What lessons can we learn from Houshi Ryokan?
Houshi Ryokan has been open for 1300 years, since 1718, and has been a relatively successful business. It has even earned a Guinness world record for the oldest inn in the world. What kinds system within Houshi Ryokan has kept it going for such a long time? What kinds of values do the people running the place have?
Houshi Ryokan has a strict system whereby the inn is placed as a priority over personal interests. For instance, the spouse of the heir to the Houshi family is choosen by the head of the family. With a proper heir to the inn, the management of the inn is also assured. With the inn always being in proper hands, the guests would be well catered too. It is this system that have kept the inn running for so long. However, it is at the expense of the families freedom.
The values of the Houshi Ryokan involves discipline, loyalty, responsibility and tenacious. The workers at Houshi Ryokan are extremely disciplined especially around their guests. For example, during dining, the family is seen on their best behavior, even going to the extent of bowing their heads. The family must also be loyal and responsible. This is key for a long lasting inn. Each family member must be loyal and committed to serving the inn despite setbacks. For example, their daughter, Hisae, came to work at the inn more often after the heir to the Houshi family passed on. This shows great loyalty of the Houshi family to the inn. The family must also be tenacious. Despite major setbacks, they must continue maintaining the inn and not give in. For example, after the only son of the Houshi family at the time passed on, the family continued on the business despite their loss. This is essential to maintaining the inn for such a long time.
The values of the Houshi family are what we can and should learn. In order to have long and lasting careers and family, one should follow the values of the Houshi family. Their system can also be followed but not to such a huge extent. Having a strict system is essential to having people in check and to get things done efficiently. However, one should not be too strict on these kinds of system.