Yamaha Motor's Waza and Sube

Days Gone By - Stories from the Trailblazing Years of Yamaha Motor By Chikara Yasukawa

- These entries are an English translation of written and edited Japanese.
- The names of companies, groups, municipalities, facilities, historical events, technical terms, nicknames, etc., are as close as possible to how they were originally written and published.
- Yamaha company acronyms in the original text have been changed to more common wording.
- Entries use Western dating instead of the Japanese era name system, e.g., “Showa 30” is changed to “1955.”
- The text layout has been altered for website viewing.
- Some photographs have been either replaced or removed.

Foreword

When I retired as president of Sanshin Industries Co., Ltd.—a manufacturing subsidiary of Yamaha Motor for outboard motors and marine engines—someone suggested that I write about what I had experienced over my many years as an employee in the company newsletter, something younger employees might find of interest.

However, when I sat down to do so I realized that, while I felt I gave everything I had in those days, I could only remember fragments. I never thought that the footsteps I had left behind would be so shallow in my mind and felt ashamed at how little I could dig up from my memory. Still, I thought that even fragmentary recollections of my experiences might be of some interest or a point of reference to others, so I decided to write down my fading memories—my literary skills be damned—lest they be lost in the mists of time.

The first pages of my life as a working member of society, i.e., a salaryman, began with my time at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and then joining Yamaha. The following three writings cover my time at Yamaha: Motorcycles and Me, Days Spent with Cars and Together with Outboards. They were originally published in eight bi-monthly installments in the Sanshin Industries’ company newsletter Sea Breeze beginning in November 1991. I’ve made a couple additions in this compilation of those articles.

Looking back on it now, I realize how short the life of a salaryman is. Along the way, it’s sometimes filled with anger and resentment, but other times it’s filled with emotion and burning passion.

May 1993

Motorcycles and Me

  1. 1The Seven Samurai and the Red Dragonfly
  2. 2We Become a Motorcycle Company
  3. 3Creating a New Motorcycle on Our Own
  4. 4Our Ideals Give Birth to the YD-1
  5. 5Uncharted Territory: Engineering from the Ground Up
  6. 6The YD-1 Is Showered with Praise
  7. 7The First Bike with a Good Design Award
  8. 8Another Job to Do
  9. 9Another Perfect Win at Asama

Days Spent with Cars

  1. 1The Inspection Tour of Europe and the U.S.
  2. 2The Yasukawa Research Lab and Developing the YX-30
  3. 3Japan’s First Sports Car
  4. 4The Battle with the Tice Engine
  5. 5Setbacks & Comebacks
  6. 6A Sports Car Known to Few
  7. 7A Request from Toyota Motor
  8. 8Aiming for the Tokyo Motor Show
  9. 9Our Unusual Development Process Continues and We Go Racing
  10. 10The Toyota 2000GT Debuts with a World Record!
  11. 11After the Toyota 2000GT

Together with Outboards

Coming Soon

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