Kongō Gumi Co., Ltd., a Japanese company that was then acquired by Takamatsu Construction Group, for which it continued to operate as a subsidiary, went bankrupt in 2006. This would be of little consequence, beyond the peculiar activity to which it is dedicated (construction and maintenance of Buddhist temples), were it not for the fact that Kongō Gumi is-or was-the oldest company in operation: at the time of its liquidation it was one thousand four hundred and twenty-eight years old.
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Kongō Yoshie, the 38th master carpenter of Kongō Gumi and employees. Photo: Wikimedia Commons