DBD 8-24-2021: Matsuda

Mazda cars are named that because the car company was founded by MATSUDA Jujiro (born 1875). The Japanese language has fairly straightforward pronunciation but does have some peculiarities - like mute vowels. For example, the mute vowel is often the letter “u” when it is not the first syllable of a multi-syllable Japanese word. It’s why samurai is sam’rai (not sa moo rai), Mitsubishi is Mits’bishi, desu is des’, and Matsuda is Mats’da/Maz’da.

Japanese didn’t have family names during Feudal times and only the highest up in a clan were identified by the clan name (eg, Ieyasu TOKUGAWA). When the Edo period ended in 1868, Japan started modernizing. About a decade later, Japan started the family registration program. People took last names, which is why people’s family names are often places. Hence, it probably was not a coincidence that Matsuda Jujiro lived near Matsuda, Japan.