Shinichiro Sakurai

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In this Japanese name, the family name is "Sakurai".
Shinichiro Sakurai
桜井 眞一郎
Shinichiro Sakurai (Prince Motor Company) in 1953.jpg
Shinichiro Sakurai in 1953
Born (1929-04-03)3 April 1929
Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture
Died 17 January 2011(2011-01-17) (aged 81)
Setagaya, Tokyo
Nationality Japanese
Education Yokohama National University
Engineering career
Significant projects Nissan Skyline
Significant awards Japan Automotive Hall of Fame (2005)


Shinichiro Sakurai (桜井 眞一郎 Sakurai Shin'ichirō?, 1929-2011) was a Japanese engineer inducted into the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame[1] who originally worked for Prince Motor Company then later moved to Nissan. After graduating from Yokohama National University, Sakurai worked for the Shimizu Corporation before he was given the opportunity to work in the Japanese automotive industry, which was his first intent. He later joined Prince as a chassis engineer in 1952, and was heavily involved in the development of the first generation Nissan Skyline (also called the Prince Skyline). He continued to head the Nissan Skyline project long after the Nissan takeover, headed the Nissan MID4 project, and was appointed President of Autech (a Nissan subsidiary) in 1986. He continued to work in the automotive field up until his death.[2]

Sakurai died of heart failure on January 17, 2011.[3][4]


History[edit]

The following sentences are based on the four sources stated in the "References" section.[5][1][6][7]

Shinichiro Sakurai at Yokohama National University at the age of 19


Shinichiro Sakurai (second from left sitting) and his boss Takuya Himura (leftmost standing) at the Mitaka Plant of the Prince Motor Company circa 1954.


  • April 1954 - The Prince Motor Company was merged with the Fuji Precision Industries. (The name Prince Motor Company disappeared in the meantime.) The senior design manager was Ryoichi Nakagawa.
  • February 1961 - The Fuji Precision Industries changed its name to the Prince Motor Company. (The name "Prince Motor Company" revived.)
  • September 1963 - The assistant manager of the vehicle development group No. 1 of the passenger car department.
  • June 1965 - The assistant manager of the vehicle development group No. 2 of the vehicle technology department No. 1.
  • August 1966 - The Prince Motor Company was merged into the Nissan Motor Company. Assigned as the assistant manager of the vehicle development group No. 2, the vehicle technology department No. 1, the Prince division, the Nissan Motor Company.
  • January 1968 - The manager of the vehicle development group No. 2 of the design department No. 4.
  • January 1970 - The manager of the vehicle development group No. 8 of the design department No. 4.
  • January 1971 - Attached to the vehicle development department No. 3.
  • February 1974 - The chief vehicle coordinator of the vehicle development department No. 3.
  • February 1976 - The deputy manager of the vehicle development department No. 3.
  • January 1979 - The chief vehicle coordinator of the product developmentment office.
  • January 1980 - The senior manager and the chief vehicle coordinator of the product developmentment office.
  • February 1984 - The senior manager of the vehicle developmentment control department, the product developmentment office.
  • January 1986 - The senior manager of the technical vehicle design department.
  • October 1986 - The president of the Autech.
  • April 1989 - The part-time instructor of the Osaka Sangyo University.
  • December 1994 - The president of the S&S Engineering.
  • October 1995 - The part-time instructor of the Tokai University.
  • May 2005 - Inducted to the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame.
  • August 2006 - The chairman of the S&S Holdings.
  • October 2008 - The chairman of the Lenz Environmental Resources.
  • July 2010 - The chairman of the S&S Engineering.
  • January 17, 2011 - Died in Setagaya, Tokyo.

Quotes from Naganori Ito[edit]

Words from Naganori Ito, one of Sakurai's apprentices.

  • During my Prince years, I learned what the Prince Motors spirit is from many people. Especially from Mr. Jiro Tanaka, who supervised the Prince Engineering Department, and from Mr. Shinichiro Sakurai, who was my direct boss.[8]
  • Sakurai-san was examining me if I could overcome any kinds of difficulties he assigns. I heard that a lion parent kicks the children down into the abyss of a ravine, and brings up the kids who can climb up. The “Sakurai School” was just like a “Lion School”. [8]

Death[edit]

Shinichiro Sakurai died in a heart failure on January 17, 2011.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The History and the Biography of Shinichiro Sakurai (Japanese) - Japan Automotive Hall of Fame
  2. ^ Sakurai and the Skyline
  3. ^ 桜井真一郎氏死去 元「スカイライン」開発責任者 Kyodo News January 20, 2011 (Japanese)
  4. ^ Shinichiro Sakurai, Father of the Skyline, 1929-2011 japanesenostalgiccar.com January 23, 2011
  5. ^ 『「プリンス」荻窪の思い出 II』荻友会編 私家版 1997年11月16日 "Prince - Memories of Ogikubo" Private press by Tekiyukai (former Prince engineers) Association, Nov. 16, 1997 (Japanese)
  6. ^ S&S Holdings Official Website "History of the founder" (Japanese)
  7. ^ 桜井眞一郎著『スカイラインとともに』神奈川新聞社 2006年4月 ISBN 978-4876453740 SAKURAI, Shinichiro "With the Skyline" Kanagawa Shimbun, April 2006 (Japanese)
  8. ^ a b ITO, Naganori “Pursue the Run – the Development of the R32 Skyline GT-R” P17 April 18, 2005, Grand Prix Publishing Co., Ltd. (Japanese) ISBN 4-87687-270-8
This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Japanese Wikipedia.

External links[edit]