Automotive Artist Showcase — Hisashi Saito — 3D Mechanical Illustrator with Heart — 30 Stunning See-Through Honda Designs

Have you ever wondered how the technical illustrations in the best car magazines are created? Is there some kind of giant automotive X-ray scanner like Border Patrol and the Ports Authority use to see inside 40-foot shipping containers?

The answer is no. These are generally done by skilled artists who are able to know a car’s design and mechanical details so thoroughly that they can peel away the bodywork for the eye to see inside.

Hisashi Saito is one such talented artist. His work has earned him worldwide recognition and numerous awards — but his drawings for Honda are some of my favorites.

A true X-ray would never offer the color and depth of Mr. Saito’s technical drawings, however, because scanner machines literally miss the forest for the trees, or whatever that saying is.

Can’t See the Forrest for the Trees: Urban Dictionary Definition
It means that if you look at things one at a time, you might not realize that a branch of separate “trees” go together to make a “forest”
When you are too close to a situation you need to step back and get a little perspective.
When you do you will notice there was a whole forest you couldn’t see before because you were too close, and focusing on the trees.
Simply that you have focused on the many details and have failed to see the overall view, impression or key point.

Hisashi Saito can see inside both the forest and the trees.

Machine vision loses all of the good things our eye would like to see in favor of simply scanning in harsh black/white.

Humanizing and invigorating those B&W scans is impossible with deep technical knowledge of the underlying components. Thousands of components!

Without great talent, skill and human passion for detail: technical drawings are often nothing more than two-dimensional X-ray line sketches.

Hisashi Saito’s work is so much more than that — enough to become art in and of itself.

We honor Hisashi Saito’s work, and encourage anyone visiting Togichi to head over to the Honda Collection Museum to view these, and thousands of other pieces, in all their amazing detail.


The Honda Collection Hall will also get you closer to some of the firm’s pioneering individuals and achievements, such as the racer shown below. Is that a Bentley Blower? Nope. A Honda!

Hisashi Saito

Personal history
1936, born in Aomori Prefecture.
1960, after working for a trading company, become an independent freelance illustrator.
Beginning with Olympus Camera, start working with technical illustrations for, Canon Camera, Nissan Motors, Mitsubishi Motors on the latter half.
After, begin drawing wild birds in nature as my life work.
1980, marking of first calendar, “Wild Birds, Hisashi Saito’s World.”
Continue making calendars for the next 15 years.
1990, the subject of my works shift to nature illustration.

Major Awards and Prize
1981 New York ADC Award, Silver Prize
1981 Japan Graphic Design Exhibition, Silver Prize
1982 National Calendar Exhibition “Printing Prize”
1983 National Calendar Exhibition “Printing Prize”
1984 National Calendar Exhibition “Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman’s Prize”
1984 West Germany International Calendar Exhibition, Silver Prize
1984 New York ADC Award Winner
1985 Japan Graphic Design Exhibition Prize
1986 National Calendar Exhibition “Japan Printers Industry Association Chairman’s Award”
1990 National Calendar Exhibition “Printing Prize”
1991 National Calendar Exhibition “Japan Chamber Commerce and Industry Chairman’s Prize”
1997 National Calendar Exhibition “Japan Chamber Commerce and Industry Chairman’s Prize”
And many other awards.

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.

He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.

Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)

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