The secret of sustainable prosperity: Sanpo-yoshi
Omi merchants had a significant philosophy of business conducts called Sanpo-yoshi which is translated as 3-way satisfaction. It means the business transactions you conduct should be beneficial to you as the seller, as well as to the buyer and to the society in general. If the business is beneficial to the seller and the buyer, it is just like a win-win business, isn’t it? The concept of win-win business is becoming very popular now, and it is conducted by many people.
However, Sanpo-yoshi goes further to make your business beneficial to the society, too. Omi merchants contributed a lot to the local community by building roads, bridges, and temples. They believed that if you created wealth, you should give some of it back to the community. Because of their contribution to the community, they were well respected and popular, hence they thrived more.
Isn’t it like today’s corporate social responsibility?
I can say it is very similar to CSR, although what is significant about Omi-merchants is that they came up with this idea over 200 years ago.
So, to interpret Sanpo-yoshi in today’s context, it is more than CSR.
What does it mean by the business conducts that make the society happy in today’s world? The concept of Sanpo-yoshi invented and practiced by Omi-merchants is over 200 years old after all. The system was very different back then, plus we have a lot more knowledge and understanding about ecology, psychology, and society in general today. By pulling all my studies together, I pondered on a happy society in today’s context.
I sat in a Zashiki room of an Omi-merchant, and meditated on it.
What I came up with is a revelation that can be the key to solve today’s fundamental problem and I decided to write a book about it.