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The Story Behind Mitsubishi and Its Name

By Product Expert | Posted in Just For Fun on Friday, June 21st, 2019 at 7:25 pm
historic photo of people standing around mitsubishi car with text saying The Story of Mitsubishi

Where Does the Mitsubishi Name Come From? 

Do you ever hear the name of a brand and think, “I wonder how they came up with that?” Often times, the names for brands derive from the last names of the brand’s founder. That is certainly the case with many automotive brands, and you might think that is the situation for Mitsubishi 

In fact, however, the founder of Mitsubishi is named Iwasaki Yataro. Clearly, the name Mitsubishi is nothing close to that, so where does the Mitsubishi name come from? 

The Meaning Behind Mitsubishi 

Many people don’t realize that the company began in 1870 as a shipping business. In 1873, its name was changed to Mitsubishi Shokai. 

So, what does Mitsubishi mean? Well, the name has two parts. The first part is “mitsu” and it means “three.” The second part, “hishi” (morphs into “bishi”), means water chestnut, represented by the diamonds in the logo. And, as you can see in the Mitsubishi logo, there are three of those diamonds, so the name fits. 

mitsubishi model-aWhat Was the First Mitsubishi Car? 

As we stated above, Mitsubishi started as a shipping company in the 19th Century. So, at one point did they actually get into the car business. 

Well, it wasn’t until 1917 when Mitsubishi began mass producing vehicles. In fact, the company developed the very first mass-production car in Japanese history. It was called the Model-A. Mitsubishi got into the aircraft business during WWII and really didn’t get back into the car business until the 1950s and 1960s. It wasn’t until 1971 that Mitsubishi sold its first car in America, branded as the Dodge Colt. 

[Read more: Have all your Mitsubishi questions answered here!] 

Learn more about Mitsubishi and everything else automotive by returning to our website blog. We’ll keep you updated with all the latest so that you don’t miss a beat. 

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