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Tokyo Olympiad
In 1964 Tokyo, What Happened?
Date:30, Apr, 2020
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


Hello, I'm talking about "Tokyo Olympiad" today. It is a documentary movie of 1964 Tokyo Olympics, totally directed by Ichikawa Kon (1915-2008). The film was released in 1965 March, and watched by a lot of people.

They held Olympics in 1964 Tokyo. Do you know? I have heard, but not actually experienced because I was born in 1984. What did the games mean in Japan's history? I have to explain about it first of all. Let's get back in the middle of the 20th century now.

In 1945 summer, World War 2 finished with the two American atomic bombs dropped onto Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The United States burnt out Japanese urban areas like Tokyo and Osaka. Most of Japanese government didn't care about how many the nation died for the war at all. They ignored the real thing that said Japan had nothing but a way to suffer a defeat. In other words, they took command of troops in a wild fancy. How foolish! They didn't get what the war went on for.

The stupid war stopped in 1945. And Japanese people had to rise up from the burnt-out field. They survived and revived. 1956 Economic White Paper said "no longer termed postwar." It means that they needed 11 years for postwar rehabilitation. And in 1959, they decided to hold Olympic games in 1964 Tokyo. Just 3 years after the revival was almost done. By the way, Ogasawara Islands and Okinawa never belonged to Japan at the time. Ogasawara was given back to Japan in 1968, and Okinawa was in 1972.

Do you know what it means? You can get it when you watch the opening of the documentary film. It starts with the monstrous iron ball crashing the buildings in Tokyo. Watching it makes us kind of uneasy. What does it mean? They were developing Tokyo for holding the Olympic games. In other words, Tokyo people had to accept their hometown crashed again for the Olympics though they had worked so hard to revive the hometown during 11 years. How did the residents feel? I feel so bitter to imagine.

I don't know why Ichikawa Kon set the scene at the beginning. No way to ask him anymore since he passed away in 2008. My opinion says like above. And I am unsure how you feel after watching the film. If you feel so good, I will never say anything. If you have actually experienced 1964, it may make some of your memories flash back. If you have not, it will vividly send you what was there before you were born.

about Tokyo Olympiad

・Totally Directed by Ichikawa Kon
・Written by Ichikawa Kon, Wada Natto, Shirasaka Yoshio & Tanikawa Shuntaro
・Produced by Taguchi Suketaro
・Distributed by Toho
・Released on March 20, 1965
・Running Time: 170 minutes





 

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