Otsuka shoes has a motto that has been kept in the company for 140 years: "To make shoes that are comfortable for Japanese people to wear, there is a lot to learn from the west when it comes to skills, traditions and ideas. But shoes that are good for Westerners are not necessarily good for Japanese, because the shape of feet and our cultures are different."
When the company was founded in 1872, slightly after the westernisation of Japan had begun, there was no culture of western shoemaking in Japan. People were wearing traditional shoes such as geta (wooden clogs) or zori (straw sandals). Otsuka believed that western shoes would one day become mainstream in Japan and as a result made his best to master classic western shoemaking skills.