1st Edition

The 1940 Tokyo Games: The Missing Olympics Japan, the Asian Olympics and the Olympic Movement

By Sandra Collins Copyright 2008
    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    By representing their experience of modernity as different from the West in their respective Olympic Games, Asian nations reveal much about the ambitions and anxieties of being an Asian host in the continuing western Olympic hegemony. This original work explores the encounter between ‘the East and the West’ by analyzing the deliberate self-presentational cultural diplomacy historically required of Asian Olympic hosts.

    Exploring the relationship between Modern Asia and the Olympic Games, it focuses on the forgotten history of the 1940 Tokyo Olympics to reveal the complex and fascinating encounter between Japan and the world in the 1930s. The book is the first full account of this encounter and draws substantially on Japanese sources hitherto unknown in the English-speaking world. It argues that this encounter sets the scene and the tone for later Asian involvement in the Olympic Movement. It includes chapters on:

    • Imperial Commemoration and Diplomacy
    • the Japanese Fascist Olympics
    • the Event, Japanese Style
    • the Spectre of 1940 in Later Asian Olympics.

    This work fills a gap in the literature, and provides an original addition to the history of Japanese culture, Asian cultures and the Olympic Movement.

    This book is a special issue of The International Journal of the History of Sport.

    1. Introduction: 1940 Tokyo and Asian Olympics in the Olympic Movement  2. The 1940 Olympics: Imperial Commemoration and Diplomacy  3. East and West: Confrontational Diplomacy  4. The Event, Japanese Style  5. The Spectacle of Olympic Tokyo and Imperial Japan  6. The Rise of Japanese Militarism  7. Conclusion: The Spectre of 1940 in Later Asian Olympics


    Sandra Collins received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Her current academic interests are gender, sport and national identity in Japan and the United States. She is now working on a study of the myths of national sport and the failure of professional soccer in the United States. She is an authority on Japanese culture and society.

    "Who won the gold for the javelin in the 1940 Tokyo Olympics? In her dissertation Collins explains the real reasons behind the non-existent Games, a primary one being that the Japanese government forfeited its opportunity to do so in favor of continuing colonization of other Asian regions and states. Of course this explanation is far too simple, and as she explains the role of the Olympics in imperial commemoration and diplomacy, the increasingly complex confrontations between East and West in the diplomatic dance, how the event mattered in Japanese political and social thought, the promises of spectacle and its links to the empire, the rise of militarism and the decline of enthusiasm over holding an Olympics that reflected the Olympic ideal. Particularly interesting are her reflections on the Berlin Olympics of 1938 and those in Beijing in 2008, and the specter of the 1940 Tokyo in later Asian Olympics." -- Book News Inc., August 2008