Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kobe's Tiger...ASICS              神戸のタイガー、アシックス

If you are a runner or involved with track and field, you know the brand ASICS.  Having seen the brand in footwear stores and mail-order catalogs when growing up in the States, I just assumed that the brand was American or European.  Even after moving to Japan, it took some years before I learned that ASICS was actually a Japanese company and even more so, born and bred right next to Osaka in the city of Kobe.

So if ASICS is a Japanese company, why is it called ASICS?  Sounding nothing like Japanese, I conducted some research to find out about the company's roots.

Established in 1949 by Kihachiro Onitsuka, the company started off as a hit with Olympic athletes in the '50s, '60s and '70s thanks in part to the popularity of the Onitsuka Tiger brand.  Bruce Lee even wore a pair of yellow and black Onitsuka Tigers with a matching jumpsuit in his film - Game of Death.

It was not until 1977 when the Onitsuka Tiger brand merged with several others that the ASICS brand was officially born.   Now back to the point in question, what does ASICS mean?  The company's name comes from anima sana in corpore sano in Latin, which translates to "a sound mind in a sound body" for us English speakers.

With its American headquarters in Irvine, California, ASICS has expanded its operations to subsidiaries located in 23 cities across the globe, and is the apparel manufacturer of choice for Seattle Mariners baseball player Ichiro Suzuki.

With a strong presence nationally, it will be interesting to see how ASICS can increase its share of the market overseas in the years to come.




1977年にオニツカタイガーと他のスポーツウェアブランドが合併したことで、アシックスが誕生しました。さて、ここで最初の疑問点に戻りまして、社名の由来についてです。アシックスという名前は、古代ローマの作家ユウェナリスが唱えた「健全なる精神は健全なる身体にこと宿るべし(Mens Sana in Corpore Sano)」という、ラテン語の一文から来ています。Mens(才知)を、より動的な意味を持つAnima(生命)に置き換えて、頭文字 A. S. I. C. S を並べているのです。



No comments:

Post a Comment