1st Edition

Japan Through the Lens of the Tokyo Olympics Open Access

    162 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    162 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book situates the 2020 Tokyo Olympics within the social, economic, and political challenges facing contemporary Japan.

    Using the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a lens into the city and the country as a whole, the stellar line up of contributors offer hidden insights and new perspectives on the Games. These include city planning, cultural politics, financial issues, language use, security, education, volunteerism, and construction work. The chapters then go on to explore the many stakeholders, institutions, citizens, interest groups, and protest groups involved, and feature the struggle over Tokyo’s extreme summer heat, food standards, the implementation of diversity around disabilities, sexual minorities, and technological innovations. Giving short glimpses into the new Olympic sports, this book also analyses the role of these sports in Japanese society.

    Japan Through the Lens of the Tokyo Olympics will be of huge interest to anyone attending the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020. It will also be useful to students and scholars of the Olympics and the sociology of sport, as well as Japanese culture and society.

    1. Understanding Japan through the lens of Tokyo 2020, Barbara Holthus, Isaac Gagné, Wolfram Manzenreiter, Franz Waldenberger

    2. Olympics and the media, Wolfram Manzenreiter

    3. Skateboarding: "F*** the Olympics", Wolfram Manzenreiter

    4. Political games, Axel Klein

    5. Number games: The economic impact of Tokyo 2020, Franz Waldenberger

    6. Climbing: New sport on the block, Wolfram Manzenreiter

    7. Advertising the Games: Sponsoring a new era, Isaac Gagné

    8. Karate: Bowing to the Olympics in style, Wolfram Manzenreiter

    9. Herculean efforts: What the construction of the Olympic Stadium reveals about working conditions in Japan, Steffen Heinrich

    10. Tokyo 2020 and neighborhood transformation: Reworking the entrepreneurial city, Ralph Lützeler

    11. Ho(s)t city: Tokyo’s fight against the summer heat, Jan Lukas Kuhn

    12. Tokyo’s architecture and urban structure: Change in an ever-changing city, Florian Purkarthofer

    13. Success story: The 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Torsten Weber

    14. San’ya 2020: From building to hosting the Tokyo Olympics, Hanno Jentzsch

    15. Baseball/softball: One more homer for Japan, Wolfram Manzenreiter

    16. Outdoor sports in the periphery: Far from the compact games, Daniel Kremers

    17. Surfing: Taken with a grain of salt, Wolfram Manzenreiter

    18. Tokyo’s 1940 "Phantom Olympics" in public memory: When Japan chose war over the Olympics, Torsten Weber

    19. Upgrading Tokyo’s linguistic infrastructure for the 2020 Games, Peter Backhaus

    20. Sexual minorities and the Olympics, Maki Hirayama

    21. The Paralympic Games: Enabling sports and empowering disability, Katharina Heyer

    22. Sex in the city, Maki Hirayama

    23. Games of Romance? Tokyo in search of love and Unity in Diversity, Nora Kottmann

    24. The 2020 Olympic mascot characters: Japan wants to make a difference, Jan Lukas Kuhn

    25. Olympic education: How Tokyo 2020 shapes body and mind in Japan, Wolfram Manzenreiter

    26. Sex in the Village, Maki Hirayama

    27. Volunteering Japan-style: "Field cast" for the Tokyo Olympics, Barbara Holthus

    28. The difference between zero and one: Voices from the Tokyo anti-Olympic movements, Sonja Ganseforth

    29. Beyond 2020: Post-Olympic pessimism in Japanese cinema, Jan Lukas Kuhn

    30. Tokyo 2020 from the regional sidelines, Isaac Gagné

    31. Olympic leverages: The struggle for sustainable food standards, Sonja Ganseforth

    32. Security for the Tokyo Olympics, Sebastian Polak-Rottmann

    33. The Olympic and Paralympic Games as a technology showcase, Franz Waldenberger

    34. Tokyo 2020: Connecting the past with the future, Round table discussion with Munehiko Harada, John Horne, Wolfram Manzenreiter


    Barbara Holthus, Ph.D., is a sociologist and deputy director of the German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo, Japan. Her main research interests include marriage and the family, childcare, happiness and well-being, media, as well as demographic change. Publications include Life Course, Happiness and Well-being in Japan (2017, Routledge, ed. with W. Manzenreiter).

    Isaac Gagné, Ph.D., a cultural anthropologist, is a senior research fellow at the German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo, Japan and managing editor of Contemporary Japan. He is a cultural anthropologist working on mental health and social welfare, morality and ethics, and religion. Publications include "Religious globalization and reflexive secularization in a Japanese new religion" (2017, Japan Review).

    Wolfram Manzenreiter is professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria. His research is concerned with social and anthropological aspects of sports, emotions, rural Japan, and transnational networks of the Japanese diaspora. Publications include Sport and Body Politics in Japan (2014, Routledge).

    Franz Waldenberger is an economist and director of the German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo, Japan. His research focuses on the Japanese Economy in comparative perspective. Recent publications include "Society 5.0. Japanese Ambitions and Initiatives" in The Digital Future (2018, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung).

    Written by leading experts on Japanese sport and society, this is the perfect guide for anyone – sports fan, tourist, or armchair viewer – wanting to know the inside story about the Games and Japan in the 21st century.

    John Horne, Waseda University, Japan

    Full of fascinating insights and information, it is sure to become a bible for anyone intending to attend (or even just watch) the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Definitely a winner.

    Roger Goodman, University of Oxford, UK

    This is an essential briefing for anyone wishing to know what is at stake as Tokyo hosts this global sporting mega-event.

    William W. Kelly, Yale University, USA

    Take this book along as you ride the trains and explore the city. It will be valuable long after the last medal has been awarded.

    Patricia Steinhoff, University of Hawaii, USA

    This insightful overview of the intersection of Japan with the Olympics has something for everyone, whether academics, journalists, fans of Olympics or fans of Japan.

    Susan Brownell, St. Louis University, USA

    An outstanding guide for those seeking to understand contemporary Japan and its future direction.

    Glen S. Fukushima, Former President, American Chamber of Commerce, Japan