Unlike some rural areas of Japan, the blue-skied Miyagi-ken, in the northern areas of Honshu, seem to be retaining their prosperity. The cows live indoors, the residents drive new cars and build new houses — even some in Meiji-era castle style, never a cheap undertaking. New roads are paved, farmlands across the region are worked constantly, and few (if any) lost cars litter the landscape.
So while one train-line that traversed the district has been decommissioned, its rolling-stock has been recovered, a Showa-era station has been restored, and is well on its way to becoming a local densha-otaku museum.
There is no haikyo to be found, not even the usual rural pachinko parlors, and even the few classic cars spotted look sweet and new, this RT40 Toyota Corona Deluxe among them. The only mark on it is the small crease in the license plate. Everything else from its gorgeous blue glass (why do they no longer make cars with blue glass?), to black vinyl interior was in perfect, low-km condition.
Except perhaps for its clutch. A nearby construction foreman advised its one owner since new was waiting on a clutch part (perhaps not the pressure-plate as my Japanese auto-parts name vocabulary is a little lacking). The foreman commented that somewhere they were waiting on an order for parts to mount up before making and/or shipping them.
A fellow photographer and I looked it over affectionately, before traipsing off for the rest of our photo shoot.
The shinkansen may now blast through Miyagi-ken on their way North, but the local residents are a great example of modern Japan — cows living on carpet with beer & grain, a new Lexus in the garage, and a mint Corona to enjoy.
Skorj is a photographer/journalist living in Japan. You can see more of his work at Magnesium Photos.
Skorj- Normally I think your photos are awesome, with great quality, BUT, today you are seriously lacking my friend! ONE shot of the Corona!?!?!?!? What up!? Was the camera tired? That’s it, isn’t it. 🙂
Is this a Toyota? According to the grille badge, this is a Toyopet.
QD – to be fair to Skorj, he originally had Toyopet but I changed it to Toyota. Editor’s privilege! 😉
But yeah, technically speaking, a lot of cars, including the MS50 Crown, were sold under the Toyopet badge but few people refer to them that way, even in Japan.
Toyopet and Toyota were the same company. It’s not like Datsun and Nissan where a lot of people were still calling their Nissans “Datsuns” years after the merger. Toyota has always been Toyota, the Toyopet name seems like it was just a gimmick to me, as not all the cars sold by them in the early days carried the Toyopet name. All the same, It’s still a Toyota, and there aren’t enough pics of it!
My fault entirely, I only took one serious shot of this little ‘Pet. I was on another shoot, and figured we all knew what a Corona looked like. A mistake! As I realize I want more myself… Next time, I will not be so slack.
As for Toyota vs. Toyopet, as Bert says, we all read ‘Toyopet’ as ‘Toyota’ regardless. Especially as all the parts inside are all clearly marked トヨタ。
Plus, many Toyota yards in Japan are still labeled Toyopet to this day. Many of you I am sure have received parts labeled トヨペット. Here is their present range:
Skorj-It’s okay mate! All is forgiven, just remember, when you see another old Toyota/Toyopet you will have a sudden nervous twitch in your trigger finger.
“What’s with all the pics of the Rona?”
” Dude, I saw it, and may finger went crazy! I couldn’t stop! It just went click,click,click,click like mad! Do you think there’s something wrong with me?”
“No man, that’s normal around old J-Tin”
“Whew, thank God!”
That’s alright Skorj, I appreciate your rural & urban views of Japan 😉
Yeah, Toyopet is still a Toyota, dude. (QD) Just like a Lexus is, a Scion is, a Geo Prizm is…