Tuesday, June 10, 2008

jinba ittai: rider and horse as one

I own a first-generation Mazda Miata. It's actually the second one I own - when I crashed my first one (a 1996 model) in a rare ice-storm in Austin, I replaced it with a 1997, the last year of the first generation.

I first encountered the Miata at Stanford in the early nineties, when a friend took me for a ride and it was an instantaneous connection. Only years later did I come to know that the Miata is based on a design principle, Jinba Ittai, or "rider and horse as one." This concept has been beautifully implemented in the first-generation Miata, where the car feels like a literal extension of your body, from the accessible controls, the short gear-shift, the snug seating and quick responsiveness. Ten years later, there is still an indescribable pleasure when driving the car.

It seems I've been inadvertently drawn towards youplusU for a very long time!

1 comment:

Richard said...

Isn't it divinely humorous how we can understand connections we make that reflect a deeper significance as we grow wiser in life experience! I love the anecdote; it forces me to reflect on the significance of an old Mercedes 450SEL that was important in my live. Hmm.. not coming up with good answers so far;-)