Saturday, August 29, 2015

The origin and meaning of the word “Mazda”

Ahura Mazda (right, with high crown) invests A...Did you know that the Mazda Car is named after the Zoroastrian God Ahura Mazda?

The Mazda company’s name, “Mazda,” derives from Ahura Mazda,  the Zoroastrian god of wisdom, intelligence and harmony. Used by the company as a symbol of the origin of both Eastern and Western civilizations, and also as a mark of their automobile companies work culture. 

The ancient religion of Zoroastrianism was founded by its prophet, Zoroaster (Zarthusthra in Avestan) believed to have been born in ancient Khorezm near the town of Khojeli in Karkalpakstan. It is believed to have arisen during the 10th or 11th BCE, though some believe that he lived some time between 1750 and 1200 BC. And the Parsi people of India, Pakistan place him at about 6000 BC. Zoroastrianism is a peaceful religion and is all about doing good (its morality is summed up in the phrase “good thoughts, good words, good deeds”).

The car company Mazda began its life in 1920 as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Co. in Hiroshima, Japan. At the time, there was a cork shortage because of World War I, so the company was founded to process a cork substitute made from the bark of an Abemaki or Chinese cork oak tree. It was a good idea at the time, but shortly afterwards Japan could get real cork again and the company foundered.

In 1927, Jujiro Matsuda came onboard to lead the company and started manufacturing tools, three-wheeled "trucks" and then cars. After World War II, the company formally adopted the name Mazda named after the Zoroastrian god Ahura Mazda (and was close to an anglicized pronunciation of Matsuda the founder's name).

Logo: In the 1936 logo, the M shaped curve was inspired by the emblem of Hiroshima city. The 1991 and 1992 logos symbolized a wing, the Sun and a circle of light. Mazda's current logo, nicknamed the "owl" logo, is a stylized "M" that look like stretched wings.