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Exhibits
29 April 2022 - 18 July 2022

Here’s a Small World! – Small Cars, Big Ambitions

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Mazda R360 Coupe Model KRBB (1961)

Mazda R360 Coupe Model KRBB (1961)

Honda Beat Model PP1 (1991)

Honda Beat Model PP1 (1991)

Smallness can be an asset for automobiles. It contributes to a carbon-neutral society while satisfying diverse mobility needs, which also drives the attainment of sustainable development goals. The “Small World!” exhibition mainly focuses on distinctive Japanese small cars from the 1950s to the present, displaying 15 real cars and some 60 miniature models. These exhibits hopefully remind visitors that small cars can play a big role in defining the future of mobility.

Before WWII, Japanese automakers had already attempted to develop cars that best suited local road conditions and resource availability. The technological expertise they cultivated through this endeavor later pushed them onto the global stage, eventually turning Japan into a major automobile producer. A milestone year was 1949, when a uniquely Japanese microcar category known as the “kei car” was introduced. Next came the 1955 “Draft Guideline for Creating the People’s Car,” announced by the then Ministry of International Trade and Industry, which suggested the use of 350–500 cc engines. Encouraged by these moves, Japanese car manufacturers packed all sorts of inventions into small dimensions, producing affordable cars for the masses. As Japan’s economy boomed during the late 1960s, people finally began to attain the dream of private car ownership. In the 1980s, high-end cars (both Japanese and foreign) grew ever more luxurious, while uniquely designed small Japanese cars continued to be released in rapid succession, embodying the joy of driving and captivating die-hard fans.

Keeping this historical context in mind, we are exhibiting diverse small cars—ranging from the kei cars of the 1950s to the latest electric vehicles—to show small cars’ appeal and significance to the evolution of mobility.

Dates Friday, April 29, 2022 – Monday, July 18, 2022 (a national holiday)
Venue Special Exhibition Room (second floor of the Cultural Gallery)
Description An exhibition about the evolution of small cars (4- meter long or less) from the 1950s to the present day, featuring 15 real cars and around 60 1:43-scale models
Exhibited cars ①Austin Healey Sprite (1958)
②Mazda R360 Coupe Model KRBB (1961)
③Daihatsu Midget Model MP5 (1963)
④Fiat 500D (1963)
⑤Suzuki Suzulight Carry Van Model FBD (1964)

⑥Subaru 360 Model K111 (1965)
⑦Honda T360H Model AK250 (1965)
⑧Vamos Honda Model TN360 (1973)
⑨Suzuki Alto 3-Door Van Model SS30V (1979)
⑩Nissan Be-1 Model BK10 (1987)
⑪Toyota RAV-FOUR (1989)
⑫Honda Beat Model PP1 (1991)
⑬Suzuki Cappuccino Model EA11R (1995)
⑭Toyota WiLL Vi Model NCP19 (2000)
⑮Toyota Cpod (2021)
Flyer Flyer(Japanese)

 

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