Asics’ “Onitsuka Tiger” has been sold from Japan to the world as an indispensable item in the sports scene and fashion scene.
The brand name is Onitsuka Tiger, but it must have been created by a person named Mr. Onizuka, right?
But now it’s Asics, but… “What is the history of Onitsuka Tiger and Asic?
I will answer these questions.
In 2002, ASICS revived the Onitsuka Tiger brand in response to the trend of retro shoes in Europe.
Starting with the directly managed store in Tokyo, which opened in 2003, we will develop shops in major metropolitan cities such as Paris and London. Appearing in the Tokyo Collection, the new Onitsuka Tiger has become widely known as it has a strong image as a fashion shoe.
What is the difference between the history of Onitsukata Tiger and Asics? The Story of the Founder Kihachiro Onitsuka
In this article, we will explain the history of “Onitsuka Tiger” (ASIC) in detail. We will also introduce a model that will become a tree of “Onitsuka Tiger”, so please refer to it.
- History of Onitsuka Tiger (Kihachiro Onitsuka’s background)
Onitsuka Tiger and Abebe (best marathoners)
Introduce interesting Onitsuka Tiger models
- History of Onitsuka Tiger (Kihachiro Onitsuka’s background)
- From Japan to the world. 5 Popular Onitsuka Tiger Sneakers
History of Onitsuka Tiger (Kihachiro Onitsuka’s background)
出典：株式会社アシックス 鬼塚 喜八郎 ｜ニッポンの社長 ｜www.nippon-shacho.com
Kihachiro Onitsuka was born on May 29, 1918 (Taisho 7) in Meiji Village, Ketaka District, Tottori Prefecture (currently Matsuue, Tottori City) as the youngest of three sons and two daughters.
After graduating from Tottori Prefectural First Junior High School (now Prefectural Tottori Nishi High School), Kihachiro joined the 10th Army Division in Himeji, where he became a second lieutenant and served as a platoon leader. As the front expanded, the regiment was dispatched to the front in Burma (now Myanmar).
Three days before his departure, Kihachiro was summoned by the regimental commander and ordered to “remain” because he was well-informed. Because he will be the lieutenant of the next regimental commander.
His army friend Ueda asked him to take care of Kiyoshi Onitsuka and his wife Fukuya, who lived in Kobe until he returned. I reply, “Okay, leave it to me!”
This changes Kihachiro’s fate.
I learned that the old couple had no children and that Ueda had promised to take care of them.
Before long, a letter was delivered to Kihachiro, who had returned to Tottori after the war ended. It was from Mr. and Mrs. Onitsuka asking for help, saying, “I have nothing to eat for the day.”
She lives on the second floor of a house rented by Mr. and Mrs. Onizuka, who are complete strangers, and supports their lives. However, his friend Ueda is killed in action. Kihachiro then accepted the wishes of the Onitsuka couple and became an adopted child.
Kihachiro, whose last name is Onizuka, worked for a company called Nishii Shoji for three years. He then quits the company and visits his comrade-in-arms Kohei Hori.
Hori is the head of the Physical Education and Health Division of the Hyogo Prefectural Board of Education. Onizuka was thinking of a business that would be useful for society.
Hori speaks important words to Onizuka.
You know the saying, “A healthy mind in a healthy body”. Human education is not just about knowledge. Moral education, physical education, and intellectual education are integrated and completed. Sports have a great impact on physical and mental development, especially during the growth period.
And Onizuka asks Hori.
“Then, if you could dedicate your life to sports and contribute, what kind of path would you take?”
After thinking for a moment, Hori replied.
“Why don’t you make athletic shoes? Most kids who play sports want shoes. Why don’t we make them wear athletic shoes?”
Established Onitsuka Tiger (Onitsuka Shokai)
— ちむけん / TimVape (@timtimkenken) November 17, 2020
In March 1949, at the age of 30, Onitsuka founded Onitsuka Shokai, a distributor of teaching materials and supplies to schools and government offices in Hyogo Prefecture.
In order to learn how to make shoes from scratch, he goes to Yanaka Rubber Industry, a shoe manufacturer in Nagata Ward, which Hori introduced him to. He spends almost a year learning about molds and wooden patterns, how to cut materials, how to use a sewing machine, and the types of rubber used for shoe soles.
Starting with basketball shoes. I was told that it was the most difficult, so I took on the challenge. Development of non-slip shoes.
One day, for dinner, I got a cucumber and octopus octopus vinegar. Onizuka saw the octopus and said, “This is it! It will stick to the floor.” He immediately went to the factory through trial and error to complete the suction cup type shoes and brought them to Kobe High School.
It’s true that it doesn’t slip, but the suction power is too strong, and the players who got on the momentum all fell down. The teacher scolded me at school, saying, “This is going to be annoying.”
He develops a bash that hits the bottom of the sucker shallower and stops just fine, but a challenge arises again. Introducing the 30 second rule for basketball. We will continue to devise to respond to fast movements such as quick turns.
This time, the accident in the taxi I was riding is a hint. A child suddenly jumps out of the side street, and the driver slams on the brakes in a panic. Onizuka banged his head against the seat in front of him. Then he gets a hint from the screeching of tires.
“What is that sound? What is the principle behind stopping a car?”
Onizuka investigates, it is the “principle of brick masonry blocks”.
Automobile tires have a brick-like structure that allows them to easily radiate the heat generated by frictional resistance, allowing them to respond to sudden movements. We apply that “brick building block” to shoes.
When I went to Kobe High School with the prototype in hand, my teacher praised it. “We’ve created a really good product. I really want it to spread.”
When the Onitsuka Tiger brand basketball shoes accounted for more than 50% of the national market share and the company’s business stabilized, the next target was the marathon.
Wearing these Onitsuka Tiger marathon shoes, Toru Terasawa broke Abebe’s record in the 1963 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon and set the world record, while Kenji Kimihara won the silver medal at the 1968 Mexico City Games.
Difference between Onitsuka Tiger and Asics
In the 1960s, BRS, the predecessor company of Nike, became a distributor in the United States, causing a big boom mainly on the West Coast. However, the Olympics economy gradually faded, and business performance deteriorated.
On July 21, 1977, ASICS merged with Osaka-based sportswear manufacturers GITIO and JELENK to form a new company called ASICS, with Onitsuka as president.
The name of the company was derived from Hori, and is derived from the Latin word “Mens sana in corpore sano,” which is the founding philosophy of the company, “a healthy mind dwells in a healthy body.” Therefore, it was named “A・S・I・C・S (Asics)”.
At this point, the brand will disappear.
Onizuka passed away on September 29, 2007 at the age of 89, but his successors continue to take on new challenges every day.
The Story of Onitsuka Tiger and Abebe
Ethiopian marathon runner Abebe Bikila won his second consecutive Olympic title at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, beating the runners-up by more than four minutes.
Abebe Bikira was called “Barefoot King”. Run barefoot on the cobbled streets of the Via Appia, the marathon course of the 1960 Rome Games. Because of the impact it had on the world, “Barefoot King” became synonymous with Abebe.
There was a man who made the “barefoot king” Abebe Bikira wear shoes. Kihachiro Onizuka. Founder of Onitsuka Tiger (Asics), a global sporting goods manufacturer.
On June 15, 1961, he visited Abebe’s accommodation in Japan every day to participate in the marathon, and Onizuka began frankly.
“I’m here to support you and provide you with shoes. Please wear these shoes and win.”
But Abebe gently refused.
“I’ve run barefoot and won many times. I don’t need shoes.”
Abebe was no stranger to shoes. He had even practiced in his shoes before the Rome tournament. However, after running about 10km, his leg hurt and his pace slowed. So he ran barefoot after consulting with his coach Onni Niskanen.
Abebe refuses, but Onizuka persists. Talking about the unmaintained road conditions in Japan at the time and saying that it was “dangerous”, Abebe still insisted on wearing bare feet, but his coach, Niskanen, intervened and tried them on.
Onizuka put a “white Onitsuka Tiger” on Abebe’s leg. Onitsuka Tiger is a shoe brand founded by Onitsuka.
Unfortunately, Abebe didn’t wear Onizuka’s shoes every day in the marathon.
Also, Abebe did not wear Onizuka shoes at the 1964 Tokyo Games.
I missed Abebe,
At the 1964 Tokyo Games, Onizuka set up a service shop in the athletes’ village for the first time, exhibiting various types of athletic shoes. Not only Japanese players, but also foreign players are consulted, and sometimes shoes are provided free of charge.
As a result of spending an unprecedented amount of money, athletes wearing Onitsuka Tiger shoes won 18 gold medals, 16 silver medals, and 10 bronze medals. We will increase the number of regular users and grow into an international manufacturer.
From Japan to the world. 5 Popular Onitsuka Tiger Sneakers
While high-tech sneakers such as Nike, Adidas, New Balance, etc. are prospering, retro sneakers are still popular. Especially recommended for adults is the reissue brand “Onitsuka Tiger”, which is gaining popularity overseas.
I would like to introduce an Onitsuka Tiger model that I am interested in.
Now that you know about Onitsuka Tiger, let’s take a look at the classic and sophisticated sneakers from Onitsuka Tiger. Let your feet shine!
Mexico 66 Paraty
A model based on the Mexico 66. The slip-on style makes it easy to put on and take off, making it a good partner for the one-mile scene. The 2WAY specification that can be worn with the heel stepped on is also an attractive element. A fluffy boa is used for the upper, creating a winter mood.
Standard product Mexico 66
In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of founder Kihachiro Onitsuka, the brand’s classic “Mexico 66” has been updated. While following the classic feel unique to the same work, which has its roots in training shoes born in 1962, the heel wedge uses amp foam that excels in shock absorption to enhance functionality. The tough rubber sole with excellent grip and durability is also a point that cannot be overlooked. It is a pair that can rationally get both the trendy retro sports mood and practicality.
“Serrano” is based on track and field spike shoes born in the 1970s. The lightweight style of the thin sole is impressive, and one of the features is the shape of the sole that is slightly rolled up at the forefoot. In addition, it is made with excellent cushioning and is suitable for long-term wear.
Onitsuka Tiger is not only popular in Japan, but also has a high approval rating in Europe and the United States. As I mentioned earlier, the resurgence of popularity of retro sneakers in Europe is a major reason for their popularity overseas, but the movie that made the biggest contribution to the global breakthrough was the 2003 movie “Kill Bill.” In the same work set in Japan, the main character, The Bride, played by Uma Thurman, became a hot topic when she wore Onitsuka Tiger shoes.
Inspired by the model worn by the Japanese national team at a global sports festival held in 1964. This is the taste of “The restaurant”. It looks old-school, but the midsole uses Flight Foam Propel, which has both cushioning and resilience, and the outsole uses a lightweight rubber sponge, making it extremely comfortable!
California 78 EX
A perfect pair for adults with a mix of retro looks and modern comfort. The classic shark sole has been updated to improve comfort, while Ortholite is used for the insole to enhance cushioning.
This product is based on the trail running sneaker released in 1978. The biggest feature is the roll-up outsole that covers the toe and heel damage. In addition, the authentic color scheme with a perfect 70’s taste is also a highlight, and it is effective in giving a sense of style to your outfit.
I would be happy if you could refer to it even a little.
Thank you for reading to the end.