Business Philosophy

Place prime importance on integrity and sound management; don't pursue immoral business.

The Aphorisms of Monjuin (Monjuiin Shiigaki)
The Aphorisms of Monjuin (Monjuiin Shiigaki)

The origin of Sumitomo’s Business Philosophy can be traced back to The Aphorisms of Monjuin (Monjuiin Shiigaki), an instructional missive that Masatomo Sumitomo, the founder of the Sumitomo family business, bequeathed to posterity some 350 years ago.

In his later years, Masatomo resided in a hermitage, leading a life that sought to combine both the spiritual and the worldly aspects of existence. In letters and other writings, he offered admonitions and instructions to his family and followers on how to do business and how to lead a worthy life. The Aphorisms of Monjuin, consisting of five articles, plainly communicates proper business values and practices. These teachings have been handed down from generation to generation as precepts of the Sumitomo family.
The business posture advocated in these teachings of according prime importance to integrity and avoiding pursuit of immoral business is the essence of Sumitomo's Business Philosophy.

Long-range Planning and Entrepreneurship

Shisakajima smelter
Shisakajima smelter

For many years, Sumitomo’s businesses were closely related to operation of the Besshi Cooper Mine. The Business Philosophy developed during that time encourages long-term planning in all things and the patience to persist with endeavors even if results are not achieved immediately.

The Sumitomo philosophy can be summed up in a tenet repeated by successive heads of the company: “We should plan our business on a long-term basis so as to benefit the country.” This philosophy has long influenced many of Sumitomo’s major projects, such as the relocation of a copper smelter to Shisakajima to eliminate smoke pollution, a reforestation project at the Besshi Copper Mine, and the Niihama harbor construction project.

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