers' purchasing decisions, and would restore consumer trust in retail pricing policies. For this reason, he instituted a fair price policy in line with his philosophy of co-existence and mutual prosperity-"fair price" meaning appropriate price rather than fixed price. The Matsushita Retailers Association was formed to advance Matsushita's co-existence and mutual prosperity philosophy.Corporate History | Panasonic
Reorganized as Matsushita Electric Industrial
The company was employing about 3,500 people and annual sales had reached the ¥12 million mark. The company produced about 600 different products, and its sales network extended abroad. It had become a major force in the electrical appliance industry. In December 1935, the founder, Konosuke Matsushita, incorporated the company as Matsushita Electric Manufacturing Works, which had been a sole proprietorship, and renamed it Matsushita Electric Industrial. to bring it in line with his vision of the enterprise as something entrusted to his care by society. The autonomous divisions were reorganized as nine subsidiaries and four associated companies, with MEI as a holding company.Panasonic Corporate History
Research Began on Televisions
Many European and American engineers began research on television technology after Beard of England transmitted moving pictures by cable in 1925 for the first time. In 1935, Kenjiro Takayanagi at Hamamatsu Vocational College built a functioning iconoscope, which was a major step in development of an actual product. Fascinated by these developments, Matsushita immediately dispatched engineers to study under Takayanagi at the end of 1935, when Panasonic's own R&D program was launched at its Tokyo Laboratory. By 1938, the laboratory produced a prototype 12" set.
* The photo shows the staff of Matsushita Radio Mfg., Tokyo Laboratory engaged in TV development.Corporate History | Panasonic
Started a 6-day Work Week
The company changed from a twice-monthly holiday system to weekly holidays. The founder, Konosuke Matsushita, deeply considered holidays from the viewpoint of a leader wanting effective worker training while also taking his worker’s health and well-being into consideration. He recommended that two of the four weekly holidays be used for leisure, and the other two for self-study.
Completed the First Prototype TV Model
In late 1935, Panasonic began researching a television receiver. In 1938, a prototype 12-inch CRT TV was produced. In May 1939, a radio transmission test was successfully achieved. Then, in July of the same year, this TV receiver was shown to the general public for the first time at an electrical inventions exhibition.
* The photo shows a home TV receiver developed in 1935.Panasonic Corporate History
Import Department Established for Importing Materials
An import department was created in Matsushita Electric Trading, which had been mainly engaged in the export business. Raw materials were imported based on the material requirements for Panasonic and the electronics industry.
Dispatched Employee to Mexico as the Company’s First Representative in Latin America
Panasonic dispatched an employee to Mexico, which was a large market for wiring equipment at the time, making him the company’s first representative in Latin America.
Communicating the "3 Rules"
As the military gained strength within Japan during WWII, the company was required to support its core business of producing electrical equipment by cooperating with the country's production of military equipment in order to survive as a company. However, to prevent the company from losing sight of its main goal and falling into a condition of lax management, he communicated what came to be called the "3 Rules" throughout the company: "the rules of management," "the rules of finance," and "the rules of employee leadership and the rules of individuality." The 3 Rules brought awareness to all of the employees with the following call, "Whether it is management, or marketing, we shall be transparent and open rather than personal and closed."
The First Management Policy Announcement
WWII broke out in September of the previous year, and as Japan reinforced its wartime structure, major limitations were placed on civilian production. Against this backdrop, the company held the first Management Policy Announcement. In that announcement, the founder emphasized that "we must cooperate with all of our strength in pursuing national polices, but in consideration of the general public, our company's traditional peacetime industry is also of vital importance." Since then, the Management Policy Announcement has been held each year on January 10th, to map out the year's concrete policies.The Founder, Konosuke Matsushita
Advocating a General Mobilization for High-Quality Production
Even as Japan reinforced its wartime structure, the founder, Konosuke Matsushita, expressed the need to support civilian production for the sake of the consumer, and for the company's agents and retail stores. However, since quality problems could be expected from the design simplification measures that were taken in response to price controls and the need to use alternative materials due to restrictions on the use of natural resources, Konosuke Matsushita advocated a General Mobilization for High-Quality Production in August of this year. As part of this, he called for the production of quality goods that met consumer needs in every respect, and a reduction of defects. This clearly moved all of the employees to action.
* The photo shows the factory at the present time
Reviving Consumer Demand
Learning of the war's end on August 15th, the founder called the company's executives to a meeting in the auditorium the following day, having decided that "this was the time to bring all of the employees together in a unified force to revive consumer demand." He expressed a clear policy to restore consumer demand immediately. Furthermore, he sent a communication to all employees on August 20th, stating, "Production is the key to revival. Let us arouse the traditional Matsushita Electric spirit to work toward the nation's restoration and our cultural enhancement." This encouragement helped to speed up the preparations for production. The founder then requested approval to lift the order to halt production that had been enacted by the GHQ to halt the military industry. Starting with radio production in the middle of September, production approval was given for a variety of products, and by the middle of October, all workshops were engaging in production.
* The photo shows the radio factory, which started production shortly after the war's end.
Established Product Inspection Site
The founder, Konosuke Matsushita, pointed out a major technical improvement policy at a Management Policy Presentation Meeting in January of 1946, which combined higher wages, higher efficiency, and more specialized segmentation as his immediate goals. “Matsushita's products in the minds of the masses are number one in popularity and practicality, but we also need to be the best in Japan in terms of quality.” Konosuke established a product inspection site to improve quality and concurrently served as its director. The site would only release products to the market that had passed stringent examinations.
Facing the Risk of Dissolution
At the end of WWII, Panasonic immediately resumed production for civilian use. However, at the beginning of this year, the policy of the General Headquarters (GHQ) became increasingly strict. In March, the company was designated as a restricted concern and all of its assets were frozen. In 1948, Panasonic was placed under seven restrictions purging it from public service, and at one point faced the possibility of dissolution. In response to this, the founder, Konosuke Matsushita strongly resisted for the next four years that the company's business would be "to produce and market only items that people require for a peaceful lifestyle." As a result, most of the restrictions were lifted in the latter half of 1950 and the company avoided the risk of being dissolved.Corporate History | PanasonicPanasonic narrowly avoids zaibatsu designation
Founded The PHP Laboratory and Launched PHP Magazine
After the WWII, Japan descended into chaos due to rapid inflation and food shortages caused by bad crops. “If humans, just humans, can act in accordance with the principles of nature, then the way to a prosperous, happy, and peaceful life can be laid before us,” thought the founder. In November of 1946, he established the PHP Institute in order to realize ‘Peace and Happiness through Prosperity’ by humbly sharing each other’s feelings and studying them to collect the wisdom of the masses. The institute called on people everywhere to encourage positive activities, and, in April of the following year, launched the PHP magazine.
* The photo shows the first issue of PHP magazine.Corporate History | Panasonic
The Founder, Konosuke Matsushita Departed for His First Visit to the US
In January, the founder, Konosuke Matsushita departed for a 3-month observation tour of the U.S. to gather information and expand the company's global vision. There were major differences between Japan and the U.S., and Konosuke felt that there were many things that could be learned from foreign electronics technology. In October, he traveled to the U.S. once again, in search of specific technical tie-ups. He also traveled around Europe during this trip, and returned to Japan in December.Corporate History | Panasonic
The Founder, Konosuke Matsushita Made His First Visit to Europe
Strongly feeling the need to manage from a global viewpoint, Konosuke visited the U.S. in October of this year. He followed with visits to 4 European countries: the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the U.K. Until his return to Japan in December of the same year, he toured factories and other facilities in each country, and sought technical and business tie-ups with prominent corporations leading the electronics industry in Europe and the U.S.
* The photo shows Konosuke on an airplane headed for an observational tour of Europe and the U.S.
Capital Tie-up with Nakagawa Electric Company (Later Matsushita Refrigeration Company)
Electric refrigerators, which were expected to be the third largest electric appliance after television and radio, were being developed for scheduled release in 1953. However, this year, following the war, there was a request to participate in the Panasonic Group from Nakagawa Electric Company, which had successfully produced and sold refrigerators for use by the Occupation Forces. To avoid double investment and to utilize the technology and experience of Nakagawa Electric Company, they were welcomed into the Group as a subsidiary and placed in charge of producing refrigerators and other refrigeration equipment.
The photo shows Panasonic's first refrigerator "NR-351," released in 1953.Innovative Product: Electric refrigerator
Established Matsushita Electronics Corporation from Technical Tie-up with Philips
Panasonic had a business relationship with the Dutch company Philips before WWII, and Philips contacted Panasonic after the war to request a continuation of their business relation. A technological and capital alliance with Philips was thus born in October of this year as a subsidiary named Matsushita Electronics Corporation. The CEO of Philips said that it was not just a matter of "giving technical assistance and receiving a technical assistance fee" but expressed this partnership as a "marriage" of both companies.Corporate History | Panasonic
Opened a New York Branch
In order to investigate overseas technologies and market trends as well as create a base for overseas expansion, the founder, Konosuke Matsushita opened the Matsushita Electric New York Office in October based on hopes that he developed during his first visit to the U.S. in 1951. In 1954, 20,000 vacuum tube type portable radios were exported to the U.S.
* The photo shows Konosuke in New York.
Employees Dispatched to Latin America to Promote Technical Assistance
Starting this year, company employees were dispatched to Latin America to actively provide technical assistance. However, the export business failed to meet expectations due to import bans based on problems such as the local shortage of foreign currency. So it became necessary to switch from the conventional export of finished products to local production and the use of local capital.
Capital Tie-up with JVC and Reorganization of JVC as a Subsidiary
Japanese Victor Corporation (JVC) became unprofitable after WWII, so its bank asked Panasonic to restructure JVC management. The founder, Konosuke Matsushita sent two managers in and they began to rebuild the company with Kichisaburo Nomura, former Ambassador to the United States, as president. Although JVC created products like electric gramophones and televisions that competed with Panasonic models, the founder, Konosuke believed that fair competition contributes to social progress and brings prosperity so he allowed them to continue while JVC was restructured.
Technical Collaboration with Mallory
Panasonic entered into a technical partnership with P.R. Mallory (currently Duracell), which was known for its development of mercury cell batteries. In 1965, National Mallory Battery was established as a joint venture between the two companies, and Panasonic’s first alkaline dry cell battery went on sale in 1967 as National Mallory Alkaline Batteries.
* The photo shows the Panasonic/Mallory joint stockholders meeting at which the founder, Konosuke Matsushita signed the joint venture agreement.
Mr. Gobel, an Indonesian Entrepreneur and Diet Member, Visited the Founder, Konosuke Matsushita
Indonesian President Sukarno, who believed that the spread of radios was an important measure toward unifying Indonesia, dispatched a team that included Mr. Mohammad Gobel, an entrepreneur, to procure radio kits from Japan.With his previous contribution, Mr. Gobel then got an opportunity to meet Konosuke and shared his thoughts on Indonesian trends, politics, economics and independence. He showed his devotion to these subjects. After their conversation, Konosuke accepted a business deal with Mr. Gobel's company, although it was small transaction.In 1960, Panasonic concluded a technical assistance contract with Mr. Gobel's company, which later led to the establishment of a joint venture.
Donations from the Founder, Konosuke Matsushita Helped to Restore the Kaminarimon Gate in Asakusa, Tokyo, Which Was Damaged by Fire
Kaminarimon Gate in Asakusa, Tokyo, is a popular tourist site. This gate, which was damaged by a fire in 1865, was restored using donations from Konosuke. He also presented it with a large lantern. Since then, the large lantern has been repaired once every ten years.Giant Red Lantern Dedicated to Senso-ji Temple's Kaminarimon Gate
The Founder, Konosuke Matsushita Became Chairman and Masaharu Matsushita Assumed the Presidency
In January 1961, after outlining the annual management policy, Konosuke announced his resignation as president. "With everyone's cooperation, last year we achieved the aims of our five-year plan, and celebrated my 65th birthday. I have decided that the time is right for me to resign as president, and as chairman of the board, to take a back-seat, so to speak, in the company's management. My retirement comes at a turning point in the development of the company, but I believe that our company will make great strides under its new management."Those in attendance were stunned at the announcement. Nonetheless, with Masaharu Matsushita as president, the company reunited its efforts to achieve its corporate mission, and entered a new phase of activity. Konosuke also took this as an occasion to restart the PHP research that had been interrupted since 1950, at Shinshin-an in Kyoto.
* The photo shows a ceremony for newly appointed executives attended by Konosuke (at the far right), who was chairman at the time, and President Masaharu Matsushita (2nd from the right).Corporate History | Panasonic
The Founder, Konosuke Matsushita Appeared on the Cover of US Time Magazine
Around 1958, Panasonic’s mutual coexistence and co-prosperity philosophy and mission statement were featured in global newspapers and magazines including Time, Life, and the New York Times. Konosuke appeared on the cover of the February 23, 1962 issue of Time magazine. The article introduced his career, his thoughts, the dramatic development of Panasonic, and his management philosophy.
* The photo shows the Time magazine introducing Konosuke and Panasonic.Corporate History | Panasonic
Held the "Atami Conference" by Gathering Dealers and Agencies from All Over Japan
As a reaction to the initial economic boom in this year, Panasonic’s revenue and earnings dropped considerably in November 1950, which marked the second half of the fiscal year. Due to poor sales, dealers and distributors also plummeted into deficit management. In order to overcome this situation, the founder, Konosuke Matsushita, held a conference in July and invited the presidents of sales companies and agencies all over Japan.The meeting was heated as many complaints and requests were put forth from dealers and distributors. On the third day of the conference, Konosuke reflected and stated, “There is no other way to break through the crisis than by frankly asking ourselves and our counterparts to change for the better.” The venue became quiet and mutually pledged their efforts and cooperation.Corporate History | Panasonic
The Founder, Konosuke Matsushita, Appears on a Special Japan Issue of Life Magazine
The company principle and mission of "Co-existence and Mutual Prosperity" was taken up by newspapers and magazines worldwide, such as Time, Life, and the New York Times, from about 1958 onward. The September 11th issue of Life magazine introduced Matsushita Electric and Konosuke Matsushita in an article titled "Meet Mr. Matsushita." In this article, they called the founder "a man with 5 faces: the ultimate industrialist, top earner, creative thinker, publisher, and best-selling author." They also rated him as a "pioneer with the combined talents of Henry Ford, the automotive king, and Horatio Alger (an influential American author)."
Introduced a 5-Day Work Week
In April, Panasonic introduced Japan's first 5-day work week. This was in line with a statement made by the founder, Konosuke Matsushita, to the effect that, "In order to compete with global manufacturers, we will have to dramatically increase our performance." The founder announced that Panasonic would give employees two days off per week, which was necessary to allow them to get sufficient rest on the one hand and enjoy a cultural lifestyle on the other. His announcement gathered widespread attention. Guided by the slogan "One day of study, and one day of rest," the company was able to achieve the 5-day work week, which dramatically enhanced the employees' desire to work and increased overall efficiency.
* The photo shows an in-house newsletter at the time describing the policy of "One day of study, and one day of rest."Corporate History | Panasonic
Beginning on May 5th, thank-you parties commemorating the 50thanniversary were held one after another for dealers, distributors, and benefactors. In addition, Panasonic announced that it would donate a total of 5 billion yen as 'a fund for prevention of traffic accidents involving children' to thank society for their favor. Furthermore, they announced the development of factories in Japan's depopulated areas suffering from population relocation towards the city. On the business side, the company was blessed with the "Izanagi boom," a good environment and with the enthusiastic efforts of all employees, numerous 50th anniversary commemorative edition products were born. Panasonic achieved double productivity with sales increasing 34.5% over the previous year. These achievements helped to celebrate the 50th anniversary.Corporate History | Panasonic
Matsushita Pavilion Exhibited at the Japan World Exposition
Based on the theme "Progress and Harmony for Mankind," the Japan World Exposition was held for six months, starting in March of this year, at the Senrikyuryo area of Osaka. Panasonic exhibited the Matsushita Pavilion, under the theme of 'Tradition and Development -- To People 5,000 Years from Now.' In the front chamber of the pavilion, which adopted the architectural style of the Tempyo Period, a time capsule called EXPO'70 was exhibited, and in the rear chamber, a tea ceremony room was provided where visitors could experience the uniqueness of Japanese tradition. During the exposition, a total of 7,600,000 people visited Matsushita Pavilion.Corporate History | Panasonic
The Founder, Konosuke Matsushita Became Executive Advisor and Former Vice President Arataro Takahashi Assumed the Position of Chairman
In July of 1973, Konosuke retired from the position of chairman on the company's 55th anniversary and became an executive adviser. Chairman Arataro Takahashi and President Masaharu Matsushita's new regime began. A donation of 5 billion yen to the social welfare funds of each prefecture was announced in appreciation of the support from society.
* The photo shows Konosuke giving a greeting upon retiring as chairman, together with incoming Chairman Arataro Takahashi and President Masaharu Matsushita.Corporate History | Panasonic
Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Deng Xiaoping Visited the Television Division
In October of this year, China’s Deputy Prime Minister Deng Xiaoping visited the TV Division in Osaka, Japan, and stated, “I would like to ask for technical and managerial assistance.” To that end Panasonic’s business development in China began with the founder, Konosuke Matsushita, comfortably accepting and saying, “I will help you as much as possible.” In the next year, 1979, Konosuke visited China and held discussions with numerous government officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Deng.
*The photo shows Deputy Prime Minister Deng Xiaoping and his party visiting the TV Division led by Konosuke.
The Founder, Konosuke Matsushita Awarded in Malaysia
In 1979, Konosuke made a trip to Malaysia to receive the Pangrima Mank Negara Award, which was the highest civilian order of Malaysia, and the Tan Sri title by the Malaysian government at the Prime Minister's official residence in Kuala Lumpur. This award was given in appreciation for the major contributions made to the industrial development of Malaysia since the establishment of Matsushita Electric Company (Malaysia) in 1965.
The Founder, Konosuke Matsushita Visited China
Panasonic’s business development in China began in October 1978 when Deputy Prime Minister Deng Xiaoping visited the the Panasonic TV Division. Konosuke then visited China the following year. In discussions with Deputy Prime Minister Deng and Deputy Premier Gu Mu, Konosuke promised to cooperate in the field of electronics to promote the modernization of China.
The Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration Established the Konosuke Matsushita Chair of Leadership
Panasonic donated one million dollars to the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in the U.S. This fund led to the establishment of the Konosuke Matsushita Chair of Leadership. The Graduate School of Business Administration has chairs named for large universities and individuals, but this was the only one named for a person who was not an American citizen.
The International Foundation for Science and Technology, Chaired by the Founder, Konosuke Matsushita, Established the Japan International Prize
Thinking that "Japan must contribute to the promotion of science and technology with revitalized determination for the international community," Konosuke created the Japan Prize Preparatory Foundation in the previous year, and assumed the position of the first president. In May of 1983, the Foundation became the "Science and Technology Foundation of Japan" under the jurisdiction of the government, and formally established the Japan International Award. In the 1st award ceremony held in April 1985, Konosuke attended despite having reached the ripe old age of 90 and awarded prizes to the winners on stage.
* Became a public interest incorporated foundation in October 2010, and changed the name to The Japan Prize Foundation.
The Founder, Konosuke Matsushita Was Awarded by the Japanese Government
Spring honors were announced on April 29th (the Emperor's Birthday) , and Konosuke received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers. In 1956, the founder was awarded the Medal with Blue Ribbon. In 1965, he received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star. In 1970, he was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure. And in 1981, he received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun. These were the highest citizen honors. Konosuke, who attended the ceremony held at the Imperial Palace in May, was granted a new decoration by the Emperor, and the Emperor intimately received words of gratitude on behalf of the winners.
Established Matsushita International Foundation (Currently Matsushita Konosuke Memorial Foundation)
The Matsushita International Foundation was established to contribute to the international community through promoting international mutual understanding and international people training. In the following year the foundation began foreign exchange and research assistance, started international exchange promotion from 1997, and created grants for Japanese study abroad, research, and international exchange from 1998. In 2010, it merged with the K. Matsushita Foundation of EXPO '90 and changed the name to establish the Konosuke Matsushita Memorial Foundation.
* Since April 1, 2012, in response to the reform of the public benefit corporation system, it changed to a public benefit corporation.The Konosuke Matsushita Memorial Foundation
The Founder, Konosuke Matsushita, Passed Away
On April 27, 1989, Konosuke passed away at the age of 94. After leaving his hometown at the age of 9, in respect of his achievement in establishing Panasonic as one of the world’s leading comprehensive electronics manufacturers in this generation, he was sometimes called the “god of business” with the affection and respect of people everywhere. People in various levels of authority worldwide were greatly affected by his business acuity, his humanitarian sense, and his vision for society. Konosuke's passing was felt around the world of business and administration, and heartfelt sympathies were given from leaders such as Japan’s Prime Minister and the United States President.
* The photo shows a wake for Konosuke Matsushita held on April 29.