Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

BWF News: Remembering the Legacy of Minoru Yoneyama

Last week, the badminton community mourned the loss of Minoru Yoneyama, the founder of Yonex, a prominent Japanese equipment maker. At the age of 95, Yoneyama’s passing leaves behind a remarkable legacy that forever shaped the sport.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) extends its deepest sympathies and condolences to the Yoneyama family during this difficult time. BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer expressed his sadness, describing Yoneyama as a dear friend and acknowledging his significant contributions to badminton.

Mr. Minoru Yoneyama’s journey in the world of badminton began after his service in World War II. He founded a company specializing in wood products, which eventually led to the manufacturing of badminton rackets. Renamed ‘Yonex’ in 1982, the company played a pivotal role in the technological advancements of badminton equipment, transitioning from wood to aluminium and carbon fibre.

Yonex, driven by the vision of Minoru and the Yoneyama family, has become one of the leading brands in badminton. Even in the face of adversity, such as a devastating factory fire in 1963, Yonex demonstrated resilience under Yoneyama’s leadership, resuming production within a remarkable three days.

Throughout the years, Yonex has been a steadfast supporter of badminton, sponsoring major tournaments and establishing long-lasting partnerships. Their sponsorship of the All England since 1984 stands as one of the oldest associations between a brand and a prestigious event. In 1988, Yonex and the BWF entered into a landmark sponsorship agreement, a testament to Minoru’s wisdom and leadership.

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But Yoneyama’s contributions went beyond the realm of business. He believed in the power of sports to bring peace to the world. With this guiding principle, Yonex sought out talented players to endorse the brand, including Indonesian legend Rudy Hartono. Yoneyama’s impact was recognized by BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer, who awarded him the BWF President’s Medal in 2015, honoring his extraordinary services to the sport.

The enduring partnership between Yonex and the BWF has played a crucial role in the global development of badminton. The sport is honored to have been associated with a man of such stature, and Yoneyama’s legacy will continue to inspire future generations of badminton players and enthusiasts.


Q: Who is Minoru Yoneyama?
A: Minoru Yoneyama was the founder of Yonex, a renowned Japanese equipment maker in the badminton industry.

Q: What were Yoneyama’s contributions to badminton?
A: Yoneyama revolutionized the badminton industry through technological advancements in equipment manufacturing. Under his leadership, Yonex became a leading brand in the sport.

Q: How did Yoneyama’s leadership shape Yonex?
A: Yoneyama demonstrated resilience, particularly when a Yonex racket factory burned down in 1963. The company resumed production within three days, showcasing Yoneyama’s exceptional leadership skills.


The badminton community mourns the loss of Minoru Yoneyama, founder of Yonex, a prominent Japanese equipment maker. Yoneyama’s contributions to the sport have left an indelible mark, from technological advancements in equipment manufacturing to enduring sponsorships of major tournaments. The badminton world will forever remember his wisdom, resilience, and dedication to the sport.

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