100+ Years Old Businesses Series – Sankogan, the Pill of Three Lights

The history of Sankogan can be traced back for approximately 700 years, back to the late Kamakura period. In the Yamatonokuni region in those days, the Ochi clan was one of the most important powerful families. Ochi clan's brain is the Komeda family which was specialized in medicine and pharmaceuticals, and prescribed various drugs and distributed them to members of the clan.

In the Nambokucho period (from 1336), powerful families in Yamatonokuni were divided into the supporters of Hokucho (the northern dynasty) in Kyoto and those who supported Nancho (the southern dynasty) in Yoshino. The Ochi clan fought for Nancho, which was led by the Emperor Godaigo. The Emperor used Komeda family's secret medicine and was amazed. He praised it as an "elixir gifted by the gods of the sky, of the moon, and of the stars", and honored the drug with the name "Sankogan", which literally means the pill of three lights.

(photo credit to Sankogan official website)

Along the Edo period, the Komeda family developed a household based distribution model. The business grew well despite two large distribution groups' battle until Meiji period. Western medicines started to flow into Japan and the Meji government forced a lot of local Japanese medicine companies to be merged with Western medicine companies. The name of Sankogan disappeared for a while until after World War II, it started a new entity as Sankogan Honten Co., Ltd. Presently, about 250 Haichi Hambai distributors deal with Sankogan. The company has twelve sales offices across Japan. The secret drug is revealed today as an oriental digestive drug, which brings health to people's daily life in Japan.

(photo credit to Sankogan official website)

Four herbs are used as materials for Sankogan. The interaction and synergistic effect of the extracts of these herbs improve unpleasant conditions including weak stomach, overeating, loss of appetite, excessive drinking, heavy stomach, stomach or abdominal bloating, heartburn, pressure on the chest, nausea and vomiting. Go check out their museum with a beautiful Japanese garden on site and you might see through the secret of lasting healthy life.

(photo credit to Sankogan official website)
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