American actress Uma Thurman wearing fashionable retro-look Onitsuka Tiger trainers in the 2003 Quentin Tarantino movie, Kill Bill. The marketing masterstroke enabled stand-alone Onitsuka Tiger boutiques to open in Japan, as well as Hong Kong, Paris, Berlin, London and Seoul. Photo: Handout

Onitsuka Tiger: how Bruce Lee and actress Uma Thurman helped Japanese sports shoe brand become a global fashion must-have

  • The Japanese brand was a hit with athletes in the 1960s and ’70s; the name was retired after the company became Asics but has experienced a rebirth
  • The first shipment of Onitsuka Tiger shoes landed in the United States in 1963; the company set up to distribute them would later become Nike
Topic |   Stories behind top Asian brands

TOP PICKS

American actress Uma Thurman wearing fashionable retro-look Onitsuka Tiger trainers in the 2003 Quentin Tarantino movie, Kill Bill. The marketing masterstroke enabled stand-alone Onitsuka Tiger boutiques to open in Japan, as well as Hong Kong, Paris, Berlin, London and Seoul. Photo: Handout
READ FULL ARTICLE
Julian Ryall

Julian Ryall

Julian Ryall never expected to still be in Japan 24 years after he first arrived, but he quickly realised its advantages over his native London. He lives in Yokohama with his wife and children and writes for publications around the world.