Trivia

Hard

What Is The Longest Running Company In The World?

The Grimbergen Brewery
The Otterton Mill
The Marinelli Bell Foundry
The Kongō Gumi Co.

Answer: Kongō Gumi Co.

In the United States, it is not uncommon for long-lived institutions like financial companies to lay claim to a pedigree a century or two long. In Japan, however, it’s not unheard of for companies to boast of pedigrees that span many centuries, and even a millennium here and there.

One such company is Kongō Gumi Co., a Japanese construction company that started in 578 A.D. and grew to be the preeminent monument and temple construction company in Japan. The company was operated continuously (and by the same family, no less) until 2006. After falling on hard times, the 1,428 year old company was absorbed by another construction firm, the Takamatsu Corporation.

Although no longer independently owned, the Kongō Gumi Co. lives on as a subsidiary of Takamatsu and continues to specialize in the construction of Buddhist temples.

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