11.02.2005

Oldest Japanese firm from Korea

I was at Languagehat, and a commenter provided a couple of interesting links.

One is a U.S. Trademark History Timeline, which starts from a cave drawing.

The other is a list of the world’s oldest family companies, "a compilation of the world’s 100 oldest continuously family-owned firms—all firms that can indisputably claim to have outlasted governments, nations, cities and certainly once-mighty corporations. All of the listed companies are at least 225 years old; four have lasted in the same family for more than a millennium."

The oldest is the Japanese temple-builder Kongo Gumi, founded in 578! There's no 1 in front of that number--it's a three-digit year!

Actually, the Kongo family is originally from Korea: "Prince Shotoku brought Kongo family members to Japan from Korea more than 1,400 years ago to build the Buddhist Shitennoji Temple, which still stands."

And in they're in their 40th generation! Imagine the parties they get invited to--serious old money going on there.

4 comments:

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

11 02 05

Yeah MJ:
Interesting stuff. I had a dear Korean friend who always used to say how the Japanese were "savages" and how they stole all their culture from Koreans. Interesting how history can show us where the half truths originate.

One of my mommies best friends is Japanese. Actually she is my moms bestest friend! They went to the MAC counter for makeovers. When they were done, she looked in the mirror and said: "I look rike a Kalean woman!" And proceeded to wipe ALL the makeup off. Interesting post indeed!

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

11 02 05

Old Money is an understatment. I wish I was rich!

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

11 03 05

Hello MJ:
I will change the description to a "lover of language and culture". How is that? About the comment sign in, I disabled anonymous comments cuz I got some hate comments that were a bit scary. I would suggest that you simply make up another blogger profile under a different name, to protect your privacy. And thx for visiting!

mj said...

I just found out that a few days ago, the Emperor of Japan said that his ancestors came from Korea.

You can describe this blog however you like--it's just funny when people say I'm a "linguist" because I really don't understand the linguistic discussions on some blogs. It seems more like science than language enjoyment. One person I know even thought I got a master's in linguistics since I'm so into language, but hey, I'm just a simple-minded language gal. :)