VIDEO: Watch loads of JNC goodness in this documentary about Japan in the 1970s

Japan in the 70s overpass

The video you’re about to watch is what American schoolchildren were taught about Japan in the 1970s. Throughout it all, there are brilliant scenes of Showa Era Japanese streets and the cars that populate them. 

Mitsubishi employee apartment parking lot

It starts by following the Yoshimuras, a typical Japanese family, go about their daily life. Mr. Yoshimura works for an unnamed Japanese company, but perhaps the parking lot in his corporate apartment complex offers a clue to which one. Any guesses?

Mitsubishi factory 1960s

There’s also footage of cars being assembled, though apparently they are Colt 1100 sedans from an earlier decade.

Nissan B310 Sunny at port for export

And there’s clips of B310 Nissan Sunnys being shipped off for export (perhaps it’s stock footage, which explains the discrepancies in time and marque, but it’s nonetheless cool).

Mitsuibshi FTO on Showa Era intersection

And then there’s a freaking Mitsubishi FTO just cold cruising down a city street without any awareness of how unbelievably cool and rare it will be four decades into the future.

Japan in the 70s street

The conclusion — that American children should be as respectful and hardworking as Japanese kids — is a bit propaganda-y, but the in-period video is priceless.

Watch the video and be amazed.

Thanks to for the tip!

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8 Responses to VIDEO: Watch loads of JNC goodness in this documentary about Japan in the 1970s

  1. Jim Simspson says:

    Truly excellent lead to watching even more Japan video on Youtube… what a great time…

  2. Randy says:

    VERY well worth watching! So much to take away from them! Thank you!

    “. . . that American children should be as respectful and hardworking as Japanese kids,” may be “propaganda-y,” but it’s right.

    One thing that we should adopt (readopt?) is the concept of loyalty between employers and employees. We used to have that, but it seems to have been lost.

    While I couldn’t live packed in like they are, there are definitely some aspects that could be adopted here.

    I like how they reduced pollution by turning the “pollution” into “other materials.” Less pollution; more useful stuff!

    • Ben Hsu says:

      The idea that employers/employees have loyalty is something that was blown up by Carlos Ghosn when he became the head Nissan in 1999. Gone also were the relationships large companies had with the smaller family-owned businesses. In fact, I think I’m going to add that part into the description of the 2nd video.

    • Ben Hsu says:

      I’ve gone down a rabbit hole. I’m going to make that its own article.

  3. SHC says:

    As the U.S.has changed during the ’70’s I’m sure the Japanese society has undergone “changes”. The film reminded me of the old travelog’s I used to watch at school. I’ll be anxious to see video #2.

    • AKADriver says:

      I’d say, the biggest difference between this era and today, is that Japan’s story is no longer about building, reinventing, recovering – it’s, like our cars, about finding a graceful path into old age.

      The factoid that stood out is the personal savings rate. Today Japan’s is <1%, vs. US 4%, eurozone 8%, vs. almost 25% for Japan in the late '70s.

  4. Banpei says:

    Well worth watching! 🙂
    Reminds me of the books about Japan I borrowed from the library when I was about 8 or 9 years old. Their tone was similar to what the narrator says in this video: “Japan is great. Japan’s workers are loyal. Japan’s children are respectful. We should take an example.” etc.

  5. Jake says:

    Awesome!!!! At around 7:40 you can see a stock 4 door Hakosuka in the background.

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