34 Years Ago in TIME

Announcing its first foreign head last week was a big step for Sony, the Japanese electronics giant that was founded and run for years by AKIO MORITA.

A young businessman named Akio Morita made his first trip outside Japan in 1953 to investigate export prospects for his struggling little electronics company. He was dismayed to find that in the sophisticated markets of the U.S. and Europe, the words made in Japan were a mocking phrase for shoddiness. But in the Netherlands, he recalls, "I saw an agricultural country with many windmills and many bicycles, and yet it was producing goods of excellent...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!