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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Onitsuka Tiger and the Electric Light Shoe

The Onitsuka Co. Ltd. was established in 1949, when Kihachiro Onitsuka began manufacturing running shoes at his home in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. In the aftermath of the Second World War the company based its philosophy on bringing up youths, through sports. The company maintained the tradition of specializing in the manufacturing of sports shoes like Onitsuka Tiger, by using original ideas and applying epoch-making techniques. The first basketball shoes in Japan had a tiger face design on the arch of the foot which became Onitsuka’s trademark. By the 1960’s, Onitsuka Tiger sports shoes were worn not only by the Japanese, but also by top foreign athletes, In 1966 they introduced their Mexico 66 line of shoes with its distinctive Toger stripes. The shoes were popular at the Mexico Olympic Games in 1968. Almost a decade later in 1977 Onitsuka merged with two other firms (GTO and JELENK) to form a major sporting equipment company called ASICS (an ancronym for Anima Sana In Corpore Sano – a sound mind in a sound body). Despite the name change, a vintage range of Asics shoes are still produced and sold internationally under the Onitsuka Tiger label. Onitsuka Tiger have commissioned a one meter long illuminated shoe made by Freedom of Creation as a promotion. The Electric Light Shoe depicts a minature Japanese city in the shape of a Onitsuka Tiger shoe and was designed by Freedom of Creation (FOC) designers, Janne Kyttanen and Mads Thomsen for international ad agency StrawberryFrog Amsterdam. The shoe design includes Japanese iconography. The intricate detail was achieved with rapid prototype (layer) manufacturing, a process that allows a CAD file to be transformed into a solid object. Smaller versions have also been produced for display in Onitsuka Tiger stores worldwide. In addition, FOC designed accessories to complement the shoe, including a USB stick, keyring, shoe display stand and leaflet display tower.The ‘Electric Light Shoe’ is central to the global Electric Tiger Land campaign for 2008. It plays an important role in the company’s integrated global brand strategy ‘Made of Japan’ - a philosophy that portrays its Japanese heritage, and attitude to modern-day Japan, in inspiring and imaginative ways.

Worth a swizz Origami Mexico 66

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