14.Kyongsong Spinning & Weaving, the Country’s First Limited Company
Kyongsong Spinning & Weaving was the first limited company established by Koreans during the colonial period. It was established by raising capital of 100 won (equivalent to 120 billion won in terms of the current currency value) from influential people across the country.
At that time, Koreans paid 30 million won (equivalent to 3.24 trillion won in terms of current currency value) per year for imported cotton cloth made in Japan. The company was established as part of the effort to buy domestically made goods, and vied with Chosun Spinning & Weaving, a Japanese-owned business.
Concerning the Taegeuk pattern used in the trademark of Kyongsong S & P, Japanese colonists tried to reject it on the grounds that it was associated with Joseon. But Kyongsong’s management explained that the Taegeuk pattern was only a type of design pattern and the explanation was accepted.
Koreans bought goods carrying the Taegeuk pattern, and paid higher prices than Japanese-made goods.
Later, pro-Japanese acts perpetrated by the brothers Kim Seong-su and Kim Yeon-su, the founders of Kyongsong, were disclosed, igniting a controversy. However, Koreans’ sense of unity – displayed in the purchase of goods made by Korean businesses – should be remembered.