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Special Issue: Japan’s Olympic Summer Games - Past and Present, Part I (Table of Contents)

February 15, 2020
Volume 18 | Issue 4 | Number 1
Article ID 5341


A mega-event like the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics justifies a monumental two-part special issue. This is an inter-disciplinary effort involving Japan specialists from around the globe who locate the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in light of previous Olympics and a wide range of issues pertinent to the Olympic movement and Japan's global role. The call for papers elicited a rapid and robust response by scholars, translators and writers who have taken to heart my instructions to write accessible, jargon-free essays that distill their knowledge and insights without compromising rigor and reliability. Our targeted audience is educators and their students as well as general readers who need access to high quality, online resources at a time when interest in the Olympics runs high. We also hope that curious visitors and journalists will benefit from and enjoy this compilation as they scrutinize the PR spectacle, messaging and branding, and delve deeper into contemporary Japan’s dilemmas and simmering challenges. - Jeff Kingston, Editor

The Table of Contents for Part II will be available on 3/1/2020

See an update by Jeff Kingston as of 3/29/2020, reflecting the postponement of the 2020 Olympics, here.



Introduction for Part I  by Jeff Kingston

Branding and Identity

1 - Jeff Kingston - Diversity Olympics Dogged by Controversy

2 - David Leheny - Opening a Storyline in the 2020 Olympics

3 - Gracia Liu-Farrer - Japan and Immigration: Looking Beyond the Tokyo Olympics

4 - Tessa Morris-Suzuki - Indigenous Rights and the ‘Harmony Olympics’ 

5 - Claire Maree - “LGBT issues” and the 2020 Games

6 - Ian Lynam - The Small Olympics


Past as Prologue

7 - Gerald Curtis - Celebrating the “New” Japan 

8 - Akiko Hashimoto - The Tokyo Olympic Stadium: Site of National Memory

9 - Asato Ikeda - The Tokyo Olympics: 1940/2020

10 - Robert Whiting - The 1964 Olympics

11 - Kazuhiko Togo - Unease about Tokyo 2020

12 - Roy Tomizawa - 1964: The Greatest Year in the History of Japan -- Three Reasons Why 

13 - Helen Macnaughtan - From the Witches of the Orient to the Blossoming Sevens: Volleyball and Rugby at the Tokyo Olympics




14 - Robin Kietlinski- Trash Islands: The Olympic Games and Tokyo’s Changing Environment

15 - Peter Matanle- Confronting the Olympic Paradox: Modernity and Environment at a Crossroads in Downtown Tokyo

This is the Table of Contents of the Special Issue: Japan’s Olympic Summer Games -- Past and Present, Part I.


Jeff Kingston is Director of Asian Studies and Professor of History at Temple University, Japan. Most recently, he wrote The Politics of Religion, Nationalism and Identity (2019) and Japan (2019), edited Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan (2019, rev 2nd ed.) and Press Freedom in Contemporary Japan (2017)) and co-edited Press Freedom in Contemporary Asia (2019) and Japan’s Foreign Relations with Asia (2018). His current research focuses on transitional justice and the politics of memory.