The Japanese engineer and industrialist was  the eldest son of a blacksmith and  a weaver

Gihei Honda, Soichiro's father, ran a bicycle repair shop. His mother, Mika, wove textiles.

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As a child, Soichiro Honda was ingenious but had little interest in traditional education

He built a stamp from a used rubber bicycle pedal cover to forge his family seal on his grade reports. He eventually got caught after he began doing the same for other kids.

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The Model-T Ford was the first car he ever saw

Soichiro Honda was 8 years old when it rolled into his village. He never forgot the strong scent of the car’s oil.

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Soichiro Honda also loved airplanes

When he was 10, he raided his family's cash box, "borrowed" one of his father's bikes, and rode 20 miles to watch an airplane demo.

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He raced using cars that he built until 1936 when he got into a crash

He was driving at 120 kph. His car turned thrice in the air, and he was thrown out of it. It took him 3 months to recover.

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Before Honda Motor Company, there was Tokai Seiki

In 1937, Soichiro Honda started Tokai Seiki, which produced piston rings and aircraft engines.

WW2 and an earthquake devastated its factories. Honda sold the remnants to Toyota in 1945.

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Soichiro Honda was an accomplished inventor

He owned more than 100 patents, including a technique for making piston rings.

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He formed an unbeatable team with his friend Takeo Fujisawa

Honda provided his mechanical genius, while Fujisawa handled finances and grew the company. They retired together in 1973.

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Soichiro Honda refused to let his son and relatives join his company, going against Japanese traditions

His son, Hirotoshi Honda, is an engineer, business magnate, and the founder of Mugen Motorsports.

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He tested every new model made by his company

Soichiro Honda did this until his retirement.

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Soichiro Honda led an active lifestyle

He was a licensed pilot and a huge fan of car racing. His hobbies included ballooning, golf, hang gliding, and skiing.

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He did not want to make problems for other people⁠—even after he passed away.

Soichiro Honda didn’t want his funeral to cause traffic, so he requested that his family and company simply publish “Thank you very much” in newspapers when he died.

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Soichiro Honda rightly earned the title of “Japan’s Henry Ford.”

Honda Motor Company started as a wooden shack that made motorized bicycles. It is now a global leader in manufacturing motorcycles and internal combustion engines.

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