Kyoto, August 30, 2022 – It is with great sadness that Kyocera Corporation today announced the passing of Kazuo Inamori, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Kyocera, Honorary Adviser to KDDI Corporation and Japan Airlines Co., Ltd., and Founder of the Inamori Foundation. He passed away at home in Kyoto, Japan, on August 24, 2022, due to natural causes.
Kyocera would like to express its sincere appreciation to everyone who extended support and friendship toward Dr. Inamori throughout his lifetime. A private wake and funeral have been held, mainly among close family members, and this announcement was made after the completion of memorial services.
Please note that Dr. Inamori’s family respectfully requests mourners refrain from making condolatory visits, telegrams of sympathy, offers of condolence money, funeral offerings, etc. We sincerely appreciate your kind understanding regarding these arrangements.
An official company memorial service is planned to be held at a later date.
Kazuo Inamori was born in Kagoshima, Japan, in 1932.
He graduated from Kagoshima University in 1955 with a Bachelor of Engineering degree and joined Shofu Industries, an insulator manufacturing company in Kyoto. In April 1959, he established Kyoto Ceramic Co., Ltd. (now Kyocera Corporation) with a 3-million yen investment from acquaintances. He served as President and Chairman of the company until 1997 when he assumed the title of Founder and Chairman Emeritus.
When Japan’s telecommunications industry was deregulated in 1984, Inamori quickly took the initiative to establish DDI Corporation and became the company’s Chairman. In October 2000, DDI merged with KDD and IDO to become KDDI Corporation. Inamori served as KDDI’s Chairman Emeritus and was named Honorary Adviser in June 2001.
In February 2010, Inamori became Chairman of Japan Airlines (“JAL,” now Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.) in order to rebuild the company’s operations after bankruptcy. After serving as Representative Director and Chairman, he became Chairman Emeritus in February 2012 and Honorary Adviser in April 2015.
In 1984, Inamori made a personal endowment to establish the non-profit Inamori Foundation and served as the foundation’s President until June 2019, after which his title was changed to Founder. 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.
He also held several posts outside of the business world, including Honorary Chairman of the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences; Trustee Emeritus of the Carnegie Institution of Washington; and Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Engineering in the United States.
His volunteer service also included leading Seiwajyuku, a private management school that operated in 104 locations worldwide (including 48 outside of Japan). As Principal of Seiwajyuku, Inamori taught his management philosophy to approximately 15,000 business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide from 1983 until 2019.