Creating Hometown Forests / 1977

A Symbol of Harmony for People, a Factory and Nature

Creating Hometown Forests / 1977

Village Shrines and Groves Lend Their Inspiration

It was in 1976 at a school reunion when Michihiro Nishida, then a corporate vice-president, learned about the "hometown forest" theory from Akira Miyawaki, then professor at Yokohama National University. Professor Miyawaki had been Nishida's junior in school, graduating from the Yokohama Technical College of Engineering currently Yokohama National University, Engineering Department. Nishida was very excited about the idea of creating groves like those surrounding village shrines, since it was a completely new concept for him. Following Miyawaki's speech, Nishida immediately offered the professor his enthusiastic assistance.

Nishida wasted no time in buying and reading the books Miyawaki had authored. The professor's idea was essentially to plant the native tree species that had embodied the natural beauty of Japan throughout its history, and to create what we now see in the groves surrounding local shrines. By doing so, he believed it was possible to preserve the country's unique ecological matrix. Such plantings would encompass a broad spectrum of trees and shrubs, each with its own group of varieties. Nishida was fascinated by the word, "variety."

"This is just what Mr. Honda has been saying about how a company should be," thought Nishida.

Some trees are strong, yet others are weak. Tall trees are often surrounded by shorter ones that support them at the base. Similarly, there are varieties of employees within a company. To hire people having the same ideas and mindsets may at first appear very efficient, but such companies are vulnerable to change and will eventually fall from prosperity. This was the idea persistently put forth by Soichiro Honda. He believed that choosing people of diverse backgrounds and experience, and allowing them to maintain their character and opinions would vitalize the organization and make it stronger in the long run.

Inspired by the concept of diversity, Nishida believed the idea of a hometown forest would not only provide solutions for environmental problems but prove useful in managing the people within a company. Therefore, he invited Prof. Miyawaki to the company, where he could speak to the Board of Directors. Following his address at the head office, Miyawaki was asked to visit other factories and branches and give lectures there. As a result, Miyawaki's theory was gradually adopted by Honda and disseminated among its employees.

Recalls Nishida, "I simply introduced Miyawaki's idea. Once the idea was disseminated, initiatives were born and projects were started without anyone giving specific directions."

Hence, the ideal to which Soichiro Honda held so enthusiastically materialized in the form of the Hometown Forest Project.

The Challenging Spirit of Honda

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  3. Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966
  4. Introducing N360 / 1967Introducing N360 / 1967
  5. Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968
  6. Introducing the CVCC / 1972Introducing the CVCC / 1972
  7. Announcing the Civic / 1972Announcing the Civic / 1972
  8. Introducing the Accord / 1976Introducing the Accord / 1976
Marketing Globally, Producing Lacally
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  2. Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959
  3. Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963
  4. Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980
A Refreshing New Development
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Products Emerging From Technology and Innovation
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  3. The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968
  4. The Car Navigation System / 1981The Car Navigation System / 1981
  5. The Airbag System / 1987The Airbag System / 1987
  6. Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987
  7. The VTEC Engine / 1989The VTEC Engine / 1989
  8. The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977
  9. The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983
  10. The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969
  11. CG125 / 1975CG125 / 1975
  12. Road Pal / 1976Road Pal / 1976
  13. City / 1981City / 1981
  14. The NSX / 1990The NSX / 1990
  15. Odyssey / 1994Odyssey / 1994
  16. Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988
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  18. The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978
  19. The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980
Production Technology: The Essence of Creative Manufacturing
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  2. Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974
  3. The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982
  4. Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981
  5. An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988
A Neverending Passion for Racing
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  3. Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979
  4. Formula One Entry: The Initial Phase / 1964Formula One Entry: The Initial Phase / 1964
  5. Formula One Entry: The Second Phase / 1983Formula One Entry: The Second Phase / 1983
  6. Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994
  7. The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997
Creativity - The Way to Work Harder, Play Harder
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  2. Establishment of Honda Taiyo, Kibo-no-Sato Honda and Honda R&D Taiyo / 1992Establishment of Honda Taiyo, Kibo-no-Sato Honda and Honda R&D Taiyo / 1992
  3. Creating Hometown Forests / 1977Creating Hometown Forests / 1977
  4. Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991

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