Playing with the ‘Made of Japan’ tagline.
This year’s centrepiece of the brand’s “Made of Japan” campaign is a totem to traditional Japanese Tansu furniture-making: a one and a half-metre long bespoke wooden cabinet – built in the shape of a sneaker.
Amsterdam Worldwide commissioned Niigata-based Tansu masters, Ogura Tansu Ten, to handcraft the model. This generations-old company of traditional Japanese artisans is known for its distinctive ‘puzzle box’ cabinets and chests, which are the epitome of traditional Japanese art and design, and lay claim to a rich and colorful history.
In 2011, Onitsuka Tiger decided to bring Japanese culture to the world in a way that uniquely blends arts and traditions of authentic Japan with the seductive urban design styles of the modern world.
Using storytellers from around the globe called Ryoshi, they will share stories that bring together Japanese and Western culture. Whether in business or the arts, in a retail space or at a festival in the forest, in music or in film, Onitsuka Tiger will be investigating and exploring the nature and results of Japanese and Western crossovers, and bringing these stories to the public, to let you know what it means to be “Made of Japan”
The LimberUp Moscow was designed as a training shoe for Japanese athletes at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Unfortunately it would never serve in this capacity because Japan joined the US-led Boycott against the games, and refused to send athletes to the Soviet Union. History’s account of the Moscow Olympics is usually clouded by tales of the controversy caused by the boycott. A story that is often overshadowed by the boycott controversy was the growing prominence and emergence of female athletes in the Games. In the 1980 Olympics, Women were given a higher representation than in any previous Olympic Games, and female athletes set several world records—many of which still stand today.
“Inspired by the flourishing of female talent and energy present at the Olympic Games, I chose to represent and pay tribute to the inspirational women of the 1980 Olympics by using Japanese Ikebana flower arrangement as a symbol of feminine energy and achievement. Rediscovering my Japanese influence, I created three illustrations that celebrate not only my and Onitsuka Tiger’s shared Japanese artistic heritage, but also gave a striking, colourful tribute to their historical commitment to sports and achievement over controversy and politics.”