Mitsubishi Mizushima
Manufacturer Mitsubishi
Production 1946–62

The Mitsubishi Mizushima is the first of a series of three wheeled cargo carriers made in Japan by Mitsubishi between 1946 and 1962.[1] It was a mechanically simple and rugged vehicle, with a 400 kg carrying capacity, and was equipped with a folding canvas covering and a windshield to protect the occupants.[2] Along with the Silver Pigeon scooter it represented the company's first contributions to the Japanese post-war personal transport boom.[3]



A Mitsubishi Leo, photographed at Fukuyama Motor and Clock Museum.

Later models would be introduced offering greater load-bearing abilities and a wider variety of bodystyles.[2] The 1948–50 TM3D model was built with a hardtop passenger cabin in response to customer demands, while the Mizushima's successor, the TM18 Mitsubishi Go pickup introduced in 1955,[4] could carry up to two tons in its cargo bed. The 1959 Mitsubishi Leo, heavily influenced by the Mizushima, was a transition between the company's first post-war vehicles and the Mitsubishi Minica, which represented the company's future in the 1960s. The Leo used a 309 cc air-cooled single cylinder engine, the ME20, producing 12.5 hp at 4,500 rpm. Payload was 300 kg (660 lb), top speed 65 km/h (40 mph)[5]

Almost four decades later, Olivier Boulay would borrow heavily from the Leo for styling cues for his first prototypes when he became Mitsubishi Motors' design chief in 2001.[6]

During the Mizushima's life approximately 90,000 were produced, before it was replaced by the Mitsubishi Minicab in 1962.[2]


  1. "1941–1950 Reconstruction, Recovery and Hope", Mitsubishi Motors South Africa website
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Mizushima, Mitsubishi Motors South Africa website
  3. "Rebuilding the Nation", Mitsubishi Motors History, Mitsubishi Motors South Africa website
  4. 1940–1959, Mitsubishi Motors Web Museum
  5. (2009) 360cc: Light Commercial Truck 1950-1975 (360cc 軽商用貨物自動車 1950-1975). Tokyo: Yaesu Publishing, 10–11, 83. ISBN 978-4-86144-139-4. 
  6. "Mitsubishi Gets a Makeover", Chester Dawson, BusinessWeek, November 5, 2001
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