Japanese business pioneer, philanthropist Inamori dies at 90

Aug 29, 2022, 12:28 PM | Updated: Aug 30, 2022, 12:30 am
FILE - Japan Airlines Chairman Kazuo Inamori, attends a press conference in Tokyo on Aug 31, 2010. ...

FILE - Japan Airlines Chairman Kazuo Inamori, attends a press conference in Tokyo on Aug 31, 2010. Inamori, founder of Japanese ceramics and electronics maker Kyocera who also became a philanthropist singing the virtues of fairness and hard work, died Aug. 24, 2022 of natural causes at his home in Kyoto, western Japan. He was 90. Inamori also oversaw the revival from bankruptcy of Japan’s major carrier Japan Airlines, or JAL, in 2010, serving as a board member. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)

(AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)

TOKYO (AP) — Kazuo Inamori, founder of Japanese ceramics and electronics maker Kyocera who also became a philanthropist singing the virtues of fairness and hard work, has died. He was 90.

Inamori, who also founded major telecommunications company KDDI Corp., died Aug. 24 of natural causes at his home in Kyoto, Kyocera said Tuesday.

Inamori established Kyocera as an insulator manufacturing company in 1959, with a 3 million yen ($22,000) investment from his acquaintances.

While struggling to build his company, Inamori came up with his philosophy of management that emphasized people, doing the right thing and what he called “corporate character,” the old-style Japanese equivalent of professionalism and ethical standards.

His thoughts, which were pioneering for modernizing Japan, were based on the idea that workers and companies must be motivated by pure intentions, not by greed, and ultimately the desire to serve society.

His ideas spanned principles about fair competition, the proper pursuit of profit and the need for managerial transparency, as well as about living a virtuous life as an individual, for which he listed six principles: diligence, humility, reflection, gratitude, benevolence and detachment.

“Superiors who seem to agree with their subordinates in all matters may appear to be loving bosses, but they are actually spoiling and ruining their employees,” he once wrote.

“True love requires that we rigorously seek to discern what is indeed best for others.”

In the 1980s, Inamori set up a school called Seiwajyuku to teach his management philosophy in more than 100 locations, about half abroad, which claims to have taught about 15,000 business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide.

Inamori also oversaw the revival from bankruptcy of Japan’s major carrier Japan Airlines, or JAL, in 2010, serving as a board member.

In 1984, Inamori established his nonprofit called the Inamori Foundation, which awarded the Kyoto Prize every year to recognize humanitarian contributions around the world.

Inamori noted that all living things, including flowers and animals, merely want to survive, and the human being is no different. To do well, you must love the work you do, he said many times, so you end up working harder than anyone else.

A private funeral was held with his family. Inamori is survived by his wife Asako and three daughters. A formal farewell service may be held later but details aren’t decided, Kyocera said.


Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Country music great Loretta Lynn poses for a portrait in September 2000 in Nashville, Tenn. ...
Associated Press

Loretta Lynn, coal miner’s daughter and country queen, dies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Loretta Lynn, the Kentucky coal miner’s daughter whose frank songs about life and love as a woman in Appalachia pulled her out of poverty and made her a pillar of country music, has died. She was 90. In a statement provided to The Associated Press, Lynn’s family said she died Tuesday […]
1 day ago
Britain's Home Secretary Suella Braverman arrives for day three of the Conservative Party annual co...
Associated Press

UK still backs Rwanda deportations despite legal challenge

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Britain’s immigration minister said Tuesday that it’s unlikely any migrants will be sent to Rwanda this year under a contentious government plan, but vowed to press on with the policy and expand it to more countries. Home Secretary Suella Braverman said that “unfortunately,” a court challenge to the Rwanda plan would […]
1 day ago
FILE - A sign marks the entrance of the Micron Technology automotive chip manufacturing plant on Fe...
Associated Press

Schumer: Micron to bring microchip plant to upstate New York

NEW YORK (AP) — Micron, one of the world’s largest microchip manufacturers, is expected to open a semiconductor plant in New York, promising an investment of up to $100 billion and a plant that could bring 50,000 jobs to the state, the Senate’s top Democrat says. The announcement comes after Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Ukraine’s foreign minister pledges to export grain to Africa

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba promised that his embattled country will do all it can to send more grain to Africa as he began his tour this week of the continent in Senegal. Ukraine will be sending “boats full of seeds for Africa,” Kuleba said after meeting with Senegal’s president and […]
1 day ago
FILE - A passenger wears a face mask to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus as he waits ...
Associated Press

US to require more rest between shifts for flight attendants

Airlines will be required to give flight attendants at least 10 hours off duty between shifts, one more hour than currently, under a rule announced Tuesday by the Federal Aviation Administration. Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said that the extra hour of rest would contribute to safety. Congress directed the FAA in 2018 to increase […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

German tourist killed by gunmen near South African game park

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African police have launched a manhunt after a German tourist was shot and killed by gunmen near Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga province. The attack on Monday was by gunmen who sped away without taking any belongings from the tourist or three other travelers who were with him. The driver of […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Japanese business pioneer, philanthropist Inamori dies at 90