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Toyota factory museum in Japan

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Andres, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. Aug 12, 2016 at 1:32 PM
    #1
    Andres

    Andres [OP] New Member Vendor

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    Hello,

    I had the opportunity of taking a trip to Japan, great noodles, ancient temples, kind people but there were was one place in particular I wanted to visit: the first and original Toyota factory in Japan (now called the Kaikan museum).
    [​IMG]

    This is the factory where it all began and is now a dedicated museum to the history of Toyota Motor Company as well as the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works. I'm back to share with you some pictures that I personally took and a little piece of history which is deeply embedded here in TW that few of us realize.
    Let's begin!

    Toyota Motor Co. started as a textiles company in 1911 by Sakichi Toyoda (that's right, TO-YO-DA) who established the Toyoda automatic weaving mill in Sako, Nagoya. His factory performed research and development of automatic looms for the weaving of textiles.
    [​IMG]
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    In the 1920's, Sakichi contributed to many developments of the automatic loom machines leading to the development of the Type G automatic loom machine in 1924 which came to be regarded as the highest performing automatic loom machine at that time. Sakichi established Toyota Automatic loom works for the mass production of his loom machines becoming the nucleus for the growth of a future company which his son, Kiichiro Toyoda will develop.

    Kiichiro was raised in an industrial environment providing him access for study, research and development in the automatic loom machines, however he developed a keen interest in automobiles. In a small room on a corner of his father's loom factory he began tinkering with a Smith Flyer vehicle, a small, simple two seat vehicle with a wooden frame. He was able to provide a kit that would attach a Smith Flyer wheel and motor onto an ordinary bicycle.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    His next project was an ambitions one, the automobile. So how do you figure out how an automobile works in 1920's?
    Simple!
    You start by taking apart and studying an American Chevrolet car.
    In a corner of of the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, preparations began to build prototype vehicles while recruiting people with relevant experience from outside the company.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The production of Toyota's automobiles started in 1933 as a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works and by 1935 they had finally achieved their first production car, the A1 (or AA in Japan).
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    Personal note:
    This vehicle is gorgeous!
    It's a mechanical masterpiece, the first step forward for the automotive industry in Japan.

    After the completion of the Model AA, Kiichiro turned it's attention to building a truck vehicle because it was more likely to be profitable in the short term, thus the first ever Toyota truck was born: the G1.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
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    Alright so what's the deal with the name?
    What's with TOYODA?
    Isn't it TOYOTA?

    In September 1936 the company ran a public competition to design a new logo for their line of vehicles, of 27,000 entries the end result was a combination of three Japanese letters spelling the word TOYOTA.

    I personally happen to study basic Japanese language so I will attempt to uncover this mystery. Unlike our English alphabet which consists of 26 letters, Japanese writing has two forms of alphabets called Hiragana and Katakana. There's a third form of writing called Kanji but let's focus on Katakana for now

    The Japanese letter for "TO" is written as ""
    The Japanese letter for "YO" is written as ""
    The Japanese letter for "DA" is written as ""

    The word TOYODA would've been seen as トヨダ
    Notice the two lines at the top of .

    The decision to change the name to TOYOTA was because:

    *In Japanese writing it takes eight brush strokes (a lucky number, Japanese culture).
    *It was visually simpler.
    *It was simpler to pronounce.

    Thus the name "Toyota" (トヨタ) with the two lines removed from was established in August 1937 as the Toyota Motor Company. Personally after reading about the new logo for Toyota it inspired me to make the TEQ emblem after coming back from Japan.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The second truck in production, the Model GA was the first vehicle sold under the new name of Toyota.

    Fun fact: from September 1947 small size vehicles were sold under the name "Toyopet" (トヨペット) and was given the nick name after the SA model for it's small size as a result of another naming contest.
    [​IMG]

    From this group of small size vehicles came other models including the Toyopet Corona, however after the introduction of these vehicles into American sales the name was drooped due to associations with toys and pets. From these smaller size vehicles came our famous Corolla, Camry, Celica and others.
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    The rest of the museum offers a good amount of information about the fabrication of these vehicles, testing, forging etc. There were lots of Japanese and foreign college students visiting the museum
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    Fun fact: In my early years of manufacturing I used to operate a 2-story high CNC machine labeled TOYODA. I'm not sure if the brand is a direct product of the Toyota motor company but I do know it started in 1941 originally made to facilitate the production lines of major automotive companies including Toyota Motor Co.
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    Toyota Motor Co. has prospered and is now one of the finest example of lean manufacturing over the world. They also continue to make a variety of products such as this advanced loom machine shown below that can dye each thread a different color to produce a photo on the fabric.
    [​IMG]
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    Our tour ended with a special duet playing instruments live.
    [​IMG]
    I hope you enjoy.

    -Andres
     
  2. Aug 12, 2016 at 1:49 PM
    #2
    joonbug

    joonbug mmmm.....bacon...

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    very informative, thanks Andres
     
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  3. Aug 12, 2016 at 1:50 PM
    #3
    RowdyRon

    RowdyRon Not too old to play

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    Andres, very cool virtual "tour" you provided! Thank you for sharing a very interesting experience that few of us will have the opportunity to do.
     
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  4. Aug 12, 2016 at 1:55 PM
    #4
    FirstGenTundra

    FirstGenTundra ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Great thread! Thanks for posting. One of the many reasons I'm on my second Tundra and my family (immediate and extended) own somewhere in the ball park of 22 Toyota's is Toyota's dedication to quality and reliability.
     
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  5. Aug 12, 2016 at 2:01 PM
    #5
    GayFish

    GayFish New Member

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  6. Aug 12, 2016 at 2:03 PM
    #6
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ I'm a boob guy.

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    I have heard some of this before, but never with all the personal pictures and enthusiasm. You clearly had a great time.

    Thank you for sharing. Very awesome!!
     
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  7. Aug 12, 2016 at 2:04 PM
    #7
    Andres

    Andres [OP] New Member Vendor

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    You are welcome = ]
     
  8. Aug 12, 2016 at 2:26 PM
    #8
    iHacker

    iHacker New Member

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    Great tour thanks for share your experience I like all the pictures of Toyota history
     
  9. Aug 12, 2016 at 2:28 PM
    #9
    Andres

    Andres [OP] New Member Vendor

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    You're welcome

    Sharing these pictures is the least I could do.
    Cool pictures huh!

    = ]
     
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  10. Aug 12, 2016 at 2:53 PM
    #10
    Krezz

    Krezz New Member

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    In Signature
    Awesome post!
     
  11. Aug 12, 2016 at 3:26 PM
    #11
    Andres

    Andres [OP] New Member Vendor

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    Thank you sir
     
  12. Aug 12, 2016 at 5:56 PM
    #12
    COMiamiFan

    COMiamiFan New Member

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    Loved the post! Thanks for sharing. :thumbsup:
     
  13. Aug 12, 2016 at 6:16 PM
    #13
    mdavis

    mdavis Tiger Life

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    Cool post. Thanks for sharing!
     
  14. Aug 13, 2016 at 1:21 PM
    #14
    Andres

    Andres [OP] New Member Vendor

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    You're welcome

    Thanks brother, glad you like it.
     
  15. Aug 13, 2016 at 1:37 PM
    #15
    matluth

    matluth Fish On!

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    Well done. Mazda had a factory just a few miles north of our USMC air base in Iwakuni. Took the tour (1980). Mazda was already using robotics extensively in their car manufacturing. I always wanted to hit the Toyo(d)ta museum but never got the chance. What's not widely known is that we taught the Japanese our manufacturing business model right after WWII during the post war occupation. The Japanese excelled at it while we forgot what worked best. (1970 pieces of s**t American cars for example). The Japanese economy/ manufacturing became world class after that.
     
  16. Aug 15, 2016 at 8:37 AM
    #16
    Andres

    Andres [OP] New Member Vendor

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    Agreed,

    Somewhere in the 70's the American car industry declined in quality and design and the Japanese began to improve their vehicles. I was hearing someone in the factory mentioning that the first Japanese cars were a major flop not only because of it's distinct design but they have tested their cars in Japanese soil and had major overheating problems in the US because no one took into account our hot desert weather. I saw the Mazda plant while traveling but didn't have plans to visit.
     
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  17. Aug 15, 2016 at 8:57 AM
    #17
    matluth

    matluth Fish On!

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    Domo Arigato!
     
  18. Aug 15, 2016 at 9:01 AM
    #18
    Andres

    Andres [OP] New Member Vendor

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    Dozo
     
  19. Aug 15, 2016 at 1:29 PM
    #19
    veg hed

    veg hed Thug

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    Cool post. You wouldn't of happened to get any pics of a few old mini trucks would you? That's why I'm a Toyota fan. Miss my '83 with desert 80s paint job.
     
  20. Aug 15, 2016 at 1:45 PM
    #20
    ToyotaTundraMike

    ToyotaTundraMike Not A New Member

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    This was awesome! Thanks for putting this together!
     
  21. Aug 15, 2016 at 2:02 PM
    #21
    Large

    Large New Member

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    nice pics .. do many of them speak English in japan? I've always wanted to go there
     
  22. Aug 15, 2016 at 2:25 PM
    #22
    Andres

    Andres [OP] New Member Vendor

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    Many of the young Japanese locals speak some English because of school, the older people don't.
    Most signs are in Japanese first English second.
    With technology these days you can use Google translate to assist you.

    Dude I've wanted to visit japan for the longest and finally had the time.
    Of all the countries I've visited Japan is the country with the cleanest streets, best service and polite people.
    You could learn some Japanese, it will help. The locals love to hear tourist try speaking Japanese.
     
  23. Aug 15, 2016 at 2:26 PM
    #23
    Andres

    Andres [OP] New Member Vendor

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    How old is old for you?
    I did visit the Toyota Automobile Museum and took lots of pictures, I don't remember being that many trucks.
    I'll have to do another thread about the Toyota Automobile museum to show the other cars.
     
  24. Aug 15, 2016 at 3:00 PM
    #24
    rons23

    rons23 Next Round is on me! Live OBX

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    Awesome post Andres, very informative and nice pics.
     
  25. Aug 15, 2016 at 3:20 PM
    #25
    Andres

    Andres [OP] New Member Vendor

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    Thanks brother, I'm glad you like the post.
     
  26. Aug 15, 2016 at 5:37 PM
    #26
    Island woody

    Island woody New Member

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    Thanks for sharing
     
  27. Aug 15, 2016 at 6:11 PM
    #27
    Goosepond Monster

    Goosepond Monster Easy Livin'

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    Very cool. Thanks for the write up and pictures.

    Pretty fascinating to see how an auto company started as something totally different.
     
  28. Aug 15, 2016 at 6:11 PM
    #28
    matluth

    matluth Fish On!

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    Another tid bit about Japan. Mitsubishi (WWII Zero mfr) makes the Shinkansen (Bullet Train). The Shin is like USMC aviation, on time on target. I'd take the Shin to Hiroshima. 18 minutes. Car, 1 hour at least, sometimes 2 hours. You can set your watch to Japanese train schedule. No joke. The Shin over head tracks can handle an 8.0 quake, by the way. That was 1984 specs.
     
  29. Aug 16, 2016 at 10:04 AM
    #29
    Andres

    Andres [OP] New Member Vendor

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    Impressive
    I didn't know Mitsubishi was involved in bullet trains.
     
  30. Aug 16, 2016 at 10:06 AM
    #30
    Andres

    Andres [OP] New Member Vendor

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    Exactly!
    It was a huge shock to know Toyota started out as a textiles company.
    I didn't mention this before but Sakichi Toyoda (founder) grew up poor, his dad was a carpenter and his mom had a simple weaving machine that she'd use to make ends meet.
    His intentions were to make a better machine for his mother so she wouldn't work as hard.

    That's how it all got started, son wanting to build a better machine for his mother.
     
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