The oldest company in the world/世界最古の会社

This article can be read in about 4 minutes.

Kongo-Gumi(金剛組) office in Osaka

Do you know the oldest company in the world?
It’s called “Kongo- Gumi” founded in 578 A.D.
It’s a Japanese construction company mainly for temples and shrines.

Prince Shotoku invited three craftsmen from Baekje.
One of them was Kongou Shigemitsu who became the founder of Kongo-Gumi.
They built Shitennoji Temple in Osaka in 593. 
It was the oldest national temple.
The five-storied pagoda in Shitennoji temple was burnt down 7 times due to thunders or war battles.
However, every time it was burnt, Kongo-Gumi rebuilt it. 
The one that we can currently see is the eighth generation.

In 1868, the government decided to put the shrines value higher than the temples by implementing a law.
As a consequence, Kongo-Gumi’s jobs were greatly affected.

The 37th master carpenter followed his craftsmanship strictly, so the company was financially distressed.
In the end, he performed harakiri or ritual suicide in front of the ancestor’s grave because he felt sorry for his ancestors about the company’s difficulty.
And then, his wife, Kongou Toshie, became the first female master carpenter and succeeded in recovering the company.
After facing another struggle, Kongo-Gumi has become the subsidiary of the Takamatsu Construction Group since 2005.

It’s amazing that the company has conquered many difficulties and continued for more than 1400 years.
It’s also great that carpenters’ techniques have been passed down from generation to generation.
We hope Kongo-Gumi keeps preserving Japanese culture well.

What is your country’s oldest company?
Comment below!

【Translation for language learners of either English or Japanese】/英語・日本語学習者向け翻訳 えいご ・  にほんごがくしゅうしゃむ  ほんやく








Good day, I am the founder of Aurora Trip Nippon. Also, I am a Certified National Guide, Certified Tour Conductor, Certified General Travel Service Supervisor, as well as a Kimono Consultant.
I love Japan. So, you could ask us anything about Japan.

We're happy if you follow us. We'll inform our webpage's update through SNS!
We're happy if you follow us. We'll inform our webpage's update through SNS!
Aurora Trip Nippon

Comment You may leave a comment or image below.