Kazuo Kashio, a Founder of Casio Computer, Dies at 89

Kazuo Kashio, a Founder of Casio Computer, Dies at 89

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Kazuo graduated in 1949 from an English course affiliated with Nihon University in Tokyo. In 1950 he joined his brothers Tadao and Toshio at the fledgling consumer goods factory that was churning out the cigarette rings and a corn biscuit baker. Tadao had worked in a munitions plant and made airplane components during the war.

In the early 1950s their fourth brother, Yukio, an engineer, joined the firm. By 1957 they had perfected an innovative electronic (rather than electromechanical) calculator that could not only add and subtract but also multiply. It weighed 308 pounds and sold for the equivalent of $11,000 in today’s dollars.

By 1965, Casio was producing desktop calculators. In 1972 the company introduced the Casio Mini, billed as the world’s first personal calculator. It became ubiquitous after a prodigious marketing campaign.

While European craftsmen scoffed at electronic watches, Casio perfected quartz and digital models sold under the motto “Time is a continuous process of addition.”

In 1974, the company unveiled the Casiotron, a digital wristwatch that displayed a calendar in addition to the time.

The G-Shock, of which there are now hundreds of models, boasted not only durability but also longer battery life than its competitors. It was heavily promoted through, among other marketing tools, product placement in films like “Men in Black” and “Mission: Impossible.”

The Casiotone-201, an electronic musical keyboard, was introduced in 1980, followed by the QV-10 digital camera in 1995 and pocket televisions, word processors, car navigation systems, blood pressure sensors and more.

Mr. Kashio is survived by his wife, Soko, as well as two daughters, a son and his brother Yukio. His brother Tadao died in 1993. His brother Toshio, who invented some of Casio’s products, died in 2012.

(Original source)

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