Since its founding in 1949, ASICS Group has been committed to nurturing the world’s youth through sports in order to contribute to society. Our vision has been to “Create Quality Lifestyle through Intelligent Sport Technology” and our mission to provide goods and services that promote healthy and fulfilling lifestyles throughout the world.
Kihachiro Onitsuka Founds Onitsuka Co., Ltd.
After returning home from the war in 1945, Mr. Kihachiro Onitsuka establishes ONITSUKA Shokai in Kobe in 1949. In the same year, the company is reorganized as ONITSUKA Co., Ltd. with four employees and a capitalization of 300,000 yen.
Later, the company name is changed to ASICS, an acronym for the Latin expression "Anima Sana In Corpore Sano" ("You should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body"), a quote from the Roman satirist Juvenal. The proverb is suggested to Mr. Onitsuka by a wartime friend offering business advice, Mr. Kohei Hori, who at the time is Director of Health and Physical Education at the Hyogo Prefecture Board of Education. The words make a deep impression on Mr. Onitsuka, inspiring his dedication to making athletic shoes with the aim of nurturing healthy young people through sports.
First Basketball Shoe is Released
A Basketball shoe is the first sports athletic shoe made by ONITSUKA Co., Ltd.
At the time, basketball shoes are thought to be the most difficult athletic shoe to manufacture, but Mr. Onitsuka feels that "if he can overcome a high hurdle at the start, he will be able to continue overcoming other hurdles as well".
Mr. Onitsuka gives prototypes of his shoes to players at one of the leading basketball powerhouses of the day, where the shoes are repeatedly tested and refined, until the first model is released in the spring of 1950.
Birth of ASICS Co., Ltd.
The three companies ONITSUKA Co., Ltd., GTO Co., Ltd., and JELENK Co., Ltd. merge as equals to form "ASICS Corporation", a general sporting goods company.
The origin of the company name, ASICS, is the initial letters of the phrase "Anima Sana In Corpore Sano" by the ancient Roman satirist Juvenal. It means "(If you pray to God, you should pray for) a sound mind in a sound body." The phrase itself is the company philosophy, and the sentiment it expresses is captured in the very name of the company.
"Sport: the Universal Language" is established as the corporate slogan of ASICS.
The ASICS and ASICS TIGER brands are introduced and the ASICS promotional logo is created.
GEL-Based Running Shoe is Released
The first shoe to use the silicone cushioning material
αGEL (Alpha Gel), which cushions the feet from impact.
The gel is used in two running shoe models, the GT-II and the FREAKS α. GEL continues to evolve and becomes one of the basic functional materials associated with ASICS.
ASICS Research Institute of Sports Science is Completed
The ASICS Research Institute of Sports Science, built for the purpose of carrying out research and development of sports gear, is completed in Kobe City.
The Institute is tasked with conducting more detailed and wider-ranging research into sports from a scientific standpoint. It is equipped with an all-weather athletic track with three different types of surface, two types of tennis court, a pool, an experimental gymnasium, an environmental laboratory that allows free control of temperature and humidity, a multi-purpose laboratory, a computer network system, a product laboratory, a sports medicine laboratory, and a training room.
100th Anniversary of the Birthday of Kihachiro Onitsuka is Celebrated.
To honor the positive personality and entrepreneurial spirit of ASICS founder Kihachiro Onitsuka, who supported the development of young minds and bodies through sports and encouraged people to take control of their bright futures in the same way a sunflower reaches for the sun, ASICS releases a line of "100th birthday commemorative models" on May 29th, his birthday. The product line is designed around a sunflower motif that was painted by Mr. Onitsuka during his lifetime. The new products include the ASICS GEL-QUANTUM360 KO100, the ASICSTIGER GEL-MAI KO100, and the ONITSUKA TIGER CORSAIR KO100, as well as a line of apparel.