Kongō Gumi Co., Ltd. is a Japanese construction company which was the world's oldest continuously ongoing independent company, operating for over 1,400 years. In January 2006, it became a subsidiary of Takamatsu.
Headquartered in Osaka, the once family-owned construction company traced its origins to 578 AD when one of the skilled Korean immigrants, whom Prince Shōtoku invited from Baekje (one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea) to Japan to build the Buddhist temple Shitennō-ji, decided to start his own business. Over the centuries, Kongō Gumi participated in the construction of many famous buildings, including the 16th-century Osaka Castle.
A three-meter 17th-century scroll traces the 40 generations back to the company's start. As with many distinguished Japanese families, sons-in-law often joined the clan and took the Kongō family name. Thus, through the years, the line has continued through either a son or a daughter.
The company fell on hard times and went into liquidation in January 2006, and was purchased by the Takamatsu Construction Group. Before its liquidation, it had as few as 100 employees and annual revenue of ¥7.5 billion ($70 million) in 2005; it still specialized in building Buddhist temples.
The last president was Masakazu Kongō, the 50th Kongō to lead the firm. As of December 2006, Kongō Gumi continues to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Takamatsu.
According to en.wikipedia