Namihei Odaira (Namihei Odaira)

Namihei Odaira

Namihei Odaira founder of Hitachi, was born in Tochigi Prefecture, which is about hundred kilometers from Tokyo, Japan, on 15th of January 1874. He is known in history as Japanese philanthropist and entrepreneur. He got his early education from his native town. In 1900, he got his graduation degree in the department of electrical engineering from Tokyo Imperial University.

Just after his graduation, he worked in a mining company on the designation of an engineer in power plants. That was his first job. After that job he went on to work for many power plant companies.

After doing job in many power plant companies, in 1906, he became attached to the Kuhara Mining Company, which later on known as Hitachi copper mine. He worked there as the chief of engineering section. There his work was to check the supply and electricity and take care of electrical instruments for mining. But, beside his work, he with his colleagues went on to work on the development of a five horsepower electrical motor. That work was the initial step for the development of Hitachi. In 1910, he founded Hitachi Ltd.

This business was started within the building of the Kuhara Mining Company, which was the reason that Odaira was not the owner of the company, although he founded it. The owner of newly born Hitachi Company was Fusanosuke Kuhara, who was the president of the Kuhara Mining Company.

Hitachi, Ltd. is a Japanese multinational company. It is a conglomerate of engineering and electrical appliances. It’s headquarter is in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. This company was founded by a Japanese entrepreneur, Namihei Odaira, in 1910.

First product of this company was an electric motor of 5 horsepower that was designed for the usage of copper mining. Within short span of time Odaira’s this company became the domestic market leader in the production of electric motors and power industry infrastructure.

Today this company is much diversified. There are eleven segments in which this company is doing business. These are: Digital Media and Consumer Products, Automotive Systems, Railway and Urban Systems, Financial Services, Construction Machinery, Power Systems, Electronic System and Equipment, High Functional Materials and Components, Social Infrastructure, IT systems, and other Systems.

In 1920, Hitachi Ltd. became a separate entity. Odaira was chosen its Managing Director. He worked on this designation from 1910 to 1929. After that he became the President of Hitachi Ltd. for the time span of 1929 to 1947. In 1947, he was compelled by the United States of America’s occupation authorities to turn down from his position. He was out of his post for many years. In 19511 this ban was removed from him and he rejoined the company as the chairman.

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  • January, 15, 1874
  • Lenaka, Japan


  • October, 05, 1951
  • Tokyo, Japan


  • Yanaka Cemetery
  • Tokyo Japan

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