Onitsuka Tiger is an original brand from 1949 that originated in Japan. Its name was inspired by a Latin proverb, “Anima Sana, Corpore Sano,” which means, “Sound mind, sound body.” This concept evolved into an ASICS brand and later became an acronym for the brand. The company’s founders wanted to promote optimism in the country after the World War II. They looked at the athletic shoe market and saw a need for a basketball shoe.
In 1993, Toshikazu Kayano, the founder of ASICS, began manufacturing basketball shoes in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Over time, the company expanded to various styles for athletes, including Olympic ones. By the early 1970s, they were renowned for their unique Mexico 66 design, which featured bolstered overlays. The shoes’ cross stripes were first popularized by Bruce Lee, who wore the shoe as part of his martial arts training. In the 1990s, the company introduced a new line of athletic footwear, including the GTO.