Masaru Ibuka (1908–97) was a Japanese electrical engineer and entrepreneur. He was a pioneer in the field of electronics and the co-founder with Akio Morita of the Sony Corporation.
Born in Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture, Ibuka met Morita during his wartime service. After World War II ended, Ibuka set up the Tokyo Telecommunications Research Laboratories in a bombed-out department store in Tokyo. Soon, Morita joined the fledgling operation.
With a staff of 20, Ibuka and Morita began by repairing electronics while developing their own products. By 1950, their company developed a magnetic recording tape and sold the first tape recorder in Japan in 1950. They named the company “Sony,” (from the Latin sonus, meaning “sound”) to establish their company’s identity in the world market.
Under Ibuka’s leadership, Sony developed many pioneering consumer and non-consumer, industrial and professional electronics equipment including the development of the transistor radio, transistor television, Walkman Walkman portable audio cassette player, Diskman portable compact disk player, Trinitron color television, home videotape recorder, Betamax videocassette system, and video projection system.
Ibuka wrote a biography of his friend Soichiro Honda, the founder of the Honda Motor Company, and a number of books on early childhood education, including The Zero-Year Child (1970) and Kindergarten is Too Late (1971.)