Kikkoman’s Mogi Family Creed
Get a bottle of Kikkoman Soy Sauce and look at the label–you’ll see the date 1630. That’s when the Mogi family began the business, and they’ve owned and operated it for 17 generations since.
Current CEO is Yuzaburo Mogi, and his family’s creed, written over a century ago, is still used to guide the family and its business. Here it is, translated from Japanese.
All family members desire peace. Never fight, and always respect each other. Ensure progress in business and the perpetuation of family prosperity.
Loving God and Buddha is the source of all virtue. Keeping faith leads to a peaceful mind.
All family members should be polite to each other. If the master is not polite, the others will not follow. Sin is the result of being impolite. Families–young and old, masters and workers–govern themselves by politeness; then peace will be brought of their own accord.
Virtue is the cause, fortune the effect. Never mistake the cause for the effect. Never judge people on whether they are rich or not.
Keep strict discipline. Demand diligence. Preserve order–young and old, masters and workers.
Business depends upon people. Do not make appointments or dismissals using personal prejudices. Put the right man in the right place. Loving men who do what they should brings peace to their minds.
Education of the children is our responsibility to the nation. Train the body and mind with moral, intellectual, and physical education.
Approach all living beings with love. Love is fundamental to human beings and the source of a life worth living. Words are the door to fortune and misfortune. A foul tongue hurts oneself and others. A kind tongue keeps everything peaceful. Be careful in every word you speak.
Keep humbleness and diligence, which have been handed down over the years from our forefathers. Make every effort to do as much as you can.
True earning comes from the labor of sweat. Speculation is not the best road to follow. Don’t do business by taking advantage of another’s weakness.
Competition is an important factor in progress, but avoid extreme or unreasonable competition. Strive to prosper together with the public.
Make success or failure clear, judge fairly punishment and reward. Never fail to reward meritorious service, and don’t allow a mistake to go unpunished.
Consult with family members when starting a new business. Never try anything alone. Always appreciate any profit made by your family.
Don’t carelessly fall into debt. Don’t recklessly be a guarantor of liability. Don’t lend money with the purpose of gaining interest, because you are not a bank.
Save money from your earnings and give to society as much as you can. But never ask for a reward or think highly of yourself.
Don’t decide important affairs by yourself. Always consult with the people concerned before making a decision. Then employees will have a positive attitude in their work.
Reprinted with permission of the UMass Family Business Center, online at www.umass.edu/fambiz.