A brief history of Kumon

At Kumon, we are very proud of our heritage. For 60 years, the Kumon programmes have been realising the potential of millions of children across the globe. To discover how Kumon developed from hand-written worksheets created by a devoted father, to the world's leading supplementary education provider, explore our timeline below.

The 1950s
1954
Toru Kumon, a gifted maths teacher in Japan, begins providing self-learning based education to his son, Takeshi. This is the prototype of the Kumon Method.
1955
The first Kumon study centre opens in Moriguchi City, Osaka, Japan.
1958
The Kumon Institute of Education is established.
1959
Toru Kumon starts the Advanced Student Honour Roll - celebrating students learning independently, above the level expected for their age.
The 1960s
1968
Toru Kumon retires from Osaka Municipal Higashi High School, ending his teaching career to focus on the business of the Kumon Institute.
1969
The number of Kumon students exceeds 10,000.
The 1970s
1974
The first Kumon centre outside of Japan opens in New York, USA.
1975
The number of Kumon students exceeds 100,000.
1978
A ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of Kumon is held.
Takeshi Kumon (Toru Kumon's son and the first Kumon student) is appointed as the President of the Kumon Institute of Education.
1979
Kumon arrives in Europe, offering the maths programme in Germany.
The 1980s
1980
The first Kumon Recommended Reading List is prepared.
1981
The number of Kumon students exceeds 1,000,000.
1987
The first Kumon International Instructors' Conference is held at the Kumon Kyoiku Kaikan in Osaka, Japan.
The 1990s
1990
The Kumon English Programme (for native English speakers) is launched in Australia.
1993
The number of Kumon students worldwide exceeds 2,000,000.
1995
Chairman Toru Kumon passes away at the age of 81 (25 July).
1997
President Takeshi Kumon passes away (7 January).
The 2000s
2000
The first Kumon study centre in Ireland opens.
2001
The number of Kumon students exceeds 3,000,000 worldwide.
2005
The Kumon Stranorlar Study Centre opens, the first study centre in Co Donegal.
2006
The number of Kumon students exceeds 4,000,000 worldwide.
2008
The Kumon Group celebrates its 50th anniversary.
2009
The Kumon Castletroy Study Centre opens, the first centre in Co Limerick.
The first national awards ceremony is held in Dublin to celebrate the achievements of 79 awardees from eight study centres. 200 guests attended.
The 2010s
2010
The second national awards ceremony is held in Dublin to celebrate the achievements of 162 awardees studying above school level.
Kumon Ireland reaches 500 students.
2011
The Kumon Malahide Study Centre becomes the first centre in Ireland to reach 100 students.
2012
The Kumon Castleknock Study Centre becomes the first centre in Ireland to reach 200 students.
The annual awards ceremony sees 221 students from 13 study centres receiving awards for advanced study in front of 340 guests.
Kumon Ireland reaches 1,100 students.
The Kumon Carrick on Shannon Study Centre opens, the first centre to open in Co Leitrim.
Bray student becomes first Kumon English Programme Completer in Ireland.
2013
Kumon Ireland opens its 30th study centre.
The 13th Kumon centre opens within Co Dublin.
Dundrum student becomes first Kumon Maths Programme Completer in Ireland.
2014
Kumon Instructors across the globe met in Japan to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of founder Toru Kumon.