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Sumitomo Spirit

Masatomo Sumitomo’s principles on how to run a successful business still shape the company’s approach today, in the form of the “Sumitomo Spirit”.

The Sumitomo Spirit was born from the principles set out by Masatomo Sumitomo in his “Monjuin Shiigaki” (The Aphorisms of Monjuin),

and has since been developed, fleshed out and handed down through countless generations of the family-owned company. Its basic tenets were summarised in the rules of the Sumitomo family in 1882, and manifested in the form of two business principles in 1891.

Although the wording has been updated over the years, the content of these principles remains unchanged to this day.

Article 1:


Banji-nissei means „do your sincere best, not only in business, but also in every aspect of your life.”

Originating from the preamble of Monjuin Shiigaki, it speaks of the importance of sincerity in all human endeavours. 

Banji-nissei is a pivotal teaching in the Sumitomo Spirit. Accordingly, Sumitomo personnel are expected to work not only to make money, but also to cultivate their character and grow into better human beings.

Article 2:


Sumitomo will strive to achieve growth on a solid foundation by assigning the utmost importance to integrity and proper management.

This principle emphasises the importance of trustworthiness.

Article 3:


Sumitomo’s business interests must always be in harmony with public interest. Sumitomo should be able to stand tall through good times and bad, but will never stoop to conducting immoral business.

This principle emphasises the importance of harmonising business success with public interest and avoiding making rash decisions to ensure short-term success or making unfair profit by dishonest means.