Back in 2008, Onitsuka Tiger launched its new Nippon-Made line designed to celebrate the heritage of Japanese artisans and craftsmen. The sneakers from the premium line are produced in the ASICS factory in Tottori prefecture, before some are shipped to Osaka where they are hand customized using processes including dyeing, washing and painting.
The hand customization is overseen by Masaru Sagawa, an artisan who is worked in the apparel and footwear industry since 1972 and is head of Sagawa Crafts. Using his expertise, the Nippon-Made sneakers are reworked through processes that mean every single sneaker from the factory in Higashi Osaka City.
As well as painting and dyeing, another key process is washing the sneakers to soften the leather and give them a distressed appearance. Take a look at the creative process in the Onitsuka Tiger Nippon-Made factory in the gallery above.
In related news, read our recent interview with Onitsuka Tiger’s Andrea Pompilio about the future of the brand.