"Tradition and Challenge" is Secret of Kyoto's Long-established CompaniesForum in Italy6 June 2015 - Tradition/Culture
On June 5 local time, "Shinise Kyodo Forum," or a joint forum for discussing the secrets for perpetuating long-established corporations in Kyoto and Italy, was held in Florence, Italy. Corporate executives of companies established more than 100 years ago in Kyoto discussed their commercial stance of willingness to change their business model and products to suit the era while protecting their management philosophies and corporate cultures.
Kyoto Prefecture and other organizations held this forum as the 10th anniversary event for "Keizai・Kankyo Koryu Sengen," or a declaration of economic and environmental exchange, between Kyoto Prefecture and Tuscany Region, Italy.
Kanako Suzuka, executive director of Shogoin Yatsuhashi Sohonten Co. Ltd., in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, which was established in 1689, emphasized its star product, "Yatsuhashi," saying "As it's tradition, we don't change the ingredients such as rice flour and cinnamon." On the other hand, she started selling "Nama-Yatsuhashi," or a traditional sweet made of raw, cinnamon-flavored rice cake, with Western paste fillings such as caramel and others, stating "We have undertaken the challenge to create interest among people who haven't eaten our products."
Yasunori Yamamoto, president of Shimadzu Europe Ltd., which is an overseas subsidiaries of the measuring instruments manufacturer "Shimadzu Corporation" in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, pointed out the importance of their corporate culture which eagerly makes use of failure. He mentioned the example of Koichi Tanaka, senior fellow of Shimadzu Corporation, who experienced repeated failures until his successful research and development won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)