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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics

Links to book

Paperback & Hardback
Open Access E-Book

Editors

Barbara Holthus
Isaac Gagné
Wolfram Manzenreiter (Universität Wien)
Franz Waldenberger

Authors

Complete List of Contributors (PDF, 265 KB)

Peter Backhaus (Waseda University)
Isaac Gagné
Sonja Ganseforth
Steffen Heinrich (Freie Universität Berlin)
Katharina Heyer (University of Hawaii)
Maki Hirayama (Meiji University)
Barbara Holthus
Hanno Jentzsch (Universität Wien)
Axel P. Klein (Universität Duisburg-Essen)
Daniel Kremers
Nora Kottmann
Jan Lukas Kuhn
Ralph Lützeler (Universität Wien)
Wolfram Manzenreiter (Universität Wien)
Sebastian Polak-Rottmann (Universität Wien)
Florian Purkarthofer (Universität Wien)
Franz Waldenberger
Torsten Weber

In the media

John Horne on book publication in latest eBulletin (p. 7-8) of the International Sociology of Sport Association (5/2020)

Barbara Holthus on volunteering in German newspaper Rhein Neckar Zeitung (5/2020)

Franz Waldenberger in DLF interview on economic consequences of Tokyo Olympics postponement (5/2020)

Barbara Holthus in DLF podcast on Tokyo Olympics volunteers (5/2020)

Franz Waldenberger in German weekly Wirtschaftswoche on economic consequences of Tokyo Olympics postponement (3/2020)

Franz Waldenberger in German daily Börsen-Zeitung on economic consequences of Tokyo Olympics postponement (3/2020)

Barbara Holthus in JDZB interview on Tokyo Olympics (3/2020)

Franz Waldenberger in ARD podcast Go to Tokyo to go #7 (1/2020)

Barbara Holthus in ARD podcast Go to Tokyo to go #6 (12/2019)

DIJ researcher interviewed by German radio ARD (11/2019)

DIJ researcher interviewed by Austrian national TV ORF for ‘Sport am Sonntag’ and ‘Sport Plus’ (5/2019)

Events & Presentations

Hanno Jentzsch, “Sanya 2020 – Tokyos Tagelöhnerviertel vor den Olympischen Spielen”, Olympische Reihe Teil 2, OAG Tokyo (2/2020)

Barbara Holthus, “Tokyo 2020: Japans Versuch, sich neu zu erfinden”, Olympische Reihe Teil 1, OAG Tokyo (1/2020)

Panel on ‘Tokyo Through the Lens of the 2020 Olympics’, German Association for Social Science Research on Japan (VSJF), Annual Conference, Ruhr University Bochum/Germany (11/2019)

Briefing of Artists (Passagenwerk 2020) for Goethe-Institute Tokyo, Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center (5/2019)

DIJ Roundtable ‘Tokyo 2020 and Beyond: Legacies from Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games’ (10/2018)

Related Publications

Sonja Ganseforth, ‘Anti-Olympic Rallying Points, Public Alienation, and Transnational Alliances’, The Asia-Pacific Journal (Japan Focus), Vol. 18, Issue 5, No. 1 (3/2020)

Barbara Holthus, ‘Wie Phönix aus der Asche – oder Japans Wunsch der Neuerfindung durch die Olympischen Spiele 2020’, DIJ Working Paper 20/1 (3/2020)

Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics

This open-access book situates the 2020 Tokyo Olympics within the social, economic and political challenges for Japan. Tokyo 2020 is constructed to embrace diversity and inclusiveness in society, foster sustainability, boost Japan’s economy, improve social cohesion, create a feeling of unity and pride for the country, and increase citizens’ active participation in fostering the well-being of society. This book uses the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a lens onto the city and country, offering hidden insights and new perspectives on city planning, cultural politics, financial issues, language use, security concepts, education, volunteerism and construction work. It explains the many stakeholders, institutions, average citizens, interest groups, and protest groups involved, and features the struggle over Tokyo’s extreme summer heat, food standards, the implementation of diversity in regard to disabilities, sexual minorities and technological innovations. We also give short glimpses of the new Olympic sports and the role of these sports in Japan.

The book is now available in paperback, hardcover and as open access book.

“This is the first – and possibly only – book which explains contemporary Japan through the prism of the Olympics and the Olympics through the lens of Japanese society. 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

“This book is the perfect companion for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Its short, readable chapters by Japan specialists are full of intriguing information about past and present Olympics in Tokyo, and how hosting the Olympic games reshapes the city of Tokyo. […] 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

“This comprehensive collection by experienced Japan researchers offers highly informative and smartly written commentaries on the social, political, and economic ramifications of Tokyo 2020. […] 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 and author of The Sportsworlds of the Hanshin Tigers: Professional Baseball in Modern Japan

“This volume assembles scholars with a broad spectrum of expertise who provide a thorough overview of the key topics surrounding the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Most impressive is that it blends keen analysis of the major issues for Japan with equally keen analysis of the major issues for the Olympic Games. 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 and Author of Beijing Games: What the Olympics Mean to China

“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 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tokyo, and Japan in the 21st century.”
John Horne, Waseda University and author of Understanding the Olympics

“The 34 chapters cover a wide range of topics—including politics, economy, society, culture, media, cinema, architecture, and, of course, sports—to provide the reader with keen insights into how, in leading up to 2020, Japan is shaping, and being shaped, by the Olympics. An outstanding guide for those seeking to understand contemporary Japan and its future direction.”
Glen S. Fukushima, Former President, American Chamber of Commerce in Japan

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  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

Staff

Barbara Holthus Barbara Holthus
(Sociology)
Deputy Director