Surpassing Company Boundaries to Create “Something New”The Birth of the “TDK MAKER DOJO” Maker’s Space


The “TDK MAKER DOJO” maker’s space has been opened in the Yawata Technical Center, to serve as a place where new concepts and ideas can be born, and where creativity and the spirit of challenge can be cultivated and nurtured. All TDK employees are welcome to visit this space at any time to engage in their own creative activities.


Summary of Main Details of the “TDK MAKER DOJO”

Date of Opening
February 15, 2016 (Mon.)
Yawata Technical Center, W1 Tower, 2F
Available for Use by
All employees of the TDK Group (employee registration required)
Available Hours
8:00 – 20:00 on specified operating days of TDK
(however, there may be occasions where it is reserved for lecture courses or events, or where it is temporarily unavailable for use due to maintenance or other reasons.)
Operation Management
Technology and Intellectual Property HQ

What is the “TDK MAKER DOJO”?

  • Make & Share

    The slogan of the TDK MAKER DOJO is “Make & Share”. If an employee has an idea, he or she can “Make” it by creating an actual prototype at the DOJO instead of simply summarizing it in a plan document. Once it is made, its creator can then “Share” it by showing it to fellows and exchanging information.

  • open innovation

    If people have an actual tangible object in front of them, it will promote interaction and discussion of a more specific nature. New ideas can then emerge, and the next “Make & Share” cycle can be applied based on those ideas. This can therefore truly be considered an in-house space for open innovation.

  • 3D printer

    The DOJO is equipped with digital fabrication equipment (digital machine tools) including a 3D printer and laser cutter. By using these tools, modular parts can be assembled and new manufacturing procedures that also incorporate software and network services can be executed.

  • all TDK employees

    Not only technical staff, but all TDK employees regardless of experience or time with the company, including sales and management staff, are invited to use this space to contribute ideas and knowledge from their own respective viewpoints, and to teach, learn from, and communicate with each other while growing as individuals.

Origin of the “TDK MAKER DOJO” Name

Our company’s third-generation president Fukujiro Sono said “A corporation is like a training dojo”, indicating the great importance he placed on taking action. The foundation of this statement lies in the idea that rather than making judgments based on how much or how little knowledge we have obtained as humans, we should place more importance on the kinds of actions we take when we go out into society; and also in the belief that it is the role of a company to provide an environment where its employees can come to understand the company’s true essence by the actions it takes, thereby allowing them to find their own meaning. Based on this concept, the TDK MAKER DOJO was established as a place where people can take action by working with their own two hands.

Fukujiro Sono, Third-generation President of TDK

Thoughts and Feelings of Management

Mastering the Origins of Manufacturing

One method for perceiving the needs of customers that goes a step beyond others is assuming the role of customers themselves. At our company, we are people who make electronic components, and our customers are people who use those components to make other things. Therefore, if we put ourselves in the place of customers and use electronic components to try to make things, we should be able to gain a real understanding of the impressions felt by others who use them as well.
There is no need to be able to design a set that is assured to sell 1 million units. First of all, start by attempting to make one thing that you want yourself, or that you think would be useful to have. Then, savor your sense of satisfaction when you have completed it, and the delight you feel when you show it to people around you and hear them say “That’s great!” It is those feelings that are the origins and roots of manufacturing. I am looking forward to many of our people having such experiences and mastering the ability to see things from the customer’s viewpoint.

Takehiro Kamigama, Chairman and Representative Director

Rebuilding the Spirit of Challenge

Mayumi Yamakawa, General Manager, Human Resources Group

In order to rebuild the sense of challenge which we can apply to pursue TDK’s venture spirit and originality, we have formulated TDK Value, and introduced an intrapreneurship and new personnel system. The title of “DOJO” reflects our desire for this space to become a training area where people can learn and practice our TDK Value. It is a place where people can be motivated by their own feelings of “If only there was something like this…” and continually take on new challenges and projects.
People from many different departments gather at the DOJO with no barriers of position or background. It is a place where they can teach each other as well as learn from each other, while growing and developing together. I am especially looking forward to the creation of communication networks among technical staff, with connections that can pave the way for them to break free from their everyday duties, allowing each individual to grow and in turn support the advancement of TDK.

The Desire to Amaze People with Self-made Creations

One benefit of the “Maker Movement” is that it has become quicker today to create an actual prototype of something than to write out a plan document about it. As more and more people have submitted posts on things they have made themselves to the company’s internal SNS, the number of supportive replies expressing interest in them has also increased. Amidst this growing interest, the DOJO was created to answer the wish to have a place for such creative activities. Now, one year after its opening, there are more than 250 registered users of the DOJO.
Working passionately toward the targets that you find it interesting contributes not only to individual’s growth but, if not directly, to the improvement of some operations in the company. Even though many people feel that they can see the value of this idea, it seems that most of them become unconfident when it comes to carrying out, wondering if it is really good to do so.
That is why our current issue is how much more accessible we can make it to everyone. In the age of IoT, it is not possible to achieve anything of excellence with people from only one field. I hope that the DOJO can become a place where not only engineers but office staff and salespeople, and even people from outside of the company, can casually gather and interact with each other. As it develops into such a place, I am greatly anticipating the birth of new and breathtaking creations.

Toshiya Sato, Manager in Charge of Product Planning Division, Product Strategy Department, SAW-BG Product Strategy Supervision Department


  • The DOJO Entrance
    You are welcomed by products actually created at DOJO.

  • Meeting Space
    Here is where ideas come to us.

  • Meeting Space
    We gather ideas as digitalized plans and exchange opinions.

  • DOJO Members
    There are about 700 members in total (as of September 2019).


The Main Facilities and Equipment at “TDK MAKER DOJO”

Equipment and basic electronic components needed for creating products are provided.

  1. 3D Printer
    3D Printer
  2. Laser Cutter
    Laser Cutter
  3. Electronic Components Available for Unrestricted Use
    Electronic Components Available for Unrestricted Use