May 7, 2006 - Sony′s 60th anniversary
On May 7, 2006, Sony celebrated its 60th anniversary. On the same day in 1946, Ibuka-san and Morita-san established, with capital of just 190,000 yen, Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation), which would later become Sony. At the time, the factory and office was in a rented space in Nihonbashi in Tokyo. But, as the sales area expanded, they had to move. For a time, they were forced to move different workspaces to different locations - hardly an ideal solution. The next year, Ibuka-san and Morita-san found a warehouse in Shinagawa, where all the manufacturing, warehouses and office operations were moved. The warehouse was in such a state that when it rained, everyone had to use umbrellas. Still, it was a joy to be able to work under the same, if somewhat leaky, roof. And, soon after came the tape recorder and transistor radio.
By the way, in Japanese we use the term "raise the signboard" to say "start a company." Tokyo Tsuhin Kogyo raised its signboard at this site in Shinagawa, but it was far from glamorous. As the company took off, a new wooden factory was built in 1949 and, in 1951, an adjacent plot was bought and the three story wooden building was converted into an office/factory. The photo is the signboard that was put up at the entrance to the 1951 building and is a symbol of the success of the company.
The building was torn down in the 1960s. The new building (the former HQ until 2007) was a symbol of Sony's rapid growth. After being thrown out of the original site, it is said Ibuka-san and Morita-san wandered Tokyo in search of a new site where everybody could work closely together. Their modest dream back then was to have an elevator and a flushing toilet. That dream became reality in just over a decade.