Where did the GR Corolla Morizo get its name?

J.A.
By J.A. Ackley
Jun 2, 2022 | Toyota, Morizo

Image Courtesy Aichi Expo

The GR Corolla Morizo derives its name from Toyota Motor Corporation president–and master driver–Akio Toyoda.

How so? Is it his middle name?

No. Akio used Morizo as his alias when learning to race.

Photography Credit: Courtesy Toyota

The late Toyota chief test engineer and driver Hiromu Naruse told Akio Toyoda he doesn’t want to take instructions from someone who doesn’t intimately know about cars. Akio then took lessons from him. Hiromu invited Akio to participate in an event with him at Nürburgring. That’s where Akio truly understood the value of motorsports in creating vehicles.

Racing at the grassroots level wasn’t a focus for Toyota at the time. However, Akio was convinced of its worth for Toyota. He then proceeded to race under the pseudonym “Morizo.”

The name came from one of the mascots of the Aichi Expo, which Akio’s father led as chairman. Morizo is just a name, like Bob or Tracy or Elmer.

The expo’s Morizo is known as the Forest Grandfather:

The Forest Grandfather has been living in the forest since long ago. He's an easy-going and kind old man, he has seen many things and knows everything, but he hasn't lost his curiosity. Hearing about the Expo, he's enthusiastic about lending a hand.

Toyota says “Morizo personifies the fun and excitement” that they seek to instill in their vehicles. 

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Comments
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Patrick
Patrick GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/1/22 2:24 p.m.

Chorizo

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo PowerDork
6/1/22 6:43 p.m.

Does this mean sleepywife's Aichi Expo swag is more collectible now?

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
6/1/22 8:47 p.m.
sleepyhead the buffalo said:

Does this mean sleepywife's Aichi Expo swag is more collectible now?

Heck yeah. Watch out eBay.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/2/22 10:18 a.m.

I love names that are just names.

In college, our softball team was named Fred. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/2/22 1:46 p.m.

Nice meme, Colin.

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