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In the Attic named Pleiades

Friday, 13 Jul 2012

The Pleiades constellation, which constitutes the motif for the Subaru brand mark, is composed of six or seven stars depending on the person looking and country. In Japan, because the constellation appears to be a chain of six stars, the name “Mutsuraboshi” has also been used.

In this column, we pick up materials and documents from past Subaru catalogs, magazines and technical materials describing the stance of Subaru engineers towards manufacturing and the historical backdrop of past developments.

Here, we have picked up materials from the 1966 extra edition of the “Subaru” magazine that was launched as a car informational magazine for Subaru users on January 25, 1960, two years after the launch of the Subaru 360. We will introduce episodes from two engineers who were single-mindedly devoted to developing the Subaru 1000 at the time. Here we see the Monozukuri (the art of manufacturing) spirit of Subaru that has been faithfully passed down to the development staff of today.

In the Mind of Subaru 1000 Development Engineers
(Source: “Subaru” magazine – Subaru 1000 extra edition (issued May 20, 1966))

Two Designers
Mr. Shinroku Momose

Manager, No. 1 Engineering Department, Gunma Plant, Fuji Heavy Industries (at that time)

He is tall but well-balanced, and his height creates his unique stature. His calm behavior, restrained demeanor, befitting softness, and the human sternness contained therein, were no doubt annealed from his days at Nakajima Aircraft Company. From his words, one can sense this engineer’s tenacity, determination and keen eye.

“There is nothing perfect in the world. However, we can make efforts to get closer to perfection. This is the challenge that faces the engineer. The difficulty lies in making the correct efforts for satisfying the given themes under the given conditions.”

This man maybe constantly has such thoughts on his mind as he designs and builds cars. Certainly, looking from the side of passengers, cars have to run well. Also, cars need to be manufactured to be safe and durable. In this respect, we want good cars that grasp the essence of automobiles to be made as a result of accumulating the “correct efforts” described by this engineer.

“In the past we made the Subaru 360 together with young colleagues. Fortunately, this car was driven by many people for eight years. This, more than anything, is the ultimate joy for an engineer.”

After the Subaru 360, he led the product development team for the Subaru 1000. (Born in 1919, 47 years old (1966))