Monozukuri. Not a Studio Ghibli movie, but a Japanese word that, quite literally, means the ‘making of things’. A theme that LA’s Petersen Automotive Museum intends to explore via the medium of the Japanese car and its influence in the States.
In an exhibition titled ‘The Roots of Monozukuri: Creative Spirit in Japanese Automaking’, the museum has corralled together a host of cars that best embody ‘key’ tenets of Japanese design philosophy.
Specifically, design leading up to the 1970s where Japanese cars dominated the US market. We’re talking things like the Toyota 2000GT, Honda N600, Mazda Cosmo, Nissan Silvia, and the simply adorable Toyota Sports 800, above.
“The impact of the Japanese automotive industry on American life is so powerful,” explains Petersen’s exec director Terry L Karges, “that the story has to be represented in two parts to truly capture the spirit of Japanese innovation.”
That’s right, this weekend’s exhibition is a two-for-one affair. For while on the one hand you get classic Japanese automobiles, like the simply adorable Toyota Sports 800, above, on the other you get an exhibit called ‘Fine Tuning’.
This one focuses specifically on LA’s fascination with Japanese cars, and the customisation of them. Things like a modified 1991 Toyota Cresta ‘Kaido’ racer, a Civic Si and an RX-3.
Both exhibitions kick off this weekend, 26 May, and run right through to 14 April 2019. So you’ve got a bit of time. Click through for some highlights, including the simply adorable Toyota Sports 800, above.
Photography: Petersen Automotive Museum