Relations with Local Community and Society

To continue our company’s evolution as a corporate citizen working together with society, we are pushing forward with revitalizing local communities and providing support to the young people, who will play an active role in the future.

Community Exchange

Our social contribution activities include participation to volunteer activities, hosting events and making donations to various organizations.

Yaskawa Mirai Club Initiatives

 

Volunteering for recovery after the Kumamoto Earthquake

The Yaskawa Mirai (Future) Club was established on Yaskawa Electric’s 90th anniversary in FY2005 for the purpose of expressing our gratitude to all of our supporters including our customers, shareholders, and local residents, as well as further contributing to society.
Membership is voluntary, and employees of the Yaskawa Group donate part of their salaries to engage in activities to support organizations involved in areas such as healthcare and welfare, the healthy development of young people, the protection of the environment, and greenification initiatives.
Yaskawa Electric and Yaskawa Mirai Club made donations to help the people who had been affected by the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake. Members, along with many other employees who prayed for the early restoration of Kumamoto, used their holidays to visit the disaster area and took part in volunteer activities for recovery efforts.

Fukushima Prefecture Project for Exchange between Children

In a show of support for the ideas behind the Smilink Project, a project launched in 2012 to promote interaction between Kitakyushu and Fukushima. Yaskawa has also been hosting factory tours for children from Fukushima since last year. 26 children and volunteers took part in a tour hosted on this occasion at YASKAWA Innovation Center and robot factories.

  • Children from Fukushima on an exchange tour

Supporting Robot Competition for Students

Since 2005, Yaskawa Electric has co-sponsored the annual Technical College Students’ Robot Contest, popularly known as the Kosen Robo-Con, in which engineers-to-be from around Japan compete in contests focusing on robot production ideas and technology as well as robot performance. 2015 marked RoboCon’s 28th anniversary.
As a company in the robotics business, we support this educational opportunity in order to encourage many young students to get involved in manufacturing and in hopes of fostering the next generation of talent.

  • Technical college students’ robot contest

Hosting of a Girls’ Day at Yaskawa Electric

In March and August 2016, we hosted a “Girls’ Day” event for female students in Kitakyushu where our head office is located. Girls’ Day is an event where introductions are offered for jobs in the science and engineering fields, piquing the interest of participants as they have fun. The female students programmed and ran the actual industrial robots, as well as toured YASKAWA Innovation Center.

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Communication with Local Community

Yaskawa Electric strives to interact with the community and build a better relationship with people in local communities. To do this, we participate in volunteer activities and local events, as well as offer sponsorship of the local soccer team, among other activities.

Yaskawa Track and Field Team in Community Event

 

Community event

The Yaskawa track and field team took part in the Kurosaki Health Festival, held jointly by the community and its companies for the first time in a bid to promote the revitalization of the town of Kurosaki, Kitakyushu, where the Yaskawa headquarter is located. The company auditorium was made available as a main venue, members of the team made guest appearances in a talk show, and employees offered their cooperation as operations staff.
Since its establishment in 1974, the team has been receiving much support from the people of the community at Ekiden long distance relay competitions for company-sponsored teams, the World Championships in Athletics, and Olympic competitions, and deepening exchange with the children of the community through athletics as well.
Although the athletes had appeared tense at the start of the event, perhaps due to the fact that it had been the first time for a talk session to be held, they spoke about their experiences, offered tips on the ways to stretch, and made efforts to contribute to the revitalization of the community through athletics.

Sponsoring Giravanz Kitakyushu

Giravanz Kitakyushu in a match

We have supported the Kitakyushu-based professional soccer team, Giravanz Kitakyushu, since 2009. We also contribute to the cultivation of young people by promoting sports in the local region. Our sponsor logo is displayed on the team uniforms and everyone in the Yaskawa Group is rooting for them.

Kurosaki Shrine Omikuji Robot at JR Kurosaki Station

(Hours: 9:30 – 17:00 ; free of charge)

For the purpose of supporting the revitalization of the community, Yaskawa set up its seven-axis, vertical multi-joint robot at JR Kurosaki station, the closest train station to the head office, as an “Omikuji Robot”. A press of the button at the front of the booth, built in the form of torii gate, brings on the sound of cheerful music as the robot sets the ball in place and the action begins.
The rails, set up like a roller coaster, are cut off here and there, and the robot bridges those gaps with complicated movements as it guides the ball to the finish line. An Omikuji slip is produced when the ball slides into one of the several goal pockets, for the day’s fortune to be told.

Volunteer Activities at Kitakyushu Marathon 2016

Yaskawa has been supporting the Kitakyushu Marathon, which has been held since 2014 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the city, as a main sponsor since its beginning for three consecutive years. Employees and their families also took part in supporting the marathon as volunteers.

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Yaskawa-kun at Various Special Events

 

Yaskawa-kun, an ice-cream vending robot, debuted in the summer of 2010 and continues to be exhibited at various events. Many adults as well as children, who ordinarily have little opportunity to see an industrial robot, are enjoying it greatly.

Tours of Plants and Offices

Yaskawa Electric offers a wide range of plant tours, not only in Robot Village which opened in June 2015, but also at other business sites. From children to adults, everyone has a chance to see up close the scenes where robots and other products are being produced. YASKAWA Innovation Center in Robot Village welcomed the 10,000th visitor on October 2, 2015.

YASKAWA Innovation Center

Participating in the “Wasshoi Hyakuman Natsumatsuri” (Summer Festival)

Wasshoi Hyakuman Natsumatsuri

A dance team of 160 Yaskawa Group employees participated in the Hyakuman odori (summer dance), which is part of the Wasshoi Hyakuman Natsumatsuri, a summer festival for the residents of Kitakyushu city, where it won an award for excellence. Through active involvement of our employees in local events, we promote interaction with local communities and communication among employees.

Master Shiko Munakata and Yaskawa

An Encounter between Yaskawa and Master Shiko Munakata

The Master at work

It began in 1951 when the head of advertising’s strong interest in prints created by Master Munakata culminated in a visit to the Master’s studio in Ogikubo. That first encounter became a lifelong relationship as Yaskawa commissioned one Munakata piece after another to grace our facilities as well as our promotional magazines. Some of the Master’s extraordinary pieces eventually evolved into a series of calendars.
Master Munakata was not a leading woodblock print artist in 1951, and, in fact, he was virtually unknown. However, he exhibited his piece “Nyonin Kanzeon” at the International Exhibition in Lugano, Switzerland that same year, and became the first Japanese artist ever to win the coveted top prize there. His print “Shaka Judaideshi” won the Grand Prix at the Sao Paolo International Art Exhibition in 1955, and a series of subsequent wins brought Master Munakata international acclaim. This was soon followed by widespread recognition in Japan as well. International fame never affected our relationship with the Master, and we are honored that he played such an invaluable role in our corporate history and culture over the years.

 

Master Munakata and “The Yaskawa calendars”

Nishi Kaido Munakata Woodblock Prints Hirato Yobiko no Saku

Yaskawa has been producing calendars displaying the works of Master Munakata since 1958. These calendars were sent out to customers at home and abroad, and they have always been extremely popular. Although countless calendars are produced in Japan today, not one of them has been dedicated continually to the works of one artist for so long.
The Yaskawa calendars are distinguished by extraordinary works of art derived from poetry penned by the Master himself. Another striking feature is that the true beauty and natural talent found in the original works were painstakingly reproduced by printing every stunning piece on handmade Japanese paper. Each piece can be removed from the original mounting, remounted and framed for years of enjoyment long after the calendar year has gone.
Many brilliant pieces have appeared in the Yaskawa calendars over the years, but the most notable calendars have to be the Kaido Series that began with the Nishi Kaido Munakata Woodblock Prints from 1971. These truly original collections were the result of close collaboration between Master Munakata and Yaskawa both in the planning and in the journey to gather the materials that were used. No one was more enthusiastic about making the calendars truly great works of art than Master Munakata himself. He wanted others to draw from life, to enjoy beautiful scenery, and to experience the delicacies of provintial areas. The calendars make it clear that he wanted others to enjoy the journey as well.

Visit the Shiko Munakata Museum for details on the works and life of Master Munakata.

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