Honda Superhawk CB77

Balance And Personality


Balance is important for design, yet if balance is over emphasized the result might be a withered one. There is a contradiction between [the passiveness] and the strength of beauty, accompanied by a single direction. This is the hard point.

Suppose there is a man standing, irreproachably dressed, with neat hairstyle, wearing gold-rimmed spectacles and shining shoes. How do we think when we see him?  We will have a feeling that he is lacking a touch of humanly, and we will also feel something ridiculous, for there is no obvious distinction whether he is a human or an ornament. In such case, he will suddenly become alive only by showing a part of his handkerchief out of his pocket without much care, or by wearing spectacles of tortoise-shell instead of gold rim. He can give an impression of liveliness and warmth by doing so. I suppose this is what we call the disharmonized harmony.

A single light in the middle of a room seems to be out of place, yet it also seems to be a reasonable place. This is a good example of disharmony. The example that impresses me as being in the same category is the curled hairstyle of girls who have comparatively projecting foreheads. I am not sure whether such girls realize or not, but the hairstyle that was started for the purpose of hiding the large forehead makes the character of such girls’ personality. Disadvantage is, in a sense, a factor [that] leads to a special character. In other words, disharmony is a factor [that] converts into harmony. Man is not interesting without some imperfection, and the purpose of designing is to elevate their imperfection up to beauty. As I have too many imperfections at this point, I am flattering myself that I am also eligible to be a good designer if I try skillfully.


Soichiro Honda
December, 1961 

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