I would like to relate an extraordinary story that I heard from
an acquaintance of mine. On 6 March 1996, at a major automobile
manufacturing company in Japan, the members of the design group
were working on the door design for their new line of cars. They
brought their own ideas and discussed each design. They realized
that their ideas were not satisfactory, and that none of the designs
could provide the necessary strength for the door. One of the members,
Mr K., went back to his computer and contemplated the design for
Suddenly, his hand grasped the mouse of the computer and began to
move by itself, without his intention. A drawing of a door structure
that he had never seen before began to appear on the screen. At
that moment all the noise around him disappeared and a fragrant
breeze blew by. When the drawing was completed, he noticed that
a man was standing in front of his desk as if he had been there
for a long time. It was so natural that Mr K. did not find it strange,
even though the room was 'off limits' to all outsiders.
According to Mr K., the man was very tall, with a rather dark-skinned
face, large dark eyes, and black hair. Mr K. could not determine
the man's nationality. He had a deep, clear-featured face and wore
a long white gown like that of a doctor. Mr K. had read about Maitreya
some time ago and realized that this must be Maitreya, the Messenger
of God. But because His presence was so natural and matter of fact,
Mr K. did not get excited at all.
The man told him that he should make a honeycomb structure like
the drawing on the screen, because if they made an inexpensive,
new honeycomb door, there would be no need for an airbag on the
side door. It would be good to use paper as the material to make
the honeycomb structure because paper is thin and light. Mr K. did
not actually converse with the man but somehow those ideas came
into his mind as a natural conviction. As soon as the drawing was
done, the man disappeared.
When Mr K. showed the design to his fellow designers, they said
that it would not be strong enough. But the computer was connected
on line to the computer screen of the upper level decision makers
and they also saw the design. They instructed the design group to
pursue the honeycomb idea.
Mr K. says that the new honeycomb structure is a novel design, and
has the same strength as the air bag but is cheaper; it is also
safe and non-polluting. The management decided to use this structure
for their lower-priced cars, and the preparation for mass production
began within a week.
Mr K. is planning to introduce this honeycomb structure at an upcoming
meeting of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association where
each company shares the results of its research on building an ecologically
sound automobile for the future. He says: "It has been difficult
to build an air bag on the side door of the lower-priced cars. I
am sure all the manufacturers will begin to use this honeycomb structure.
Then the safety of the lower-priced cars will be improved greatly."
Namio Kameda, Tokyo, Japan
( published May 1996 )