Birth of Datsun and origin of the brand name

The company that created the DAT (or DAT Motor Vehicle), which is where the name "Datsun" came from, was Kwaishinsha Jidosha Kojo, founded in 1911 by M. Hashimoto. His dream was to make cars that were suited to Japan and, if possible, export them. In 1914, when he completed work on a small 2-cylinder 10-horsepower car, he borrowed the initial letters of the surnames of his three investors (K. Den, R. Aoyama, and M. Takeuchi) and gave the name "DAT" to his new car.
Later Kwaishinsha merged with the Jitsuyo Jidosha Co., Ltd. to form the Dat Jidosha Seizo Co. It went on to produce military vehicles, but in 1931 the company developed a new passenger car (500cc, 10ps), which embodied the DAT spirit. It was, however, more compact than the original DAT, so it was called DATSON - in the sense of "Son of DAT". In Japanese, though, son is the word for "loss" so instead it was changed to "SUN", which has brighter associations, when the car went on sale in March 1932.


Prototype DATSON, completed in the summer of 1931 (given the type name DAT-91).