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Journey through Innovations

"One-of-a-Kind" Story

In 1915, 3 years after starting his business, Tokuji Hayakawa invented a unique thrusting device for a pencil’s lead and inserted it into an attractive and sturdy metallic shaft. He called this product the Hayakawa Mechanical Pencil.

At first, stationers had a number of criticisms: the metallic outer shaft was cold to the touch in winter, and the design clashed with the kimonos that were still widely worn at the time in Japan.

But popularity jumped after a large order came in from a trading firm in Yokohama exporting to the West, and soon stationers in Japan were placing a steady stream of orders for the Hayakawa Mechanical Pencil. Tokuji improved the product by developing ultra-thin lead and he named this newer version the Ever-Ready Sharp Pencil, which became known simply as the Sharp Pencil. The name lives on in our company name today.


Tokuji Starts Out on His Own with the Tokubijo Snap Buckle

 Invented by Tokuji, the Tokubijo was a belt buckle that could be adjusted in length without the need for fastening holes. He came up with the idea after seeing a movie character with an untidy, loosely fitting belt. He named his belt the Tokubijo and acquired a patent for it. Orders poured in for this belt buckle, inspiring Tokuji to set out on his own in business.


Japan’s First Mass Produced Microwave Oven "R-10"

Sharp developed the R-10, Japan’s first microwave oven in 1961. The following year, Sharp became the first company to mass produce microwave ovens. It was generally believed that it would take some time for the general public to get used to the idea of cooking without a flame.

Sharp was confident that someday microwave ovens would be a staple appliance in homes but in the meantime the company worked at creating a customer base by selling commercial-use microwave ovens.


World’s First LCD Calculator "EL-805"

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Sharp’s engineers, the company achieved the first practical application of LCDs. The EL-805 COS-type pocket calculator introduced in 1973 was the first product on the market to use LCDs.

In December 2005, the EL-805 was one of the calculators recognized with a prestigious IEEE Milestone award.


AQUOS LCD Colour TVs "LC-20C1, LC-15C1, LC-13C1"

On January 1st, Sharp released the LC-20C1, LC-15C1 and LC-13C1 AQUOS LCD colour TVs, ideal units for the household of the 21st century. The first AQUOS models boasted the industry's highest brightness of 450 cd/m2 and a look created be renowned industrial designer Toshiyuki Kita to add elegance to home.


AQUOS Quattron 3D LCD TVs "LC-60LV3, LC-52LV3, LC-46LV3 and LC-40LV3"

Sharp introduced the LV Series AQUOS Quattron 3D LCD TVs, which use four-primary-colour 3D LCDs, a world first. Developed based on Sharp’s proprietary UV2A technology, this technology adds Y (yellow) to the three RGB  (red, green, blue) primary colours.


LC-90LE745U - World’s largest LED LCD TV

Being a part of our BIG AQUOS TVs, this 90” (229cm) screen diagonal model with brushed aluminum black bezel delivers one of the most natural, vibrant pictures available.

With its built-in Wi-Fi and Sharp's intuitive SmartCentral user interface, you can easily access today’s most popular apps or even browse the web.

The Hayakawa Mechanical Pencil


Japan’s First Crystal Radio

Following the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, Tokuji restarted business in Osaka, where he saw a future in the field of radio. In April 1925, he and his associates made history as they succeeded in assembling Japan’s very first crystal radio.


Solar Modules

Sharp began research into solar power in 1959 and started mass production of standardized solar modules in 1963. At first, it was the Sharp engineers who worked at creating a market for solar modules.

In May 1963, Sharp modules took on their first marine application as they were attached to a solar-powered lighted buoy in the Tsurumi Shipping Lane, Yokohama Port.


Industry’s First Camera-Equipped Mobile Phone

The J-SH04 was the first mobile phone to feature a 110,000-pixel CMOS imager that allowed users to instantly e-mail photos they take. It was sold through Japanese carrier J-Phone.


LED Lamp "DL-L60AV"

Sharp released the DL-L60AV LED lamp featuring a remote controller for changing the color of the light, an industry first. Users could select their preferred shade of white according to the weather, season of the year, or time of day.

For example, warm white during the winter or at dinnertime when a relaxing atmosphere is desired, or a crisp cooler daylight white during the summer or in the morning for a refreshing wake-up. And combining this with the dimmer function, users could adjust lighting to the color and brightness they desired with one remote controller.


Interactive Whiteboards "PN-L702B and PN-L602B"

Sharp released the PN-L702B and PN-L602B interactive whiteboards with touchscreen display capable of showing still or moving images, as well as PC screens, in amazingly high resolution.

The bundled application software gives easy touch operation, allowing users to write notes directly onscreen with a stylus or finger, zoom in or out, and flip through pages.