I've heard that a Japanese invention was the trigger for the founding of the company?
Yes, it was formed with the goal of turning the magnetic material ferrite into a commercial product.
In 1930, Dr. Yogoro Kato and Dr. Takeshi Takei of the Tokyo Institute of Technology developed a new magnetic material that they named ferrite. TDK was inspired by this Japanese innovation and wanted to bring it to the market as a viable product. But at first, it was by no means clear what the material would be good for. Only after intense efforts came it to be widely used for radios and later television sets, as well as many other electronic devices. In the end, it contributed greatly to the flowering of an entire industry. In recognition of this historic achievement, the discovery and application of ferrite has been designated as an IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) milestone, which is a kind of world heritage designation in the field of technology.