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Onitsuka Co., Ltd., GTO Co., Ltd., and Jelenk Co., Ltd. combined in a merger of equals to form ASICS Corporation, a general sports equipment manufacturer. The three companies sealed a memorandum of merger and made a press announcement on January 12, 1977, and merged six months later, on July 21. The owners of the three companies had found that they had much in common during the Seiwakai study group meetings for sports equipment manufacturers in the Kansai region, and later jointly formed the Clover Group. With the first Oil Shock, when the Japanese economy was left stagnant and its future uncertain, the top management of the three companies decided on the merger as a survival strategy aimed at the global sports market. The origin of the company name, ASICS, is the initial letters of the phrase "Anima Sana in Corpore Sano" by the ancient Roman satirist Juvenal (with "Mens" in the original rather than "Anima"). It means "[If you pray to God, you should pray for] a sound mind in a sound body."

1990's Gel-Lyte III is a perfect example of the brand's unique barrier-breaking visual language. Acclaimed when it dropped 25 years ago for its unique triple-density sole, minimal but effective Gel cushioning and split tongue, this motion control masterpiece was a runner's favourite. Progressive minded Polo heads of the time were paying attention too, years after legitimising the breakthough ASICS Epirus as a connoisseurs' choice. By 1992 it was gone, superseded by the Gel-Lyte Ultra (aka the Gel Lyte IV—four is an unlucky number in Japan). When the III made a quiet retro return in the mid 2000s, fanatics gravitated towards it.
In 1993, ASICS put out the Gel-Lyte V following the success of its predecessor the Gel-Lyte III (there was never a Gel Lyte IV because the number four is considered unlucky in Japan). The Gel-Lyte line evolved into a lightweight performance running series with considerable style. Sleeker and more form fitting, the model fell in line with designs of the time featuring a sock-like neoprene slip-on core. This mono-tongue system was a trending technological advancement in the early nineties, keeping a supportive grasp on the mid-foot and ankle of runners. That midsole is a masterpiece too, and the retro celebrating the 20th anniversary of the model's debut was a welcome resurrection of a cult favorite.
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