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Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

red-square2The oldest company in the world that has been continuously owned by the same family can be found in Japan.

The name is Kongo Gumi. And it is now run by the 40th generation of the same family.

It is a construction firm that began by building the Buddhist Shittenou Temple.

The temple was built in 578 AD and is still standing.

Wow! I want these people to build my house.

Come to think of it, I believe my ex-mother-in-law used to work for them…in 578 AD. How a witch came to work on building a temple? I’ll never know.

The second oldest continuously owned company in the world is also in Japan. It is Japanese Inn that was started in 718 AD.

By contrast, the oldest continuously owned company in the states is a mere babe – Zildjian Cymbal Co. gets the honor. It was started in 1623, the same year they built their web page. (Actually, it’s a pretty cool web page.)

To know more about family businesses, go to Family Business Magazine.

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

Author Bill Belew is also featured in Prachesta Magazine. Here is the Interview.

Bill Belew

Daddy and Christian.

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  • mark cerezo says:

    It is interesting how the company has held on to the business for 40 generations of family. Its also intersting how each generation would want to continue to take over the business..

  • susanna moran says:

    thats really neat, i like old buildings because so much history plus maybe the possiblity of a ghost but to have it family owned for so long thats amazing.

  • Joey Bauer says:

    Thats pretty cool. It would apear that someone has some hardcore tenure. I wonder if the next generation of employes is as enthuiastic about working there as the privious, or is a career change on their mind.

  • Tim Pang says:

    I think is cool. I like how the family is able to keep working together and making the business grow. The family must have gone through a lot hard time and good time.

  • Bill says:

    Tim, Joey, Susanna & Mark,
    As you may know, the family ties in Japan are very strong. This is an excellent example.
    I often wonder WHO managed the business…they could NOT possibly be 40 generations of men only…I wish I could find more details.

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