Subaru was founded 63 years ago by Kenji Kita. He had a long dream of getting the company he was the CEO of, Fuji Heavy Industries, into the business of car manufacturing. Kita began plans for building a car with the development code-name P-1. Kita asked for and received many proposals for an official name for the new car. None appealed to him in any significant way, which lead to the first time ever that love made a Subaru a Subaru.
Kita gave the car a Japanese name that he had “been cherishing in his heart”: Subaru, which is the name of the Pleiades star cluster in Japanese. So much of his love, heart and soul was put into this car that no name was good enough except for one that came from so deep in his heart.
The Pleiades is a star cluster not too far from Earth and visible with the naked eye. The cluster is dominated by hot blue and extremely luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years. The Pleiades were an inspiration to Kita 63 years ago as he navigated his way through the invention of the brand, as well as helping sailors navigate the Mediterranean Sea, as ‘the season of navigation began with their heliacal rising’. Subaru has even recently collaborated with Japanese anime studio to produce animation series ‘Wish Upon the Pleiades’ as a marketing effort in Japan. The series can be viewed on YouTube and a film adaptation is currently in production.
The Pleiades were used to create the logo for Subaru as well. The six star design (although the star cluster contains seven stars, two of them are so close they look like one) is the focal point of the brand’s emblem. There has always been a blue background due to the bright blue burning of the stars. Subaru’s emblem has remained consistently used around the world since 1958, emphasizing the brand’s ongoing, global unity.