Sharp Corporation (シャープ株式会社 Shāpu Kabushiki-gaisha) is a Japanese multinational corporation that designs and manufactures electronic products. Headquartered in Abeno-ku, Osaka, Japan, Sharp employs more than 64,500 people worldwide as of September 30, 2010. The company was founded in September 1912. It takes its name from one of its founder's first inventions, the Ever-Sharp mechanical pencil, which was invented by Tokuji Hayakawa (早川 徳次) in 1915. Since then it has developed into one of the leading electronics companies in the world. Sharp is among the Top 100 R&D Spenders in a list published by IEEE Spectrum magazine. It gained greater public awareness in the United Kingdom when it sponsored Manchester United F.C. from 1982 to 2000, which was a period of great success for the club.
Sharp took a controlling stake in Pioneer Corporation in 2007. On 25 June 2009, they agreed to form a joint venture with Pioneer on their optical business to be called "Pioneer Digital Design and Manufacturing Corporation".