Konosuke Matsushita Museum
Introduction to the Museum
Trace the 94-year path of Konosuke Matsushita and learn from his own words and recorded speeches how he overcame numerous challenges and developed his views on management and life.
Travel Konosuke's 94 years of business history in seven chapters.
The house where Panasonic started
A full-scale recreation of the workshop where Konosuke began pursuing his dreams.
The Grove of Learning
Learn from four videos, including "Start Anew Every Day."
Here you'll find books and videos relating to Konosuke, as well as recorded speeches.
The Path of the Founder's 94-year Life
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.。
This symbolizes the head office's function in steering the course of Matsushita Electric.
This beautiful window is the original, dating to 1933.
A distinctive feature of the tiles on the building's facing is the way they were laid with the underside outward.
Konosuke's design uses different kinds of tiles on the ground and second floors.
Konosuke Matsushita Museum Special Exhibition Archives