Exhibition Information

Floor guide for the Konosuke Matsushita Museum. There is an information desk in front of you as you enter the entrance hall, and to its left are rows of coin lockers. To the right and further back you will find, in order, a breastfeeding room, vending machines, an AED, a special restroom for ostomates, a men's restroom, and a women's restroom. If you proceed through the Entrance Hall and then the foyer, there is an exhibition room where the 94 years of Konosuke Matsushita's life are displayed in seven chapters. Feel free to follow in his footsteps as you browse the exhibits. Just past the Chapter 2 exhibit is a realistic model of the company's workshop from 1918, the year it was founded. In the center of the exhibition room is the Grove of Learning, where visitors can read the words of Konosuke Matsushita. In the corner of the exhibition room is the library, with its display of archival content from Panasonic's historical collection.

The Path of the Founder's 94-year Life

Konosuke Matsushita was born on November 27, 1894, to a wealthy farming family in Wasamura village, Wakayama.
When Konosuke was only four, however, the family lost everything when his father speculated on the rice exchange. Konosuke withdrew from elementary school and, at a mere nine years of age, he started work as an apprentice.

Konosuke learned what it was to be a businessman through the basics of business, working as an apprentice first at the Miyata Hibachi Store, and then at Godai Bicycle Shop in Osaka's Semba district. One day, when he was fifteen, he stared in wonderment as an electrified streetcar went by, igniting in him a love for the new age of electricity.

On March 7, 1918, Konosuke Matsushita, together with his wife, Mumeno, and his brother-in-law, Toshio Iue, founded Matsushita Electric Housewares Manufacturing Works. New projects at the company followed one after the next, including improved attachment plugs, two-way sockets, bullet-shaped battery-powered bicycle lamps, electric heaters, and radios.

Konosuke formulated the Basic Management Objective and Company Creed in 1929, and in spring 1932 awoke to the true mission of an industrialist. He called this realization Meichi, and held the First Foundation Day Ceremony to share his passion with all employees. In the next year, 1933, he moved the base of operations to Kadoma to expand the scope of his business.

With the advent of war, the company was forced to transition to military supply work. After the war ended, Konosuke immediately restarted production of consumer goods. Facing numerous difficulties, including the risk of having the company broken up, Konosuke founded the PHP Institute to investigate the proper shape of society and human life.

Leaving the postwar struggles behind, Konosuke made his first visit to the United States in 1951.Seeing the prosperous lifestyles led by those in the US, he entered into a technological tie-up with Philips to bolster Matsushita Electric's technological prowess as part of his desire for similar lifestyles in Japan. In the late 1950s, Matsushita Electric took the lead in promoting household appliances within Japan.

In 1961, Konosuke assumed position as chairman and resumed his PHP research activities. At that time, vigilant of Japan's rapid growth, the Bank of Japan implemented financial restrictions. Matsushita Electric faced a risky period where the financial slump was aggravated by a halt in industrial growth, but Konosuke restructured the home appliance distribution, and put the business back on track.

50 years after the company's founding, Konosuke turned his attention to social contribution activities. In 1973, at age 78, he began serving as executive advisor. His passion for creating a better Japan and a better world saw no end, as he established the Matsushita Institute of Government and Management, aided the growth of china at Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping’s request, and established the Japan Prize.

Final Chapter: From 1989 Passing: Age 94
Photo:The house where Panasonic started

1918: Replica of the house where Panasonic started in Ohiraki-cho, Nishinoda, Kita-ku, Osaka (now Fukushima-ku).
This is a realistic recreation of the two-story rented home where, at the time, the three rooms on the lower floor were converted into a factory. You can see what electric lighting was like at the time, and learn about the manufacturing process for attachment plugs.

What was Konosuke Matsushita thinking as he drove his business to expansion? We can look back to where things began.

Photo:The Grove of Learning

At the center of the exhibition area, you will encounter the words of Konosuke Matsushita, and in the mini-theater, you can see visuals from the history of Panasonic, which grew alongside Konosuke Matsushita's spirit, as well as visuals which inform us of his philosophy on sales, management, and human resources development.

Thirty gems of Konosuke Matsushita's wisdom are available on cards you are welcome to take home from the exhibition space.

Photo:Library

The library is home to 300 books,* which include tomes written by Konosuke himself on his own words and wisdom, as well as related books. The library is best suited for self-reflection, exploring one's own approach and philosophy, and uncovering facts.

*Japanese only

If any of Konosuke's words left a powerful impression on you, feel free to inscribe your thoughts on one of the bookmarks here. Your thoughts might inspire someone else.