"Make products that others want to imitate"

Sharp founder Tokuji Hayakawa coined this phrase to embody the management concept at Sharp. In 1912, he invented the snap belt buckle and three years later brought the Ever-Sharp mechanical pencil to the market. Since then, Sharp has been on the cutting edge of technology, consistently innovating new appliances, industrial equipment and office solutions, and changing the lives of people around the world.

In 1962, Sharp expanded outside of Japan and established Sharp Electronics Corporation in the United States—the company's first overseas sales base—and in 1979 it set up the Sharp Manufacturing Company of America to create a manufacturing base in the U.S.

Sharp didn't limit itself to sales and manufacturing in the U.S. In 1995, Sharp opened Sharp Laboratories of America, its U.S.-based research and development laboratory designed to take advantage of American ingenuity and research.

As a manufacturer, Sharp contributes to society by being the first to make unique products that meet the new needs of each decade. Successive generations of Sharp leaders have, in their own way, pursued this concept by making products that contribute to society, in the process creating a corporation known and trusted around the globe.

Sharp aims to realize its business philosophy throughout all its activities. Possessing a "gene of creativity" since its foundation, Sharp will continue to offer one-of-a-kind products and new lifestyles as a corporation trusted around the world.


Important milestones in Sharp history

1912 to 1914

Company’s Founder, Tokuji Hayakawa, invents a snap belt buckle requiring no fastening holes.
Tokuji Hayakawa invents and patents an adjustable flow faucet.

1915 to 1919

Tokuji Hayakawa invents, manufactures and sells the Ever-Sharp Mechanical Pencil, one of the most innovative and& popular writing instruments of its time.

1920 to 1924

Committed to modernization, Tokuji Hayakawa is among the first to introduce assembly line manufacturing to Japan.

1925 to 1930

Company, then known as Hayakawa Metal Works, begins mass production of the first crystal radio made in Japan.

1931 to 1936

An originally designed intermittent belt conveyor system is completed in 1936. A first in Japan, this system achieves an unprecedented level of quality and efficiency. The system's mass production capability makes it possible to build a single radio in just 56 seconds.

1937 to 1944

World War II drives demand for Sharp radio sets.

1945 to 1952

Korean War brings a boom in procurements by the US forces, boosting the Company's fortunes which had declined in the difficult period immediately following World War II.
The Company successfully introduces a “Super Radio Set” in response to newly expanded radio broadcasting in Japan.

1953 to 1954

The Sharp model TV3-14T became Japan's first commercially produced television.
In 1953, television sets produced by Tokuji Hayakawa's company account for 60% of Japan’s industry total.
Company builds a new leading-edge mass production facility for televisions. It is equipped with the latest conveyor system and integrates operations from wiring and assembly to packaging and warehousing.

1955 to 1958

Home appliance boom starts in Japan. Company completes new home appliances plant featuring the largest automatic plating facility in Asia as well as cutting-edge plastic molding equipment.
The Company continues to diversify its products by introducing an air cooler using cold water from underground ("The higher the room temperature, the higher the cooling efficiency", it is claimed) and a kitchen roaster using a heater installed inside the top cover to prevent smoking. Both are original products inspired by traditional Japanese sensibilities, and are well-received by consumers throughout the country. Other unique and ground-breaking products include electric fans with plastic blades, and a refrigerator with an ultra-compact bipolar compressor which increases storage space.

1960 to 1961

Company begins mass production of color televisions.
The Company begins research on computers, semiconductors, ultra-short wave technology and microwave ovens. All are future product categories in which the Company excels.
Central Research Laboratories established to support new product development. Full-scale research immediately begins on technologies relating to electronic calculators, solar cells, electronic medical equipment, optical semiconductors, computers and others.


In 1962, the Company's establishes its first overseas sales subsidiary -- Sharp Electronics Corporation (SEC) -- in New York City.
In 1961, Sharp becomes the first company in Japan to develop a microwave oven and leads the industry with mass production of the new device in 1962.


Based upon pioneering solar power research started in 1959, the Company successfully mass-produces its first solar cells in 1963.

1964 to 1966

The Company delivers a breakthrough product -- the world's first all transistor-diode electronic calculator.
Company invents the first microwave oven with a turntable. The feature promotes convenient even heating of food.
Research into downsizing calculators by replacing transistors with ICs (integrated circuits) results in creation of the world's first electronic calculator incorporating ICs.

1967 to 1968

Continuing its international expansion, the Company establishes sales subsidiaries in West Germany and the United Kingdom.

1969 to 1970

Cooperative agreement with Rockwell Corporation of the United States leads to production of extra large-scale integrated (ELSI) chips that form the core of Sharp's popular cutting-edge Microcompet calculator.
The Company changes its name from Hayakawa Electric Industry Co., Ltd. to Sharp Corporation. The new name reflects the Company’s broad vision and competencies.