BORN FROM AMBITION It is from enthusiasm

It is the story of a man named Kihachiro Onizuka. It began with a single-minded belief that sports had the power to change lives, and it was born of the Latin saying, "Anima Sana In Corpore Sano" (If you pray to God, you should pray for a sound mind in a sound body). --This Latin proverb became the core philosophy of Onitsuka Tiger, which later became the acronym ASICS.

When it was founded in 1949, its purpose was to contribute to the development of the youth of Japan in the early postwar period and to rebuild a better future. Seventy years later, this philosophy remains unchanged: sports are the best way to unite people and bring society together. Our attention to detail and constant pursuit of innovation has allowed our Onitsuka Tiger brand to spread throughout the world.

Here's some of those moments... The History of Onitsuka Tiger


Shoes inspired by the octopus

It all started with the octopus, an eight-legged foodstuff that was destined for more than just the dinner table. The vinegared octopus served at Kihachiro Onizuka's dinner was the inspiration for Onitsuka Tiger's innovative basketball shoes. The 1951 TIGER BASKETBALL SHOES, with a sole deeply indented like an octopus sucker. They had a strong grip and allowed players to make quick attacks and sudden stops, movements that were essential to the game. It is no wonder that the first Japanese high school team to wear these shoes won the tournament.


Inspiration comes from the bathroom.

The moment of inspiration came when his toes blistered during a bath. After learning from a university medical professor how blisters form and realizing that heat causes blisters on runners' feet, Kihachiro Onizuka decided to research air circulation systems in order to develop marathon shoes. The revolutionary idea of opening holes first appeared in 1960. The "MAGIC RUNNER" was not only lightweight and easy to run in, but also exhibited excellent breathability.


THE NEED FOR SPEED The Need for Speed

Japanese innovation demonstrated its true value at the 1964 Tokyo Games. It was on this stage that the brand's flagship model, the RUNSPARK, made its debut. It was the first Onitsuka shoe with fixed spikes for athletes. A replacement type, with four different spike lengths to choose from, was later developed, allowing athletes to adapt to a variety of tracks. Various shoe constructions were tested in this series, for example, a type with a soft sponge layered on the heel was designed to cushion the impact on the foot when landing.



The historic evolution of the "Onitsuka Tiger Stripe" began in 1966. The "Onitsuka Tiger Stripe" still appears on Onitsuka Tiger and ASICS shoes today. The first "LIMBER UP Leather BK" was designed for the 1968 Mexico Games.


AN ATHLETIC FORERUNNER The forefront of sports shoes

With its excellent performance in international competitions, Onitsuka Tiger made a name for itself around the world as one of Japan's premier sports shoe manufacturers. But the world's strong interest did not stop there. Phil Knight, an American middle-distance runner with Bill Bowerman as his coach, was studying sports shoe marketing as part of his MBA and approached Kihachiro Onitsuka to negotiate sales rights for Onitsuka Tiger. Phil established Blue Ribbon Sports Inc. to develop Onitsuka Tiger in the United States. This is the company that later became Nike. TIGER CORTEZ" was born at the request of Blue Ribbon Sports.


Shaping the modern jogger style

"CALIFORNIA" shoes were developed for jogging. To maintain the arch of the foot and provide support for the toes, the inner sole is fitted to the shape of the foot, creating room for movement in the toes. The wide, rounded heel makes it easier to balance when landing, and the wide, slightly recessed toe supports forward movement. For added safety, the heel of the CALIFORNIA is equipped with reflectors. This allows drivers to see runners at a distance, even at night or in the rain."

Onitsuka Tiger has since become ASICS and continues to be one of the world's leading sports brands. There, our traditions live on as they always have. A history of respect for Japanese craftsmanship meets timeless beauty, and what were once competitive shoes eventually became beloved town shoes.

It is this proud tradition that brought Onitsuka Tiger back to the world in 2002. Newly reinterpreted and reincarnated in the modern era, these past masterpieces are now a part of the Onitsuka Tiger lineup. Based on the original Onitsuka Tiger sports shoe, the "MEXICO 66," "CALIFORNIA 78," and "NIPPON MADE" series were born as models that were rearranged in cut, color, and construction and brought closer to the current era.