Sumitomo Group

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The Sumitomo Group is one of the largest Japanese keiretsu, founded by Masatomo Sumitomo around 1615.

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, Sumitomo Masatomo.[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. Riemon Soga, Masatomo Sumitomo's brother-in-law, learned Western methods of copper refining. In 1590 he established a smelting business named Izumiya, literally meaning "spring shop".[1] The advanced techniques, which Riemon perfected, allowed the extraction of silver from copper ore, something Japanese technology had not been able to accomplish yet.[1]

The smelting and smithing business, which was begun in Kyoto, was moved to Osaka by the late 17th century.[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 to export copper,[4] import silk,[4] and provide financial services.[5] By 1691 copper mining had been added to the portfolio.[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.

After World War II, the Japanese zaibatsu conglomerates, including Sumitomo, were dissolved by the GHQ and the Japanese government.

With the holding company dissolved, the group reformed as a keiretsu, a group of independent companies organized around The Sumitomo Bank (now Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation) and bound together by cross shareholding.

Today, there are many companies still using the word "Sumitomo" in their corporate names. Most of them are managed independently and listed at TSE and other stock exchanges with highly dispersed shareholders. For some, the name only shows their historic origin, and they are no longer considered part of the Sumitomo Group.

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]

Current or former members of the Sumitomo Group[edit]

Company Industry
Mazda Motor Corporation Automobiles
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Insurance
NEC Corporation Electronics and electric products
Nippon Sheet Glass Co Ltd Glass
Osaka Titanium Technologies Co Ltd Titanium products
Sumisho Computer Systems[9] Information Technology
Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd. Chemicals
Sumitomo Chemical Chemicals
Sumitomo Corporation Integrated trading
Sumitomo Electric Bordnetze Auto parts suppliers
Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. Electronics and electric products
Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd. Lumber and housing
Sumitomo Heavy Industries Machinery, weaponry, and shipbuilding
Sumitomo Life Insurance
Sumitomo Metal Industries Steel
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. Non-ferrous metal
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Finance
Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co., Ltd. Construction
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Finance
Sumitomo Osaka Cement Cement
Sumitomo Precision Products Precision machinery
Sumitomo Realty & Development Co., Ltd. Real estate
Sumitomo Riko Rubber materials for vehicles, printers and constructions
Sumitomo Rubber Industries Tires and rubber products
The Sumitomo Warehouse Co., Ltd. Warehousing

The Companies Using Sumitomo's name which are in the Nikkei 225[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]