Painted by Shigetaka Sawada
Panasonic founder Konosuke Matsushita was born on November 27, 1894 in Wasamura, a faming village that is now part of Wakayama City. His father was a small landowner and prominent member of the community, and Konosuke, the youngest of eight children, enjoyed a comfortable early childhood. But the family's fortunes turned when his father lost his property as a result of poor speculation on the commodities market, and the family was forced to leave their farm and move to a small house in the city.
To help support the family, Konosuke was apprenticed to a hibachi (charcoal brazier) store in Osaka a few months before he was to graduate from elementary school.
Still only nine years old, Konosuke said goodbye to his mother at the train station, and left on the long, lonely ride to the big city.