Korean Chaebols: Lotte. The Origin of the Lotte Name

For anyone who is familiar with South Korea they will definitely know about the role of the Chaebols in the country. The Lotte Group is the 6th largest of these with a turnover of around 40 trillion Korean Won. Lotte (롯데) is the leader and largest food/shopping/retail group out of the Chaebols. What many don’t know about though is the European roots of the Lotte name.

Chaiman Shin Kyuk Ho

Shin Kyuk-Ho (family name, Shin) is a South Korean businessman who started off doing business in Japan. He founded the Lotte group in Tokyo in 1948 by selling chewing gum, which the company still sells to this day and can be found all over Korea in small shops and train station kiosks. Nowadays the company employs around 60,000 people and engages in, as a lot of Chaebols do, a diverse set of industries such as candy manufacturing, beverages, hotels, fast food, retail, financial services, heavy chemicals, electronics, IT, construction, publishing, and entertainment.

The Sorrows of Young Werther

The Sorrows of Young Werther is a novel written by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, who is most famous in Western literature and philosophy for his poem ‘Faust.’ Goethe is remembered as one of the more important writers in the German speaking world and one of the most important thinkers with influence on Western philosophy.

The Sorrows of Young Werther was published in 1774 as Goethe’s first work of narrative art. It takes place in the form of a collection of letters send by a sensitive and passionate young artist by the name of Werther, to his friend Wilhelm. Werther’s letters contain details about his love for a young woman called Charlotte, or Lotte, which eventually leads the passionate Werther to suicide due to his intense jealousy of Lotte’s lover. Unfortunately The suicide in the novel was also responsible for a number of real life suicides by young men who were found dead dressed in Werther’s blue frock coat and yellow waistcoat, with a copy of the book in their arms.

The novel remains one of Goethe’s most popular works and is considered to have near-perfect narrative. The story allows us a glimpse into an age of passion and misery for youthful sorrows, whilst still transcending its time.

Lotte (The Character)

Charlotte, who is affectionately named Lotte in the novel, becomes a mother figure to her eight brothers and sisters due to her mother’s untimely death. It is a burden that she accepts cheerfully and selflessly because of her undemanding nature and fondness for creating good will among those around her. She has chosen a man named Albert as her life-mate because he has proven himself worth of her and is willing to join his fate to hers for life. Although Lotte has pledged herself to Albert, she feels a special, almost sisterly, bond with Werther and understands his feelings for her. Finally, out of pity for him and respect for her husband, Lotte finds the strength to send Werther away.

Lotte The Company

Just as Charlotte stole the hearts of many readers worldwide, Lotte strives to deeply move the hearts of each and every customer of theirs (This is their mission statement).

If you do get a chance to go to South Korea, be sure to check out a Lotte supermarket or even stay in a Lotte hotel. The company seems to be synonymous with quality.