When you read articles on Toyota, the carmaker, you will notice the name of president and CEO is Toyoda. Which is correct?
Akio Toyoda is the grandson of the company’s founder. The family name is one of the common names in Japan, meaning ‘affluent (rich, abundant) rice fields’. They changed it to Toyota, which actually has the same meaning. The story goes that the latter has 8 strokes in Japanese spelling, and the number 8 is auspicious in the culture.
Now, a lot of other names related to cars will come to your mind…Honda? You guessed right, it also has ‘rice field’ in it. Hon means ‘main’ or ‘root’. This is another common family name.
Here is another one, Mazda. The correct pronunciation is Matsuda (tsu in tsunami). Matsu is pine tree.
How about Nissan? No, this is not a family name. It is the abbreviation of Nihon Sangyo, meaning Japan Industry.
I give you an assignment: What does Subaru mean? It is a beautiful Japanese word. You can guess by looking at the logo.