Have you ever heard the name Soichiro Honda? He is the man who a little while after WWII established his own motorbike company, which later turned into the Honda Technical Research Institute in Hamamatsu, Japan. By 1963 the company became the biggest motorcycle manufacturer in the world and in the same year they introduced their first automobile – The Honda T360 pickup truck. Since then the little boy’s dream to produce motorcycles and cars became part of the reality of thousands of people in the world.
It is clear that the name of one of the most popular car brands on the planet comes from the name of its founder. However, in Japan there is an unusual case with people’s names. They usually mean things like green bean, yellow tree, red pepper and etc. For someone who is born and raised far from the Asian continent it may sounds unusual, but as it is in the far away places, it’s a matter of culture. Honda has its own meaning as well.
A little check on the internet confirms that Honda stands for more than just Soichiro’s name. It actually means ‘original rice paddy’. Japan is a country that was isolated from the rest of the world for a long time. The language barrier is huge and this makes it easy for the West to accept their car name’s meaning to be connected with original rice paddy in Japan.
However, if you’re up to choose a name for your start up that will be marketed in Japan, then you should consider carefully the name. You will probably need a linguist, a philologist who has a degree in Japanese culture or a professional brand naming company in order to give your company a proper name. Or just ask Highnames for help by email.
You can read more about car brands and their names here.