Kazuo Inamori
Kazuo Inamori Official Website


Kazuo Inamori

January 30, 1932,
Kagoshima, Japan

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 96 locations, 40 of which are outside of Japan. As president of Seiwajyuku, Inamori teaches his management philosophy to more than 12,000 business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide. (as of September, 2017)

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.

Official Website


Career Highlights

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.

Memberships: Overseas

– Foreign Member, Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, Sweden

– Member of Board of Trustees, Carnegie Institution of Washington, U.S.A.

– Distinguished Lifetime Member, The American Ceramic Society, U.S.A.

– Foreign Associate, National Academy of Engineering, U.S.A.

Selected Publications

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

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