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Toru Kumon was born in march 1914, in the province of Kochi, Japan. He graduated in Mathematics by the Osaka's Imperial University of Science, and thaught in his hometown - Tosa. During the war he was a professor in the navy of Tsuchiura. Later on he developed his professional career in the Osaka area being part of the faculty of schools like Ottemon and Sakuramiya, for 33 years.

In 1954, Toru Kumon started the orientation of his oldest son, Takeshi, using papers with exercises in calculus, guiding him towards a way to study in an autodidactic way. The results achieved caught the attention of other parents and teachers, who became interested by this method of study. In 1956, the first Kumon unit was opened, in the city of Moriguchi (Osaka), having Ms. Teiko, his wife, as the counselor.

In 1958 he founded the Kumon Institute of Education and through its individualized method of study, according to the student potential, it developed a large number of bright students. Since 1974, when the first Kumon unit outside Japan was inaugurated, the method has been in constant expansion throughout the world, with more than 2,500,000 students these days.

Toru Kumon passed away in July of 1995, leaving behind him, clearly, the words that summarize Kumon's mission:

"To find out the potential in each individual, developing their habilities to their fullest capacity, forming this way responsible and mentally sane people able to contribute to the global community."

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