So why is Akio’s last name Toyoda and not Toyota?

Toyoda2 As the CEO of the world's largest car company Akio Toyoda's name is all over the news…especially since he testified before Congress today.

You can and read and watch the highlights of his Congressional testimony HERE.

But why does Toyoda, the grandson of the Company's founder, spell  with a "d" and not a "t"?

BTW: Akio's  grandfather, Kiichiro Toyoda the founder of the company pictured here, also spelled his last name with a "d".

The reasons?

1) It sounds better and

2) It takes exactly eight brushstrokes to write "Toyota" in katakana, one of the two phonetic alphabets in Japanese whle "Toyoda" requires 10.

According to the Washington Post:

"Eight, widely known as a lucky number in China, is also fortuitous in Japan. Its luck stems from the way "eight" is written two strokes side by side, placed so that the character resembles an open mountain top. For the Japanese, the wider base symbolizes growth and prosperity in the future, which is exactly what Toyoda hoped for both his company and country.

The spelling tweak also served as a symbolic break from Japan's agricultural past. "Toyoda" literally means "fertile rice fields." Toyota the company, however, sought success through innovation and manufacturing prowess."

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Roman Mica
Roman Mica is a publisher, columnist, journalist, and author, who spent his early years driving fast on the German autobahn. When he’s not reviewing cars or producing videos, you can find him training for triathlons and writing about endurance sports for as our sister blog’s publisher. Mica is a former broadcast reporter with his Master’s Degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He is also a presenter for TFLcar’s very popular video review channels on YouTube.