The present status, characteristic features and important aspects of new ceramics and ceramic composites in high-technology industries are reviewed. Current problems requiring urgent solution are described, and some possibilities for solving them by introducing new ideas and results of some trials are discussed. Based on these, the prospects for the new ceramics and ceramic composite industries in the 1990s are reviewed. Many predictions of the growth of the fine ceramics market in Japan have been made by MITI, Toshiba Corp., The Mitsubishi Bank, The Long-term Credit Bank of Japan, Ltd, etc., and figure 5 gives a prediction by MITI. Figure 5 also indicates recent actual results (line with crosses). To increase the production of fine ceramics as predicted, it will be necessary to achieve successful developments in many related technologies. However, unless the technological problems of some important processes are solved, progress will be delayed for a considerable time. One cannot say that many people are afraid of the delay. Judging from the current situation as described above, the following technological prospects may be deduced. (1) Scientific knowledge of surfaces and interfaces such as the grain boundary and pore surface will increase and rapid progress in the productive process technology of electronic (or functional) ceramics will persist into the 1990s, although these ceramics are expected to be substituted to some extent by organic polymers. (2) The challenges of brittleness and lack of reliable mechanical strength, which are considered to be characteristic of all ceramics, cast a slight shadow on engineering (or structural) ceramics. Recent developments are encouraging, however, with, for example, the commercialization of a ceramic turbocharger by Nissan Corp. Preliminary research and development on various ceramic matrix composites have shown steady progress. Significant advances are expected by the end of the 1990s, especially with particle-reinforced composites and IRP to make pseudowhisker reinforced sintered ceramics that may come to substitute most monolithic ceramics under extreme conditions. (3) The new ceramics are made from highly purified synthetic and artificial starting materials. Adequate methods of making these starting materials have mostly been established but it is necessary to make the starting material of proper quality to reduce cost and to extend the scale of mass production. (4) Much of the technology of manufacturing will become mature by the accumulation of experience. But the technologies of testing and evaluation will not be established in the 1990s because standardization is quite difficult. However, many industries and research institutions are dealing with the problems of design methodology and there need not be special concern. (5) Because the functions and properties of fine ceramics are intrinsically popular, the needs for these ceramics will increase progressively, even though there will be various types and in relatively small amounts. (6) Finally, the exchange of information and the avoidance of duplicated research and equipment are necessary. International as well as domestic cooperation should become more active in future. With respect to cooperation, I believe that a competitor is always a good colleague. In other words, it is most important to keep a proper balance between competition and cooperation. I gratefully acknowledge discussions with Dr M. Mitomo and many friends who kindly gave their valuable data and were helpful in the preparation of this paper.