Edited by Pramodita Sharma, Nunzia Auletta, Rocki-Lee DeWitt, Maria Jose Parada and Mohar Yusof
Chapter 7: What should be passed on to the successor? The case of a long-standing Japanese family-owned small sake brewery
Tamura Sake Brewery is a small Japanese sake brewery located in Fussa city, a rural area in western Tokyo, Japan. Tamura Sake Brewery has been making sake at the current location since its foundation in 1822. Its traditional Japanese-style building and the land are distinguished from the surroundings. Tamura Sake Brewery has been owned and managed by the Tamura family for sixteen generations. The current CEO, Hanjuro Tamura, is 55 years old. After graduating from university, he worked for three years at a large producer of alcoholic beverages. Then, at age 25, he joined Tamura Sake Brewery and soon became the senior managing director. After his father (the predecessor) died in 2008, Hanjuro became the sixteenth CEO of the family business. He has been involved in the business for nearly 30 years and is the only family member who is actively involved. His mother and wife do not have specific positions in the company, but they do non-managerial work, such as taking care of the brewers. Tamura Sake Brewery’s main business is sake brewing. Ninety percent of its annual sales come from customers in Tokyo, and the remaining 10 percent comes from other parts of Japan and from exports. Tamura Sake Brewery also owns a franchise business and a real estate agency. It has around 20 employees, including production staff (brewers), marketing staff, and administrative personnel.
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