Earlier versions of this article were presented at the 16th Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia at the University of Wollongong, New South Wales, in June 2006; at the workshop in honour of Stephen S. Large held at the faculty of oriental studies, University of Cambridge, Sept. 2006; and at the Japanese History Workshop at the University of Sydney in Dec. 2007. The author is grateful to the organizers of those events and the audiences. Thanks are also due to Nanette Gottlieb, Anne-Marie Medcalf, Beatrice Trefalt and David Wells for helpful comments on drafts of the article, and to Peter Kornicki and Janet Hunter for lending the author material from their personal collections.
Exhibiting a new Japan: the Tokyo Olympics of 1964 and Expo '70 in Osaka*
Article first published online: 28 JAN 2011
Copyright © 2011 Institute of Historical Research
Volume 85, Issue 227, pages 159–178, February 2012
How to Cite
Wilson, S. (2012), Exhibiting a new Japan: the Tokyo Olympics of 1964 and Expo '70 in Osaka. Historical Research, 85: 159–178. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2281.2010.00568.x
- Issue published online: 11 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 28 JAN 2011
Using official materials and media commentary, this article examines two large-scale spectacles and their implications for post-war Japanese nationalism. Discursively, the Olympics and the World Exposition presented a clear vision of Japan: as a nation at the forefront of the international scene, fit to act as a champion of the non-Western world and firmly unified internally. In concrete ways, the two events strengthened the process of national integration that was gathering pace in the nineteen-sixties, especially through the provision of new networks of transport and communications. They also helped to rehabilitate the post-war Japanese state, so that it could more readily be seen as a benign entity devoted to the national interest and the people's welfare. The article illuminates a key moment in the emergence of new national self-images and in the construction of national life in post-war Japan.