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What is the meaning of 三共 Sankyō in some Japanese companies names?

  • Sankyo Denki (now named Sanden)
  • Daiichi Sankyo
  • Sankyo flutes ...
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  • You don't mean the company Sankyo, right? Could you give some examples?
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 9:38
  • @Earthliŋ, I have added some examples but I focused on Sankyo Denki at first.
    – cedlemo
    Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 10:10

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Many companies have 三共 in their names. Of course the most famous one is 第一三共株式会社 (Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd), and this can be the only company name with 三共 which is recognized nationwide. But other large and small companies called 三共 exist; for example, this 株式会社三共 is apparently irrelevant to 第一三共, and there seems to be dozens of small 三共商店 in Japan.

Generally speaking, proper nouns are proper nouns, and have no known "meanings". However 三共 happens to have a known meaning. The kanji 三 means three, and 共 means cooperation. Put together, 三共 has the meaning similar to trinity or triad. The name of 三共 was used when a company was started by three capital providers. In Daiichi Sankyo's case, the three founders were Matasaku Shiobara, Shōtaro Nishimura, and Genjirō Fukui. Apparently this was a common naming convention around 100 years ago. It may be somewhat similar to English "... and Bros." or "... and Associates".

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