The Japanese Olympic fanaticism: “If there is a day of failure, I will apologize.”

The Japanese Olympic fanaticism: "If there is a day of failure, I will apologize."

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics has officially opened. No matter what the outcome is, this Olympics is destined to be recorded in history.

The Olympic Games without spectators made the huge stadium seem empty.

Because of the epidemic, the Olympic atmosphere in Japan is also low and cold.

In short, this is a deserted Olympic event.

This kind of desertedness is certainly not normal. You know, there have been surveys before, and Japan is one of the most fanatical countries in the world for the Olympics.

The last Olympic Games held in Tokyo, Japan, proved how enthusiastic the Japanese can be for the Olympics.

The Japanese Olympic fanaticism: "If there is a day of failure, I will apologize."

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, “Super Change Change” interprets the Olympic icon. Source: Visual China

The whole of Tokyo is in an abnormal state of excitement

After the defeat of World War II, Japan was isolated and alienated for a long time in the international arena. The International Olympic Committee even excluded Japan from the Olympic movement.

In the late 1950s, the Japanese economy began to recover, which also made the Japanese desire to wash away the humiliation of war and return to the international community urgently.

They naturally targeted the right to host the Olympics.

After losing to Rome in bidding for the 17th Olympic Games, Tokyo’s determination has become more determined, and it has the momentum to strive for success at all costs.

War and peace, politics and economy, glory and dreams, the 1964 Tokyo Olympics were loaded with too many grand propositions, and they began the most expensive and extravagant preparations in the history of the Olympics at that time.

The Japanese Olympic fanaticism: "If there is a day of failure, I will apologize."

Source of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games: nippon

From 1963 to 1964, if you visit Tokyo, you will be horrified by the scene in front of you.

On many main roads in Tokyo, more than 10,000 large pits were dug to build viaducts and bridges. More than 7,000 houses and more than 50,000 citizens were demolished due to the Olympic project.

There are ravines everywhere in the city, and the resulting traffic accidents killed more than a thousand people.

The first phase of the Metropolitan Expressway Network, the Tokaido Shinkansen that connects Tokyo and Osaka, Narita Airport, which undertakes international aviation, and the iconic TV Tokyo Tower, were all completed during the Olympic cycle, and most of them were completed during the Olympics.

Among them, the Shinkansen was put into trial operation after its completion at the end of July 1964, during which there were many derailments and other accidents, and it was finally opened 9 days before the Olympic Games.

The Japanese writer Kai Gaojian wrote in his reminiscence article: “At that time, Tokyo was no weather or water, only the steel bars on the top of the head and the black ruins under the feet.”

Take a look at the residences of the laborers on the Olympic construction site. The conditions are so hard that it makes people feel chilling. The living space is dark and crowded, dirty and run-down, and the air is full of the smell of excrement and urine.

Because of the rapid growth of the urban population, Tokyo suffered from a serious water shortage between 1961 and 1964. Education and welfare cannot keep up with population growth for a while, social contradictions have become prominent, prices have risen, housing prices have risen, and the entire Tokyo city has been in an abnormal state of excitement.

The Japanese Olympic fanaticism: "If there is a day of failure, I will apologize."

The then President of the International Olympic Committee, Avery Brundage, inspects the 1964 Tokyo Olympic venues (third from left)

Source: Shiji News Agency

In order to persuade the people to support the Olympic bid, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government put forward the slogan “Olympics can make money.” They also settled an account, claiming that 20 billion yen is expected to be invested in hosting the Olympics, and the income can reach 27 billion.

In the end, the actual situation is that the Olympic tourists are less than half of what was expected, and the entire Olympic economic account is obviously not making ends meet.

The Japanese also have a tradition of “concentrating power to do great things,” and people believe that they should make contributions to the country’s major affairs, and even personal sacrifices.

For the sake of “national events”, the student movement, which was once very intense in the first half of 1964, ceased automatically before the start of the Olympics.

The former Beijing TV reporter Xu Chunxin once did an interview for the Tokyo Olympics. Japanese interviewees described to her the social enthusiasm at that time: every residents committee had to meet, every school had to talk about the meaning of the Olympics, and everyone with special skills To be mobilized, every company must encourage employees to participate in the Olympic Games.

When applying for the Olympics, the Japanese media mentioned Tokyo’s advantages and summed it up as ” the heartfelt request of 7 million metropolitan citizens (referring to the citizens of Tokyo) ” and “a unified system of the whole country.” This is not a lie .

The Japanese Olympic fanaticism: "If there is a day of failure, I will apologize."

To welcome the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, venue construction is in full swing

Source: Shiji News Agency

“If there is a day of failure, I will apologize.”

Every October, on the opening anniversary of the Tokyo Olympics, the foundry craftsman Fumgo Suzuki made a special trip to Tokyo to scrub the torch stand at the National Arena to pay tribute to his father Suzuki Manosuke who gave his life for casting the torch stand.

On October 10, 1964, the Tokyo Olympics opened. This was the first Olympic Games held in Asia, and the scale was unprecedented.

In the process of casting the torch tower, the famous craftsman Manosuke Suzuki passed away due to exhaustion. His son Fongo Suzuki miraculously completed this impossible task a week before the opening of the Olympic Games.

The Suzuki family is a famous craftsman in Japanese casting, responsible for casting the Olympic torch stand. When the event was about to open in three weeks, the mold broke during the pouring process, and it seemed that this extremely important and sacred task could not be completed.

The 68-year-old Suzuki Manosuke was embarrassed and exhausted. He was sent to Huangquan three days later. His son Fungo Suzuki continued his father’s unfinished work. Under great pressure, Fungo Suzuki made an oath: “If we fail, not only will my family never stand up, but also My hometown will be ashamed of this. If there is a day of failure, I will apologize.”

One week before the opening of the Olympic Games, the huge torch stand was miraculously cast.

The Japanese Olympic fanaticism: "If there is a day of failure, I will apologize."

Japanese director Ichikawa Kun’s documentary “Tokyo Olympics”.

Suzuki Fumigo later said: “My life is very poor, but what about it, after all, one thing left for the future is mine.”

In the eyes of Westerners at the time, it was incomprehensible to connect this work with human lives, but the story of the Suzuki family became a good story related to the Olympics in the minds of Japanese people.

The enthusiasm of ordinary people is reflected in the door of the ticket office. In order to buy tickets for the Olympic Games, many people rushed to the ticket office with their luggage, and the citizens in the front line arrived five days in advance.

The Japanese Olympic fanaticism: "If there is a day of failure, I will apologize."

Actors perform gymnastics at the opening ceremony in Tokyo, Japan, October 10, 1964.

Source: iptzx

On October 2, 1964, the Central Post Office sold 1,000 Olympic commemorative coins, and a long line of 6,000 people lined up in front of the door.

In order to watch the Olympic Games at their doorstep, quite a few families bought TV sets in 1964, or replaced black and white TVs with color TVs. In 1960, the TV penetration rate of Japanese households was 54.5%. By 1964, when the Olympics were held, this The number soared to 93.5%.

The Japanese female writer Arai Ichisan recalled: “My first memory in my life is the Tokyo Olympics that opened on October 10, 1964. Although I was only two and a half years old at the time, the extremely excited atmosphere of the whole society was quite deep. impression.”

The climax of public enthusiasm is undoubtedly the women’s volleyball final. According to the records of NHK TV station, the highest ratings at the moment of that game reached 85%, which was higher than the “Red and White Song Society” that later became a sensation in Japan.

When the Japanese women’s volleyball team finally won, some media commented that: The Olympic Games opened today (October 23, 1964) and ended today.

The historic women’s volleyball final did not end in a perfect detail. In the last ball, the Soviet player was sentenced to touch the net, and the Japanese girl won without a fight. The referee’s whistle blew, and the Japanese players and hundreds of millions of spectators were stunned for a moment before suddenly realizing that the great moment was coming, and the energy released by the national carnival was comparable to a nuclear explosion.

Crashing hero

At the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, the athletes entered the arena in a very free manner. Some excited foreign athletes lifted Fukui, the flag bearer of the Japanese delegation, and circled the stadium.

The book “Japan in the 20th Century” commented on the significance of this detail: “Isolated Japan returns to the world.” The moving scene convinced the Japanese people that everything they did for the Olympics was worthwhile.

Some Japanese newspapers of that year called 1964 the “first year of internationalization” in Japan, and some called the closing moment of the Olympic Games “a day to regain self-confidence.”

From 1962 to 1964, Japan’s average annual economic growth exceeded 10%, which is known as the “Olympic Boom” in history.

And 1964 was indeed a landmark year for Japan to return to the international community. In addition to hosting the Olympic Games, another major event happened “coincidentally”-this year, Japan joined the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and OECD ( Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) .

In 1964, Japan miraculously won 16 gold medals in the local Olympics, ranking third in the number of gold medals. However, they did not continue to pursue dreams such as “Olympic glory”, but achieved an elegant turn to mass sports.

In 1957, the participation rate of Japanese men in sports was only 23%. After the Olympics in 1965, this figure had soared to 45%. And most Japanese women who don’t need work are more important promoters of sports fever.

After the Olympics, the “Mama Sang Volleyball” became popular in Japan, and table tennis is also very popular among mothers. Many retired Chinese table tennis players make a living in Japan and they play with their mothers as their main business.

At the same time as the rise of mass sports, competitive sports has also been re-examined.

On October 10, 1964, the Tokyo Olympics opened. This was the first Olympic Games held in Asia, and the scale was unprecedented.

On January 9, 1968, a 27-year-old marathon runner Yukichi Tsuburaya cut his neck and committed suicide at home. He wrote in his suicide note: “Dear father and mother, I can’t run anymore. I really want to be a victory. But I’m too tired.”

In the Tokyo Olympic Marathon, Yukichi Tsuburaya was not optimistic, but he won a bronze medal with his super will. The scene of rolling painfully after crossing the finish line is so in line with the tolerance and persistence that the Japanese admire. Quality, Tsuburaya became the hero of the Olympic Games.

Since then, Tsuburaya, who must have won gold for Japan, has been conducting devilish and unscientific training, and injuries have also increased. The limitations of strength and the risk of injury made Tsuburaya feel that the dream of winning the Olympics in 1968 is a little out of reach, and the “hero” finally has a nervous breakdown.

At that time, Japanese sports performance was mainly supported by the Land Self-Defense Force. Yukichi Tsuburaya was also a Self-Defense Force player. The harsh self-defense force “intensified player training” system was the engine for competitive sports to lift off, and it was also considered to kill Yukichi Tsuburaya. The culprit.

The Tsuburaya suicide incident shocked the Japanese people. The major media began to reflect on trophyism and the Olympic strategy. A representative critic is that Japan is “forgetting the origin of sports.”

“The Asahi Shimbun” commented on “ignoring the expectation of human nature”, fiercely criticizing the narrow nationalism in modern sports, and denounced the harm of trophyism to human nature.

The Japanese Olympic fanaticism: "If there is a day of failure, I will apologize."

On the evening of July 23, 2021, at the opening ceremony of the Olympics, many Tokyo citizens watched the fireworks outside the stadium. Source: Reuters

Criticism of modern competitive sports even triggered a campaign to boycott Nagoya’s Olympic bid in the late 1970s.

When Nagoya City submitted its bid for the Olympics, it unexpectedly drew fierce opposition from the public. Public opinion generally believed that financial funds should be used for mass sports rather than a few elite sports.

Osaka also competed with Beijing for the right to host the 2008 Olympic Games. However, like Nagoya’s bid, the domestic people have “lack of mobilization” and there is a lot of opposition. Although Nagano also hosted the Winter Olympics in 1998, the impression left by writer Arai Kazuo was only “a matter that most people do not care about.”

However, Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games finally succeeded. This time, the popular support rate rose slightly (barely more than 70%) , which may have something to do with Japan’s “lost” in Asia. However, the enthusiasm of 1964 will never again. Reproduced.

This article is excerpted from the “manuscript”, the original text was first published in the Chinese version of the US “Sports Illustrated”. We once authorized it to be published in the 358 issue of “Vista Watching the World” magazine. Today, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has entered a fierce competition time. We publish it again to help readers understand the complicated attitude of the Japanese towards the Olympics.

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