Mitsubishi is the abbreviated name of the multinational giant Mitsubishi Group. He forms the large professional organization Mitsubishi Keiretsu. The founder of the company is Iwasaki Yataro, who brought it to the market in the spring of 1870. Now it owns many subsidiaries and enterprises of different directions, expanding its interests to mining, shipbuilding and automotive, gas and oil, banking, chemical, aviation, insurance industries, and many other areas of the economy. This group includes four parent organizations: Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric, and MUFG Bank. The head office is based in Tokyo (Japan).
Meaning and History
What is Mitsubishi?
Mitsubishi is a group of companies that develop Japan’s industry. It consists of about 40 organizations with different lines of business. They are engaged in property insurance, construction, banking, manufacturing of metal products, electronics, drinks, glass, paper, raw chemicals, and more. And Mitsubishi Motors Corporation makes cars.
The company’s roots go back to the second half of the 19th century when Iwasaki Yataro became the head of the shipping company Tsukumo Trading. In 1873, she rebranded herself as Mitsubishi. Success came to her after an agreement with the Japanese government on the delivery of soldiers and military materials. The firm, in turn, also supported the new leadership of the country, deploying troops and weapons in 1877 to suppress the Satsuma Rebellion. Later, Yataro began investing in other industries: ship repair, finance, and mining.
In 1884, the entrepreneur rented the Nagasaki Shipyard to move on to building ships. He later renamed the facility Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works. It went through several more changes until it became Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. in the early 20th century. In 1917, the company assembled the debut Mitsubishi Model A, the first production car in Japan. But then the car was discontinued, as it cost much more than its American counterparts.
In 1934, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding merged with the Mitsubishi Aircraft Co. organization, which was engaged in producing aircraft engines and other components for ships and aircraft. The newly formed structure was named MHI (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries) and was the largest private company in Japan. She focused on the manufacture of large vehicles and equipment.
What does the Mitsubishi logo mean?
The basis for the Mitsubishi triangular pattern was the coats of arms of the clans that were the ancestors of Yataro Iwasaki. The coat of arms on the mother’s side contained oak leaves associated with the family’s place of origin, and the sign on the father’s side consisted of rhombuses. The designers combined these motifs by arranging the rhombuses in the shape of an aircraft propeller or the blades of a ship when the company was engaged in the production of air and water transport.
In 1937, the firm designed and assembled a prototype military sedan. It became the first four-wheel-drive vehicle made in Japan. However, immediately after the war, the enterprise switched to the production of passenger cars. In 1950, the allied states ordered the liquidation of industrial conglomerates, resulting in which MHI split into three regional companies.
1870 – 1875
The organization’s debut emblem is directly related to its name since Mitsubishi is formed from the words “mitsu,” which translates as “three” and “hishi” – “water chestnut.” The image of this plant is often used in Japanese to denote a diamond or rhombus. Therefore, the logo consists of a combination of the Iwasaki family crest with three diamonds of different sizes overlapping each other and an asymmetrical “blade” with three oak leaves, which was the personal mark of the Yamauchi dynasty controlled Shikoku, where Yataro was born. Both symbols were used at the same time.
1875 – 1914
In 1875, the corporate logo was changed due to the expanded coverage of various areas of technology production and with the final transition to the Mitsubishi name. In particular, at that time, the company had other transport-building directions, so it was decided to graphically combine the heraldry of the two dynasties with ship blades and an aircraft propeller. This is how elongated rhombuses appeared, connected at the center by the ends. The developers added color to them by replacing black with red.
1914 – today
Now the images of the blades are unified and look like three-wide rhombuses. The two lower elements lie sideways on edge, and the upper one rises above them at the narrowest part. They are all connected in the center. Moreover, there are variants of the logo, both with an inscription and without. The text consists of the name of the transnational giant and is located under the corporate icon.
1970 – today
For greater brand recognition, the brand name “Mitsubishi” appeared under the logo. This option was mainly used in the media and other print media.
Mitsubishi’s corporate identity is based on historical heraldry – the coat of arms of the Iwasaki family and the symbol of the Yamauchi dynasty, which controlled the area where Iwasaki Yataro was born. Initially, these were oak leaves and rhombuses, stacked one on top of the other. Then the designers rethought them and combined them into one symbol – a rhombus for a diamond since the word “hishi” is translated as “water chestnut.” And he in Japan symbolizes this precious mineral, which is why the locals call this sign “three diamonds.”
In addition, according to Japanese canons, a figure consisting of three elements diverging in different directions is called “triseps” – a designation of heavenly power. That is, the founder put a very great meaning in the name of the purchased company: a messenger from heaven and an earthly jewel. All this is graphically combined and conveyed in the logo.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
Why is the Mitsubishi logo red?
In Japan, the color red used to be considered a symbol of good luck because it supposedly scared away evil spirits. Later it was associated with blood, which, in turn, is the embodiment of energy and vitality.
The word “Mitsubishi” can be used as part of a logo or separately. It is made in an individual font with the letter “B” separated in the middle. That is, the right and left sides are not closed. There is also an “M” with a taper at the bottom on the central part.
The palette of the logo is sparse. In the early versions of the logo, only black and white were present. And later versions are more diverse since an additional color has appeared: the icon is made in red, the inscription is black, the background is white.