Monjuin Shiigaki (Founder’s Precepts)
The Monjuin Shiigaki is a letter that Masatomo Sumitomo (1585-1652), the founder of the House of Sumitomo, wrote toward the end of his life for the edification of Kanjuro, a retainer. (Masatomo acquired the title Monjuin after becoming a priest of the Nehan sect.)
Known as the Founder’s Precepts, the Monjuin Shiigaki offers guidance on how a merchant should conduct business, expressing Masatomo’s views grounded in the teachings of Buddhism as to how to survive and prosper in the world. His precepts constitute the essence of Sumitomo’s Business Philosophy. In the preamble of the Monjuin Shiigaki, Masatomo writes, “Do your best prudently and meticulously, not only in business, but in every aspect of your life.” He emphasizes that care should be exercised in all matters and everything should be done with consideration and respect.