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Sony History

Establishing Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo

On May 7, 1946, more than twenty management and staff attended the inauguration ceremony which officially established Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (Totsuko). Ibuka's father-in-law,Tamon Maeda was appointed president of the new company. Maeda was the former Minister of Education in the postwar Higashikuni and Shidehara Cabinets.

Ibuka had prepared a founding prospectus for the new company and had left it with Tachikawa. Since Ibuka was so involved with preparations for the inauguration, he completely forgot to ask for the prospectus. When he saw it later, Ibuka reaffirmed the significance of this document. Since he had found the document, he made this the focus of his inauguration speech. He said, "We must avoid problems which befall large corporations," "While we create and introduce technologies which large corporations cannot match. The reconstruction of Japan depends on the development of dynamic technologies."

The Founding Prospectus of the new company.

The new company, capitalized at \190,000, had no machinery and little scientific equipment. Possessing only their intelligence and engineering know-how, Ibuka and his engineers set about creating new markets. Their creativity and innovation would be their sole guide in an unknown territory. President Maeda echoed Ibuka's speech. He told the ardent young engineers, "Today our small company has made its start. With its superior technologies and spirit of perfect unity, the company will grow. As it does so, we can certainly make a contribution to society." With that, Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation) was born.

From the next day onward, everyone worked extremely hard. As they worked well into the night, long after the Shirokiya department store had closed, they often found themselves locked inside. They were sometimes caught by zealous policemen when using the emergency exits. Who could blame a policeman for mistaking someone sneaking out of a fire exit so late at night for a thief? The young engineers, however, used their technical skills to their advantage. They duplicated keys for the main entrance and exits and were soon slipping freely in and out of the building. But before long this trick was detected. These were difficult, yet happy days for the young force.

Such diversions could not obscure the difficulties the engineers were having due to lack of materials. On May 8, Ibuka visited the Ministry of Communications and received an order for fifty vacuum tube voltmeters. Vacuum tubes were then hard to come by. Finding them on the black market required trips to either Akihabara, in Tokyo, the Yokohama area or as for as Ibaraki Prefecture. Even then, only fifty out of one hundred vacuum tubes met voltmeter specifications.

The situation was no better for equipment, as the company could not afford to spend scarce money on them. The engineers at Totsuko made all the equipment themselves. Beginning with soldering irons, they made screwdrivers from motorcycle springs fished out of the war ruins. They constructed their own electrical coils and substituted telephone cables for electrical wiring in their trial products. Although such deficiencies posed problems, these young engineers actually enjoyed working this way.

The biggest concern of all, however, was financing. The burgeoning company's urgent need for financing had also been affected by the government's policy of switching from the old yen currency to the new, as laid out in the Emergency Financial Measure Ordinance of February 1946. Therefore, earning new yen notes became vital for the company to stay in business. The best-selling Totsuko product for the new yen market was an electrically heated cushion.

Rebuilding from the Ashes | Establishing Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo |
| Earning New Yen | Moving to Gotenyama


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