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Why Traditional Businesses Matter

Why Traditional Businesses Matter

Posted by Nicolas on 26th Feb 2023

Family businesses represent the majority of companies and employment in Japan's economy. They therefore  play an important role in the economy and society. Traditional family businesses are special as they also preserve a part of Japan's heritage.


Traditional family businesses often have a history of 100 years and more. They tend to have a long-term outlook and a commitment to maintaining the business for future generations, which contributes to the business's longevity and stability. 


Having been in business for a very long time, these companies are part of Japan's cultural heritage. They have a deep understanding of traditions. Although they adopt product to present times, there is profound knowledge of techniques and its evolution over time at their core. This knowledge is passed over from generation to generation creating an important pool of know-how with a cultural context.

Values and culture: 

Traditional family businesses often have a strong sense of values and culture that is passed down from generation to generation. This creates a unique identity and a sense of purpose that contributes to the business's success. The business culture is rather conservative. It is more important to stay in business than pursuing risky growth strategies. 

Job creation: 

Many traditional family businesses are located outside of large cities. the number of employees typically ranges from a few up to 1,000 people. They can be significant employers, creating jobs and contributing to local economies. 

Community impact: 

Family businesses often have deep roots in their communities and can have a positive impact on the local economy, supporting other businesses and contributing to charitable causes. You will often find members of the owner families engaged in local organizations and NPOs. 

Innovation & Flexibility: 

To remain is business over multiple generations, traditional businesses often had to re-invent themselves and adopt to external crises such as wars, natural disasters and economical collapses. Family business are flexible in decision-making, with fewer layers of bureaucracy and more emphasis on personal relationships and trust. Although remaining true to their core and their heritage, traditional businesses can be nimble and innovative, able to adapt quickly to changing market conditions.  

Overall, family businesses are important because they can provide economic stability, promote strong values and culture, create jobs, and have a positive impact on their communities.

Meet the Family Business

Read more about our mission to preserve traditional Japanese family businesses.