Origami: A tribute to Kihachiro Onitsuka, ASICS film, comments by Larry Eder


I was actually going to review a new ASICS commercial (you will see that on Sunday), and I found this gem. I first saw Origami in Berlin in August 2009 at the World Championships. Ben Cesar, Athletics Manager for ASICS America, had invited me to a reception for the 60th anniversary of ASICS. It was one of the highlights of my Berlin trip. Not only did I get to meet Stefano Baldini, I was able to meet Lasse Viren and speak to him and his very patient wife....

Watch this little film. It is a tribute to the founder of Onitsuka, now ASICS, Kihachiro Onitsuka. The quality of the animation, the beauty of the origami, and the gentle, thoughtful commentary should make this a film anyone in our industry should see. Constant innovation, where is next evolution coming from, it is almost a Buddhist koan (little meditation).

ASICS America is one of the premier high performance running around the globe, in a hotly contested marketplace, closely followed by five very tough competitors. As we discussed yesterday, running footwear, to be successful in the North American market, demands many skill sets. It also demands constant innovation. I hope you enjoy this film as I have.

I thought back to my first real running shoes, the Onitsuka Tiger Cortez, which I put 1,200 miles in over the summer of 1974, and used shoe goo to build up the heel, before I had Jeff Sink at the Running Shoe Factory, rebuild them. A simple shoe, it cost $40 and nearly put my father into apoplexy (my most recent shoes had cost $7 at K-Mart).

When I watch my son, Adam, open a new box of running shoes that come to my home (we have same size), he reminds me of the feeling of opening the box, taking the shoes out of the paper and trying them on. That feeling has not changed in nearly 36 years.

Congrats to ASICS on the Origami commercial. At 4;34, it is not going to be seen on T.V. much, but it is a perfect You Tube presence or website presence. Nicely done, thoughtfully done, and a respectful tribute to a man who changed the way running shoes were made, Kihachiro Onitsuka (1918-2007).

For more on ASICS America, please click on www.ASICS.com

For more on the world of running (you will find 25 different views into the running culture), please click on www.runningnetwork.com.

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