February 7, 2011


Over 22,000 Japanese Companies Boast Histories of 100 Years or More

Keywords: Manufacturing industry Non-manufacturing industry Others 

Teikoku Databank Ltd. (TDB), a major Japanese credit research company, announced on September 8, 2010, the results of its analysis of the number of companies in Japan with 100-year histories and more in its corporate information database, including private firms and corporate bodies. According to Teikoku, there were 22,219 long-operating companies as of August 2010, yet only 347 of them (1.6%) were listed on the stock exchange. This is the first time this type of research has been done.

Among the companies whose establishment year could be verified, the oldest was Kongo Gumi, a shrine and temple construction company, which was founded in 578 A.D; in second place was Ikenobo, a major ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement) company that has been promoting and teaching ikebana since 587; and third was Keiunkan, a hotel in Nishiyama Onsen (a hot spring resort area), founded in 705. The top seven were established more than 1,000 years ago.

Sorting the companies based on when they were founded showed that 20,056 companies (90.3%) were established 100 to 150 years ago, 605 (2.7%) more than 300 years ago, and 39 (0.2%) more than 500 years ago. According to the type of business, retailers took the lead overall (6,279 companies, 28.3%). Within the retail category, liquor shops and kimono and dress fabric shops accounted for the largest share. Second largest was manufacturers (5,447 companies, 24.5%), primarily making Buddhist objects, Japanese sake, and confectioneries.

TDB's analysts found that the secret of the longest-lived companies all depended on being able to "adapt to change," not be blinded by their past successes, and not being afraid of changes.

Posted: 2011/02/0706:00:15 AM



Teikoku Databank Ltd. official website