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Toyota Museum

October 23, 2010

On my last day in Nagoya, Eli and I ventured out to the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, not entirely sure what we were going to find there.

It’s located very close to the Noritake museum.

I bet you are thinking the Toyota Museum is all cars. Well, so were we. But it wasn’t at all.

The first half of the museum was all about textiles. Did you know Toyota started as a textile company? Well we didn’t. It was fantastic and we were given a full private tour through how cotton was spun through the ages, from by hand, to water wheels, to full on industrialization. It was an amazing tour.

A few interesting questions we asked were deflected  (did children work in the textile factories?) and we noticed a rather large gap on the Toyota time line for what was produced during the years 1935-1945. It was impossible to tell if the factory, which was by then producing cars and doing major industrial work, was producing armaments during those years.

The museum also had demonstrations on casting and welding and other things to do with making machinery. And they let us keep our own little die cast souvenir.

More than anything though, the actual museum was beautiful, with many of the original buildings intact inside a larger building/factory space.

Then the last part of the museum was, as you would expect, all about cars, from the very most beautiful 1920s wood paneled cars to the spiff cars of the 60s and 70s.

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