Tokyo Branch［Shibuya-ku (Shibuya City) , Tokyo］
In the beginning of the 21st century, Shibuya was nicknamed "Bit Valley" for the many information technology businesses located there.
This metropolitan subcenter is now attracting attention as a center for fashion and subculture.
It is also where Murata completed its Tokyo Branch building in 1999.
Housed in a Building that Evokes the Traditional Atmosphere of Japan's Ancient Capital Kyoto, the Branch Integrated Previous Murata Sites in the Tokyo Area to Increase the Company's Presence in East Japan
Completed in 1999, the Murata Tokyo Branch was the first office building constructed by the Company. Its features pay homage to the ancient capital of Kyoto, where Murata's Head Office is located. The building's features include lattice-style exterior walls of ceramic and a first-floor entrance that emphasizes wood to provide a feeling of warmth. The double-glazed glass windows reduce incoming sunlight and noise; and rainwater is collected and used for the greenery planted around the building and to ensure a supply of water for use in emergencies.
The Tokyo Branch integrated Murata sites in the Tokyo area under one roof to strengthen its sales and marketing capabilities in the area. Today, the building houses the Global Sales & Marketing Unit, which serves as the nerve center for domestic and overseas sales and marketing by collecting relevant information and providing information for prospective customers with the aim of supporting the development of new products. This major center not only oversees partnerships with customers and other external parties, but also works on joint research and development projects with universities and institutes in East Japan. In addition, it is responsible for securing human resources.
Located in Tokyo, the Branch has heightened Murata's profile throughout the country and has helped attract more job applicants from universities in East Japan.
Electronic Craft Workshops Now Available Throughout the Country Teaching Youngsters the Value of Engineering and the Pleasures of Science
As part of its community/social contribution activities, the Tokyo Branch has been conducting an "
electronic craft workshop" program since October 2007. This educational program is designed to teach elementary school children in the 4th to 6th grades the value of engineering and the pleasures of scientific research while introducing them to electronic components–in the hope of fostering human resources with a scientific background for the future. Starting in August 2009, 2 regular workshops–in summer and winter–have been held every year, using teaching materials developed by the Tokyo Branch. A total of 6 events have been held so far, each attracting 24 groups of children, totaling more than 150.
Children can register themselves via science magazines for children or the official Murata website. Usually, the number of applicants reaches 1.5 to 2.5 times the workshop capacity, so participants are selected by lottery. In the workshop, the children use a Vibrating Alien & Tap-tap Remote Controller electronic craft kit specially developed by Murata engineers. They learn how to solder and use the tools needed to complete the project. At first, the children are somewhat afraid of the soldering iron and using screwdrivers and needle-nose pliers. By the end of the hour-and-a-half workshop, however, they have the confidence of seasoned professionals. Upon completion, the alien is put through a test run.
When tapped, the remote control sends out an infrared beam that signals the alien to move. The children have a great time and parents accompanying them also appreciate the program, calling the program unique because it teaches the children about electronic components and soldering—things that they couldn't teach them on their own. Others want to take kits with them to work on with their children at home. The Tokyo Branch recruits some 10 volunteers from within, including a teacher, engineering staff, called "doctors," who take care of technical problems, and instructors assigned to the workshop floor. In recent years, Murata has also been working on similar programs in collaboration with the Shibuya City Board of Education.
These workshops were held at the Science Center for Children Hachilabo, and filled to capacity just one hour after phone lines were opened up for registration. The electronic craft workshop program has been standardized and spread to Murata sites throughout the country as part of their community contribution activities.
Electronic Craft Workshops
Available primarily for children in the 4th to 6th grades, these workshops show them how to use screwdrivers, nippers, and soldering irons to assemble electronic craft kits. The Tokyo Branch first started the program in 2007.
Commercially available materials were used initially, but then replaced by a remote-control alien kit developed especially for the project by the Yokohama Technical Center in 2009. Including a shock sensor, capacitors, diodes, transistors, and small electric motors, this kit can be assembled in 1 to 2 hours. Tapping the side of the buttonless remote control activates an infrared sensor, which signals the alien to move.
Vibrating Alien & Tap-tap