Ford Model A (assembled in Japan, 1929)
Datsun 11 Phaeton (1932)
Otomo by Hakuyosha Co. (1925)
Nagakute City, Aichi, Japan, [month, day, 2022] ― The Toyota Automobile Museum, a cultural facility of Toyota Motor Corporation, opened a new permanent exhibition corner titled “Japanese History of Car Making” on Saturday, April 16, 2022, on the second floor of the Automobile Gallery.
“How was the Japanese automotive industry established?” This is the question we attempt to answer in this permanent exhibition corner, which has no parallel anywhere else in Japan. The exhibition traces the first seven decades of the Japanese auto industry, from its beginnings in the early 20th century to the 1970s, when it firmly established itself as the nation’s key industry. A runway-like “moving chronology” is located at the center, on which flowing visuals of milestone topics are projected. On one wall are touch-operated panels introducing the founders of principal automakers, including Yoshisuke Aikawa (of Nissan), Kiichiro Toyoda, Michio Suzuki, Tsuneji Matsuda, and Soichiro Honda. The panels allow a comparison between Aikawa and Toyoda, for instance. Also included in the exhibition are a lineage chart of 12 existing automakers and infographics showing trends in production volumes. With these visual aids, visitors can easily follow the path of the Japanese auto industry from birth to maturity.
Initially led by a few small companies—mostly startups—the auto industry in Japan grew during a volatile age spanning two world wars. Thanks in part to the national policy of supporting the auto industry, these manufacturers were able to thrive, overcoming many social issues that surrounded the industry. Today, Japan is a major automobile-producing country, with as many as 12 principal manufacturers vying for a leadership role.
Visitors may also be interested to learn that Zone 5 on the second floor of the Automobile Gallery has been renewed, with vehicles produced from the 1920s to the 1940s on display. This was the period when attempts to manufacture purely Japanese-made cars began. Some say the auto industry is now at a turning point that only comes once every 100 years. We hope this exhibition will enhance visitors’ appreciation of the industry’s origin and history and prompt them to contemplate the future of mobility.
|Opening date||Saturday, April 16, 2022|
|Venue||second floor, Automobile Gallery|
|Description||a presentation of how the Japanese world-class automotive industry was born and developed|
|Outline of Exhibition||History Road||A “moving chronology” presenting the flow of historical milestones in Japanese car-making to the present day|
|Stories||Four short stories of the formative process of the Japanese automotive industry presented on four large screens|
|People||Intuitive touch-operated panels providing information on Japan’s car-making pioneers and industry founders|
|Lineage||A large lineage chart showing the development of 12 Japanese automakers to the present day|
|By the Numbers||Infographics showing historical and current trends in Japan’s annual car production volumes|
|Support for the exhibition
(in random order)
|National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo; Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association; Isuzu Motors Limited; Suzuki Motor Corporation; Subaru Corporation; Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.; Nissan Motor Corporation; Hitachi Metals, Ltd.; Hino Motors, Ltd.; Honda Motor Co., Ltd.; Mazda Motor Corporation; Mitsubishi Motors Corporation; Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation; UD Trucks Corp.|
■ Related Permanent Exhibition: Zone 5 — 1920s–1940s, “The Dawn of Japanese Mass Production”
The renewed Zone 5 on the second floor of the Automobile Gallery displays vehicles from a period when Japanese manufacturers strived to produce all-Japanese-made automobiles against an influx of American cars.
Vehicles on show include a Ford Model A (assembled in Japan, 1929) and a Datsun 11 Phaeton (1932).
Also displayed for a limited period is an Otomo by Hakuyosha Co. (1925), on loan from the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo. The Toyota Automobile Museum assisted with the restoration of this vehicle.