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April 10, 2020

Brush Up on Honda's History with This Manga-Style Web Series

For those stuck at home during this period of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, why don’t you use this opportunity to brush up on a bit of automotive history. Honda is now making the Honda Origins available on its website or via YouTube.

Using Japanese-style manga drawings with audio and historic photographs, Honda Origins retraces the life of company founder Soichiro Honda. The audio-visual journey from the beginnings of Honda through to its achievements and legacy has 6 episodes lasting between 10 to 20 minutes.

Honda tells its story in the unique and iconic style of Japanese comic books. The series uses the original manga comic “Honda Soichiro Hon Den”, published by Shogakukan Inc., to interweave the founder's life and unique philosophy on life and business with the evolution of the company from its origins to the world-famous multinational that it is today.

The first episode of the series, “Bouncing Back”, tells how Soichiro Honda came through the Second World War (1939–1945), to found the Honda Technical Research Institute in 1946 in the city of Hamamatsu, launching his journey with a generator engine attached to a bicycle. This venture, together with Takeo Fujisawa, became the Honda Motor Company two years later in 1948.

The other chapters (A Dream is Born; Crisis on the Way to the Isle of Man Declaration; American Advance; Veni, Vidi, Vici: We Hate to Lose) portray keys moments of his life and values, and the history of the company, making special reference to Honda's commitment to motorcycles, cars, and racing. One of the most important values highlighted in the series is perseverance and learning from failure; this is embodied by a quotation from Soichiro Honda that defines the spirit of the company: “Success represents the 1 percent of your work which results from the 99 percent that is called failure”.

The last chapter in the series (Epilogue) recounts the company's beginnings as a multinational through its expansion in the United States, and ends shortly afterwards with the joint retirement of Honda’s two founders on the same day.

This entertaining series can be watched on Honda’s Global Page or via YouTube.

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