Akio Morita was born January 26, 1921, in Nagoya
, to a long line of sake
brewers. He attended High School Number Eight
, and entered the Physics Department at Osaka Imperial University
, following a love of electronics, math, and physics.
He met Masaru Ibuka
during a brief stint in the Navy
, in the Wartime Research Committee, and they founded Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo
K.K. (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation, later Sony
) on May 7, 1946, with approximately 20 employees and initial capital of 190,000 yen. Ibuka was 38 years old at the time, and Morita was 25.
Morita also wrote a book called Never Mind School Records
in the sixties, which stressed that school records are not important in one's success, and ability to do business. He was also Vice Chairman
of the Keidanren
(Japan Federation of Economic Organizations) and was a member of the Japan-U.S. Economic Relations Group, (also known as the "Wise Men's Group
He was awarded the Albert Medal
from the United Kingdom's Royal Society of Arts
in 1982, and was the first Japanese to receive the honour. Two years later, he received the National Order of the Legion of Honor
(Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur), the highest and most prestigious French order, and in 1991, he was awarded the First Class Order of the Sacred Treasure
from H. M. the Emperor of Japan.