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Manolo the Columnist: Onitsuka Tiger by Asics | Manolo's Shoe Blog

Manolo the Columnist: Onitsuka Tiger by Asics

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

In October I’m going on a three-week business trip to Japan. I’ve never been to Japan and so I have no idea what to wear when I’m not dressed in my business finery. What do you suggest?


Manolo says, sadly the Manolo has never been to Japan, Mysterious Land of the East, where peoples eat the raw fish and dress like Hello Kitty Lolita Samurai Warriors. Or perhaps like the Sailor Moon Gothic Rockabilly Shoguns. The Manolo cannot say for sure.

The problem is, that the most popular Japanophile websites and magazines prefer to highlight unusual youth subcultures at the expense of the more mundane. And thus even though we who have never visited Japan can easily distinguish between six types of Japanese Lolitas (Classic Lolita, Gothic Lolita, Princess Lolita, Punk Lolita, Sweet Lolita, and Grotesque Lolita) we cannot tell you what ordinary people are wearing on their days off.

Thus the Manolo’s primary rule for travel remains operative: that when travelling abroad one should not substantially change one’s usual mode of dress. Do not attempt to “go native”. Instead, you must do as the Victorian ladies and gentlemen did when making the Grand Tour, and maintain your own native costume even in the most unlikely of situations.

Here is the Onitsuka Tiger by Asics in the colors blue and mandarin. Who knows if the Japanese actually wear these? Who cares? They are super kawaii!

Onitsuka Tigers by Ascis   Manolo Likes!  Click!

5 Responses to “Manolo the Columnist: Onitsuka Tiger by Asics”

  1. Bob September 18, 2009 at 2:55 pm #

    To complement – not to detract from – The Manolo’s erudite advice, one may add Tokyo Street Style to ones RSS feed. By doing so one will see what the non-lolita portion of Tokyo (12% of pop.) wears.

  2. dangster September 18, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    I went to Japan (Tokyo and Kyoto) last May. The Japanese are very well-dressed. You will not find many adults wearing sneakers–most Japanese women wear heels or some sort of dressy flat.

    That said, I don’t see any reason to not wear sneakers in Japan. You will do lots of walking around, and your feet will thank you.

  3. msjean September 18, 2009 at 3:26 pm #

    Seconding dangster here – the average person in Japan is quite well-dressed. It is more like Paris or Midtown NYC in that sense. So, keep your style, but stay on the neat and tidy side, like you’re going to lunch with your proper auntie.

  4. Sara Darling September 18, 2009 at 4:34 pm #

    I spent a few weeks in Japan in 2005 and 2006… I don’t know what’s trendy there now, but I never felt out of place in what I was wearing, which is what I wear at home in Seattle, a city on the extreme end of casual in the fashion-geography spectrum.

    My big shoe suggestion is a little different from what I’m seeing above — wear shoes you can quickly and easily slip on and off. A cute but still comfy ballet flat for example.

    In many (usually nicer) restaurants, as well as temples and shrines, and of course people’s homes, it’s considered rude not to take off one’s shoes. A complicated shoe of buckles and laces and the like that leaves you hopping around for ten minutes… not quite dignified. Don’t ask me how I know.

    I did see plenty of younger people in sneakers and when I did, they often had the laces tied, but not pulled tight. The shoe would stay on but was still loose enough to slip on and off without untying the laces. I had a pair of sneakers and a pair of zip up mid-calf boots on my second trip and had a much easier (slightly less fabulous but still reasonably fabulous) time.

  5. Mark September 23, 2009 at 12:46 pm #

    I’ve never been to Japan, so I have nothing spectacular to offer. I do want to say thanks for the recommendation to Linda. I was alive and running quite a bit in the 80’s and these bring back fond, painful memories of getting myself ready to go to Officer Training School while wearing shoes like these.

    I bought a pair in grey and green. Alas for the Manolo’s account (if he has one), I couldn’t click through and buy direct through the website due to internet problems. The shoes; they are wonderful.