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Breaking Away From Conventional Thinking, Expanding the Possibilities
At one time in the Los Angeles, the Japanese community it was thought taboo to own more than one store. There was a belief that such an endeavor could not succeed. Shin-Sen-Gumi owner and “Kyokucho” (Chief Boss) Mitsuyasu Shigeta broke that taboo when he opened his highly successful 2nd and 3rd stores at the same time, to the surprise of those around him. Additionally, when he decided to open the first Hakata ramen shop in Los Angeles, the employees of the Shin-Sen-Gumi group were unanimous in their opposition. The conventional thinking at the time was that Tonkotsu (pork bone) soup was something that only people from Kyushu ate, let alone the fact that many Americans did not eat pork for religious reasons. However, Mr. Shigeta followed his own beliefs and succeeded in turning this way of thinking on its head. Indeed, the greater the resistance the deeper the feeling of joy when one can overcome such thinking. If one can expand the possibilities of dreams and desires a new joy can be found and that, in the end, is what helps people grow.

A Place of Human Development
In the beginning, when Shin-Sen-Gumi was getting started, Mr. Shigeta had a strong desire through his work to promote himself, gain a reputation and, of course, profit financially. However, looking back he now feels that this was a greedy way of thinking. One day, three years after the opening, Mr. Shigeta found himself looking at one of his young employees who started as a part-timer and he noticed something. This employee, who at the start couldn’t even greet customers properly or understand how to see to customers’ needs was now doing both very well. When he noticed this, Mr. Shigeta felt embarrassed by his greedy motives. After that, such impure motivations naturally disappeared. At Shin-Sen-Gumi, we strive to develop people. With that thought in mind we pursue a philosophy of employee education. This belief leads to our workplace motto, “an educational environment that provides people with the opportunity to grow and become a positive contribution to society through the workplace”.

A Way of Living That Brings Joy
As a young man, while Mr. Shigeta was working part-time at the Hakata, Japan yakitori (roasted chicken skewers) restaurant “Tonsho” he worked so hard that his manager might have even thought that the hourly wage he was paying him was too cheap. Rather than wondering if this was what he was meant to be, whether this was something he wanted to do or not, Mr. Shigeta took every task he was handed seriously and worked his hardest. With that commitment and focus, the results of his discipline and hard work naturally came to fruition. Conversely, if he had been calculated at that time it certainly have come back to bite him. It is because of this lifestyle where one can honestly find joy in others that the current Shin-Sen-Gumi is enjoying its success.
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October 18, 2018
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