The house where Panasonic started
An introduction to the attachment plug manufacturing process. You can sense the young Konosuke's high hopes and passion as he, his wife Mumeno, and her younger brother, Toshio Iue, built a reputation of trust as they grew the business.
The Grove of Learning Learn from four videos, including "Start Anew Every Day."
The Grove of Learning
You can watch four videos, including "Start Anew Every Day," "Making People Before Products," "Why We Manufacture Things," and "Business Spirit." You can also select 15 of 30 cards with gems of Konosuke's wisdom to take home.
Library Here you'll find books and videos relating to Konosuke, as well as recorded speeches.
Konosuke Matsushita was born on November 27, 1894, to a wealthy farming family in Wasamura village, Wakayama. When Konosuke was only four, however, the family lost everything when his father speculated on the rice exchange. Konosuke withdrew from elementary school and, at a mere nine years of age, he started work as an apprentice.
Konosuke learned what it was to be a businessman through the basics of business, working as an apprentice first at the Miyata Hibachi Store, and then at Godai Bicycle Shop in Osaka's Semba district. One day, when he was fifteen, he stared in wonderment as an electrified streetcar went by, igniting in him a love for the new age of electricity.
On March 7, 1918, Konosuke Matsushita, together with his wife, Mumeno, and his brother-in-law, Toshio Iue, founded Matsushita Electric Housewares Manufacturing Works. New projects at the company followed one after the next, including improved attachment plugs, two-way sockets, bullet-shaped battery-powered bicycle lamps, electric heaters, and radios.
Konosuke formulated the Basic Management Objective and Company Creed in 1929, and in spring 1932 awoke to the true mission of an industrialist. He called this realization Meichi, and held the First Foundation Day Ceremony to share his passion with all employees. In the next year, 1933, he moved the base of operations to Kadoma to expand the scope of his business.
With the advent of war, the company was forced to transition to military supply work. After the war ended, Konosuke immediately restarted production of consumer goods. Facing numerous difficulties, including the risk of having the company broken up, Konosuke founded the PHP Institute to investigate the proper shape of society and human life.
Leaving the postwar struggles behind, Konosuke made his first visit to the United States in 1951.Seeing the prosperous lifestyles led by those in the US, he entered into a technological tie-up with Philips to bolster Matsushita Electric's technological prowess as part of his desire for similar lifestyles in Japan. In the late 1950s, Matsushita Electric took the lead in promoting household appliances within Japan.
In 1961, Konosuke assumed position as chairman and resumed his PHP research activities. At that time, vigilant of Japan's rapid growth, the Bank of Japan implemented financial restrictions. Matsushita Electric faced a risky period where the financial slump was aggravated by a halt in industrial growth, but Konosuke restructured the home appliance distribution, and put the business back on track.
50 years after the company's founding, Konosuke turned his attention to social contribution activities. In 1973, at age 78, he began serving as executive advisor. His passion for creating a better Japan and a better world saw no end, as he established the Matsushita Institute of Government and Management, aided the growth of china at Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping’s request, and established the Japan Prize.
About the building
This is a faithful recreation of the company's third head office in Kadoma, Osaka as it looked in 1933. The building incorporated the latest in Western construction methods, and Konosuke's influence on the design is evident throughout.。
Ship's wheel This symbolizes the head office's function in steering the course of Matsushita Electric.
Konosuke traveled to Kobe personally to purchase the wheel of a ship about to be scrapped. The wheel symbolizes the head office's function in steering the future course of Matsushita Electric. The original ship's wheel was lost during the war, but based on photographs, it was replicated faithfully.
Stained glass This beautiful window is the original, dating to 1933.
These are the actual windows used in the third head office, completed in 1933. They were part of the Matsushita Electric House of History, completed in 1968, and later moved to the Konosuke Matsushita Museum, which opened in March 2018.
Brick tiles A distinctive feature of the tiles on the building's facing is the way they were laid with the underside outward.
The original tile arrangement, with the undersides facing outward, is reproduced faithfully. Three shades of brown tiles were originally used, but six were used for the restored version to reproduce the color variations of the original ceramic firing technology.
Roof tiles Konosuke's design uses different kinds of tiles on the ground and second floors.
It was Konosuke's idea to use French tiles on the ground floor, and Spanish tiles on the second. The head office was an extremely ambitious, modern design incorporating the latest Western architectural technology. (Photo: third head office at the time)
Konosuke Matsushita Museum Special Exhibition Archives