Jamie's Blog

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

1400 year old Japanese business goes bankrupt

BusinessWeek has an interesting article on a Japanese business. The business was named Kongo Gumi. Up until last year It was the oldest continuously operating family business in the world. The business was a construction business that specialized in building temples in Japan. It was founded in 578 AD and finally went under due to excessive debt and a changing society in 2006. It was a diversified business that had a lot of other construction types, but the specialization in temples was its mainstay. Recent cultural changes in Japan have led to a decline in temple donations and building projects. Revenues shrank and debt climbed as Japan became more secular. Eventually leading to the dissolution of the company in 2006.

I really think it is incredible that a business that was founded so long ago, could have survived. Furthermore, it's amazing that the business remained under the control of the same family for so long.

The picture above, is of the Shitennoji temple that was built by the company.

Via JapanProbe: 1,400-year-old Japanese Business Kaput and BusinessWeek: The End of a 1,400-Year-Old Business

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