ASICS Ltd. began as Onitsuka Co., Ltd on September 1, 1949. Its founder, Kihachiro Onitsuka, began manufacturing basketball shoes in his home town of Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Soon after the range of sports activities widened to a variety of Olympic styles used throughout the '50s, '60s and '70s by athletes worldwide. Onitsuka became particularly renowned for the Mexico design, in which the distinctive crossed stripes, now synonymous with the company brand, were featured for the first time. In 1977, Onitsuka Tiger merged with GTO and JELENK to form ASICS Corporation. Despite the name change, a vintage range of ASICS shoes are still produced and sold internationally under the Onitsuka Tiger label.