posted by Dyske
I was looking at my bottle of Kikkoman soy sauce, and noticed that it says, “Over 300 Years of Excellence.” “300 years” of anything is not something you see in any American products, so it stood out. I then became curious what the oldest company in the world is. In my mind, I was imagining European breweries. I Googled and found a Wikipedia page for List of oldest companies. To my surprise, Japan dominates that page. Japan has 3,146 firms that are over 200 years old. In comparison, the second place is Germany with 837 firms.
Another thing that surprised me was that many of these old businesses are hotels. I would not think hotel business is easy to sustain for a long period of time as it is easily affected by the trends in tourism as well as by the ups and downs of economy.
The photo you see on the right is of the hotel in Japan which is officially recognized as “the oldest hotel in the world” by the Guinness Book of World Records. Well, according to Wikipedia, it is not just the oldest hotel but it is the oldest company in the whole world. I would say that is a big difference. It’s been in business since the year 705. That’s 1,307 years old. “300 years of excellence” sounds like a trifling matter.
Another thing you notice about this list of oldest companies is that there are only about a dozen countries listed. It makes sense; it’s hard enough for a country to survive for that long, let alone businesses. Political instability too is another big factor even if the country itself survived. China, for instance, wouldn’t be there because of their Communism years. Japan was basically like Galapagos Island.
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