I'm a little bit obsessed with Japanese brands. I think it is related to my Japanese roots, that if I want to buy something, I always wonder if there is a Japanese brand selling it. Whether it is about a guitar (Fender Squier) or a Hifi set (Yamaha), on which I come back in another blogstory, I always look for a Japanese brand. As well as with cars I do so. Since my father was Japanese, our first familycar had to be Japanese of course! It was a white Toyota Carina 1977.
I still remember its typical double headlights in the front and the blocked backlights. But what I remeber the most is the sticker on the rear window. It became a cult slogan those times and has a nostalgic connotation nowadays: "My Toyota Is Fantastic". I think it was my first conscious encounter with the national flag of Japan. The slogan was in fact flancked on both sides by the welknown beautifull Japanese flag (which I also find a very stylized design flag). Unfortunately I didn't found a picture of it with the flags...
Since we had our Carina 1977, I kind of fell in love with Toyota. The first car I bought with my own money, after getting my drivers licence, was a Toyota Carina e break. Untill now I only bought Toyota's. After the Carina e, came a Yaris, a Corolla Verso and now we drive very proudly with our Avensis.
Another link with my personal life goes back to my childhood. When I was about 5 years old, each weekend some students from the Europa College Bruges came to our place to spend some time with us. It all began with a Japanese student visiting my father. After a while, he brought some friends along. One came from Honduras and another was Belgian. The Belgian friend married a Japanese woman and gained a high rank in the Belgian branch from Toyota in Brussels (Zaventem). It would be so nice to meet him again in my position as relocator for Toyota... Unfortunately he doesn't work with Toyota anymore. Yet it would be an honour for me to work for Toyota as a freelance relocator!