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.

Village Shrines and Groves Lend Their Inspiration

The front entrance of Saitama Factory's Sayama Plant in 1977, soon after the start of the Hometown Forest Project. The white area indicates sections covered with straw bedding in which the potted seedlings were planted.

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

1990 - 1999
  1. The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997
  2. Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994
  3. Odyssey / 1994Odyssey / 1994
  4. 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
  5. Hosting Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991
  6. The NSX / 1990The NSX / 1990
1980 - 1989
  1. The VTEC Engine / 1989The VTEC Engine / 1989
  2. Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988
  3. An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988
  4. Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987
  5. The Airbag System / 1987The Airbag System / 1987
  6. The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983
  7. Formula One Entry / 1983Formula One Entry / 1983
  8. Development of Honda's Franz System Car / 1982Development of Honda's Franz System Car / 1982
  9. The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982
  10. Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981
  11. The Car Navigation System / 1981The Car Navigation System / 1981
  12. City / 1981City / 1981
  13. The F200 The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980
  14. Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980
1970 - 1979
  1. The Oval Piston Engine / 1979The Oval Piston Engine / 1979
  2. Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979
  3. The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978
  4. Creating Hometown Forests / 1977Creating Hometown Forests / 1977
  5. The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977
  6. Introducing the Accord / 1976Introducing the Accord / 1976
  7. CG125 / 1975CG125 / 1975
  8. Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974
  9. Company Leaders Honda and Fujisawa Retire; Kawashima Assumes Presidency / 1973Company Leaders Honda and Fujisawa Retire; Kawashima Assumes Presidency / 1973
  10. Announcing the Civic / 1972Announcing the Civic / 1972
  11. Introducing the CVCC / 1972Introducing the CVCC / 1972
  12. Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970
  13. Launching the Office of Safe Driving Promotional Operations / 1970Launching the Office of Safe Driving Promotional Operations / 1970
1960 - 1969
  1. The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969
  2. Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968
  3. The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968
  4. Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966
  5. The E300 Portable Generator / 1965The E300 Portable Generator / 1965
  6. Formula One Entry / 1964Formula One Entry / 1964
  7. Kyoto: Celebrating the Company's 15th Anniversary / 1963Kyoto: Celebrating the Company's 15th Anniversary / 1963
  8. Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963
  9. Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962
  10. Employing the Employing the "My Record" Project and Expert Certification / 1960
  11. The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960
1950 - 1959
  1. Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959

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