A 10-foot 17th century scroll traces the 40 generations back to the company's start. As with many distinguished Japanese families, sons-in-law often joined the clan and took the Kongō family name. Thus, through the years, the line has continued through either a son or a daughter.
The company fell on hard times and went into liquidation in January 2006. Its assets were purchased by Takamatsu Corporation. Before its liquidation, it had over 100 employees and annual revenue of ¥7.5 billion ($70 million) in 2005; it had still specialized in building Buddhist temples. The last president was Masakazu Kongō, the 40th Kongō to lead the firm. As of December 2006, Kongō Gumi continues to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Takamatsu. It should be noted that the Kongo family still continue to practice as carpenters.
Tales from the Family Crypt Are you guilty of believing any of these widespread myths about family businesses?(five facts to dispute family business myths)
Oct 01, 2002; The world's oldest continuously operated business, Japanese temple-builder Kongo Gumi, began in 578. After all that time, a few...