January 30, 1932,
In April 1959, he established Kyoto Ceramic Co., Ltd. (now Kyocera Corporation) with an investment of 3 million Japanese yen from acquaintances. It has grown into a well-known international firm supplying a wide range of products from electronic components to consumer products such as cellular phones and cameras.
When Japan’s telecommunications industry was deregulated in 1984, Inamori quickly took the initiative to establish DDI Corporation, and became its chairman. In October 2000, DDI merged with KDD and IDO to create KDDI Corporation. Inamori served as KDDI’s chairman emeritus. He was named honorary adviser in June 2001. He became chairman of Japan Airlines (JAL, now Japan Airlines Co., Ltd) in February 2010. After serving as representative director and chairman of the company, he became honorary adviser in April 2015.
In 1984, Inamori made a personal endowment to establish the non-profit Inamori Foundation, and became its president. At the same time, he created the Kyoto Prize, an international award presented by the Inamori Foundation each November to recognize individuals and groups worldwide who have made outstanding contributions to the betterment of the global community and humankind.
His volunteer service includes leading Seiwajyuku, a private management school operating in 81 locations, 27 of which are outside of Japan. As president of Seiwajyuku, Inamori teaches his management philosophy to more than 9,000 business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide. (as of March, 2015)
He also holds several posts outside of the company including honorary chairman of the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry, foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and trustee emeritus of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.
- Apr. 1959
- Established Kyoto Ceramic Co., Ltd. (present Kyocera Corporation); Appointed to the Board of Directors
- May. 1966
- Appointed President of Kyoto Ceramic Co., Ltd.
- Apr. 1984
- Established The Inamori Foundation; Assumed Presidency
- Jun. 1984
- Established DDI Corporation; Appointed Chairman of the Board
- Jun. 1985
- Appointed Chairman of the Board of Kyocera Corporation
- Jun. 1987
- Established Kansai Cellular Telephone Co., Ltd.(present au CORPORATION); Appointed Chairman of the Board
- Jul. 1994
- Established DDI Pocket Telephone Inc.; Appointed Chairman of the Board
- Jun. 1997
- Resigned Chairman of Kyocera Corporation; Retained the Position of Non Representative Director and appointed Founder and Chairman Emeritus
Resigned Chairman of the Board and Representative Director of DDI Corporation;
Retained the Position of Non Representative Director and appointed Founder and Chairman Emeritus
- Jun. 2000
- Resigned Non Representative Director and Chairman Emeritus of DDI Pocket Telephone Inc.
- Oct. 2000
- Merged DDI, KDD and IDO into one organization and established KDDI;
became Chairman Emeritus of KDDI
- Jun. 2001
- Appointed Honorary Advisor of KDDI Corporation
- Established Seiwa Social Welfare Association and Inamori Social Welfare Foundation
- Jun. 2005
- Retired from Kyocera Corporation’s board of directors
- Feb. 2010
- Became Chairman of Japan Airlines
- Feb. 2012
- Appointed Honorary Chairman of the Board of Japan Airlines
- Apr. 2013
- Appointed Honorary Chairman of Japan Airlines
- Apr. 2015
- Appointed Honorary Advisor of Japan Airlines
Awards and Honors: Japan
- Mar. 1972
- The 18th Okochi Memorial Grand Production Prize
- Apr. 1974
- The 16th Commendation by the Minister of State for Science and Technology
- May. 1984
- National Medals of Honor with Purple Ribbon
- May. 1995
- The 100th Anniversary Radio Transmission Invention Award
- Oct. 1998
- Special Award on the 100th Anniversary of the Local Autonomy of the City of Kyoto
- Jun. 2001
- Kyoto Prefectural Recognition of Extraordinary Service
- Oct. 2001
- Kyoto Municipal Honorary Award
- Feb. 2005
- Academia Award (The Academic Society of Japan)
Awards and Honors: Overseas
- Honorary Citizen of San Diego County, California, U.S.A.
- Oct. 1996
- Honorary Citizenship of Shilong Town, Dongguan City, Guangdong Province, China
- May. 1997
- The Japan Society of Boston Distinguished Leadership Award in U.S.-Japan Relations, U.S.A.
- Jul. 1998
- Lifetime of Innovation Award of the International Union of Materials Research Societies, U.S.A.
- Feb. 1999
- Honorary Citizen of Asuncion, Paraguay
- Apr. 1999
- Frontiers of Science-Rustum Roy Lecture, The American Ceramic Society, U.S.A.
- Oct. 1999
- John Francis McMahon Lecturer, Alfred University, U.S.A.
- Dec. 1999
- Person of the Year, The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Japan
- Aug. 2000
- Honorary Professor, Xinjiang University, China
- Sep. 2000
- National Order of the Southern Cross, Brazil
- Dec. 2003
- Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, U.S.A.
- Apr. 2004
- Envoy of Sino-Japanese Friendship, China
- Sep. 2006
- Peace and Development Contribution Awards, China
- Feb. 2007
- Herb Klein Civic Leadership Award, U.S.A.
- Nov. 2009
- Entrepreneur for the World Award, France
- May. 2011
- Othmer Gold Medal, U.S.A.
- May. 2011
- International Citizens Award from Japan America Society of Southern California, U.S.A.
– Foreign Member, Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, Sweden
– Member, Reischauer Center Advisory Council, U.S.A.
– Member of Board of Trustees, Carnegie Institution of Washington, U.S.A.
– Founding Member of National Board, Scripps Clinic & Research Foundation, U.S.A.
– Academician, Academy of Ceramics, Italy
– Distinguished Lifetime Member, The American Ceramic Society, U.S.A.
– Visiting Professor, Nankai University, China
– Visiting Professor, ZhongShan University, China
– Foreign Associate, National Academy of Engineering, U.S.A.
- A PASSION FOR SUCCESS McGraw-Hill, Inc.
- For People and For Profit KODANSHA INTERNATIONAL LTD.
- Kazuo Inamori’s Pragmatic Studies: Management and Accounting
- Respect the Divine and Love People, San Diego Univ.
- A Compass to Fulfillment: Passion and Spirituality in Life and Business, McGraw-Hill