The first president of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), Kenji Kita, had some definite opinions on the subject of automobiles. "If you're going to build a car, build a full-fledged car." "Japanese cars should have Japanese names." Mr. Kita was ardent about producing passenger cars and was the most passionate of all about the 1954 prototype of the Company's first passenger car, the P-1.
Mr. Kita canvassed the Company for suggestions about naming the P-1, but none of the proposals were appealing. In the end, Mr. Kita gave the car a beautiful Japanese name that he had been quietly cherishing in his heart — Subaru. Subaru is the name of a star cluster in the Taurus constellation. Six of its stars are visible to the naked eye, but about 250 bluish stars can be seen if one uses a telescope.
In the West the cluster is called Pleiades, in China, Mao, and in Japan, Subaru (“to govern” or gather together”). In Japan, it also goes by the name Mutsuraboshi (“Six Stars”), under which title it appears frequently in very old Japanese documents such as Kojiki and Manyosyu and literature such as Makura-no-soshi. Clearly, this is one of the clusters much loved by the Japanese from ancient times. Interestingly enough, FHI was created by the merger of six companies, so you can see what a truly evocative name Subaru is.
Subaru safety assessments around the world