Sumitomo Group

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Sumitomo Group (住友グループ Sumitomo Gurūpu?) is one of the largest Japanese keiretsu, founded by Masatomo Sumitomo.

History[edit]

Igeta mark
Igeta mark

The Sumitomo group traces its roots to a bookshop in Kyoto founded circa 1615 by a former buddhist priest, Masatomo Sumitomo.[1] Considered its spiritual founder, even today management of the group is guided by his "Founder's Precepts", written in the 17th century.[1]

It was copper that made the company famous, however. When Riemon Soga, Masatomo Sumitomo's brother-in-law, learned Western methods of copper refining, he established a smelting business in 1590. This he named Izumiya, literally meaning "spring shop".[1] The advanced techniques Riemon perfected allowed extraction of silver from copper ore, something which Japanese technology had as yet been unable to accomplish.[1]

While the smelting and smithing business began in Kyoto, by the late 17th century it was moved to Osaka,[1] and Soga passed control of the company to his son Tomomochi who managed its transformation into a major trading house[2] during the Edo period.[3] Sumitomo began exporting copper,[4] importing silk,[4] providing financial services,[5] and by 1691 copper mining had been added as a business, too.[6][7][8]

The Meiji Restoration allowed Sumitomo to import and utilize Western machines and techniques in its mines.[6] Sumitomo soon branched out into even more business areas entering the machine and coal industries, as well as the forestry, banking and warehousing businesses[6] becoming a zaibatsu,[3] or business conglomerate.

Sumitomo Group together with KDDI signed an agreement with Myanmar State owned Myanmar Post and Telecommunication (MPT) in July 2014 to jointly operate a mobile phone service in Myanmar for next 10 years.[9][10]

Emblem[edit]

The diamond-shaped igeta mark is reminiscent of a type of frame placed over a well in premodern Japan and was the logo of Riemon Soga's Izumiya company.[1]

Sumitomo companies[edit]

Sumitomo companies which are in the Nikkei 225[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]