Wednesday, September 01, 2010

What's in a (Japanese) name?

Boredom causes me to read strange things. Today's strange thing: Where do the names for different Japanese auto manufacturers come from?


Originally Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, the founder's son, one Kilchiro Toyoda, spun off an auto manufacturing division.

Even though the family name is Toyoda, the name was changed to show a separation of home and business life. Toyota is considered to be luckier, since it takes eight strokes to write Toyota in katakana, and eight is a lucky number in Japan.


This one is pretty simple. The founder's name was Soichiro Honda.


"Nissan" was an abbreviation for Nippon Sangyo (Which means Japan Industries) on the Tokyo stock market.


This name comes from the Isuzu River. It was adopted as the name of a truck in 1934, and then as the name of the company in 1949.


A strange one. It translates as Three Diamonds. Owners of Mitsubishi vehicles may notice that the emblem affixed to the front of your car looks like three diamonds.


Mazda started as Toyo Cork Kogyo, and changed to Toyo Kogyo in 1927. The name Mazda is derived from Ahura Mazda, a Persian-Zoroastrian god, and the name of the founder, Jujiro Matsuda.

Other names... The Chevrolet LUV, built by Isuzu, is an acronym for Light Utility Vehicle. 



Anonymous UppityOkie said...

Very interesting. I like the story behind Mazda. I need to look up that god sometime.

12:28 PM  

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