Every family business tells a story – stories of perseverance and challenge, of exciting highs and heartbreaking lows. Some of these stories stand the test of time. One of the most remarkable began in sixth century Japan with a humble construction startup. In 578 AD, a Japanese prince wanted to promote Buddhism in his country, where Shinto was the dominant religion. No one in the nation boasted the carpentry skills needed to build the ornate Buddhist temples the prince envisioned, so he hired a man named Shigemitsu Kongothree from a Buddhist state in what is now Korea. The newcomer launched the company Kongo Gumi, completed the Shitenno-ji temple in Osaka – which still stands to this day – but did not return to Korea. He saw a golden opportunity to continue his trade and so the small, family construction company flourished and grew and stayed in Japan longer than anticipated – over 1,400 years longer.