From the book,
From the book, “Tokyo Olympics Special Issue_Kokusai Johosha”

Every time you hold a mega-sports spectacle like the Olympic Games or the World Cup, you simply won’t have enough accommodations to handle the spike in visitors. The Tokyo Government anticipated 30,000 visitors so they asked area hotels to expand and refurbish for foreign tourists, schools and companies to open up their dormitories, and people living in Tokyo to make their homes available to foreigners.

They also had 10 passenger liners visit Japan during the Olympics. These were big ships, 5,000 to 11,000-ton ships with names like “The Brazile Maru”, “The Vladivostok”, “The Oriana”, “The Khubarovsk” and “The Empress of England”.

Ten passenger liners arrived in the ports of Tokyo and Yokohama from October 8 to 13, housing over 5,000 visitors, serving as the perfect temporary housing units. All of the ships departed Japan by October 26, two days after the completion of the Games.

According to Sports Illustrated, around 115 buses were prepared to shuttle the visitors between their floating hotels in Yokohama and the Olympic venues.

Handling the spike in 2020 is definitely a concern for planners. Think Airbnb – get that closet under the stairway ready. Could get you 20,000 yen a night.

From a magazine called
From a magazine called “Olympiku Tokyo Taikai Tokushuu No. 4”, Tokyo Shinbun

Is this ad selling the prospect of listening to music in glorious stereo, or the chance to get three free discs from Columbia Records, or something else?

Columbia Records, owned by CBS at that time by CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System), was one of the first to release LPs in stereo in the mid 1950s. Apparently, Columbia also manufactured the delivery device, these beautiful all-in-one radio-record players.

My parents didn’t own a Columbia Stereo. Ours was a Victor, which our cat Miiko enjoyed immensely.

Miiko_circa 1965 #1

water_polo_aug08_main_631_jpg__800x600_q85_crop

On December 6, 1956, Hungary and the Soviet Union faced off in the pool at the Melbourne Olympic Games in arguably the most famous water polo match ever.

It was only a month earlier when a spontaneous uprising by Hungarians against their Soviet overlords throughout the country was crushed by tanks and troops from the USSR. And as the fickle finger of fate always has its way, Hungary ended up in a match with the Soviet Union in the Olympic water polo semifinals.

As this fascinating Smithsonian article explains, this was not just a water polo competition. This was war.

“Within the game’s first minute, a Russian player put a hammerlock on a Hungarian and was sent to the penalty box as the crowd jeered. A Hungarian player scored the first goal, punching a Russian player on the chin with a windmill motion while shooting. The Hungarians scored three more goals, including two by Zador. They taunted the Russians, who were being shut out and becoming increasingly frustrated. Two more Russians were sent to the penalty box after slugging Hungarian players.”

Freedom's FuryThe picture up top is of Emil Zador, who was punched at the end of the match as he turned his head away from the competition for a moment, his bloodied visage a reminder that the removal of politics from the Olympic Games was a whack-a-mole experience at best.

But even more amazing than that picture is the film from that match! Here is a clip from the 2006 documentary, Freedom’s Fury, narrated by Mark Spitz. In addition to interviews of the players from that game are the spellbinding images of grappling and punching in the pool.

Hungary would go on to beat Yugoslavia to win gold. Emil Zador, the famous bloody face, stayed

shinkansen_1October1964

We waited on the platform for the arrival of the Shinkansen Nozomi #130 to pull in, and for the cleaning crew to do their magic. The train, as scheduled, pulled in at 16:53. The doors opened, the passengers walked out, and the 56 members of the Central JR Tokaido-sen cleaning crew, clad in pink, streamed into the 16-car bullet train. The train was to depart at 17:10, 17 minutes after arrival, but they had to complete the clean up in 12 minutes.

Nozomi Shikansen_Cleaning crew

First they had to forcefully rotate the sets of seats so that they faced the other direction, as the train was now going to head West. Next they had to gather the newspapers and drink cans, sweep up the floor, replace the headrest coverings, check the overhead racks for items left behind, and check the seats for moisture (ie: spilled drinks, excessive sweat, who knows what). On the day I was there, a seat actually had to be replaced as it was too damp.

And then, they’re done and out of the train. a few moments later, after the head of the cleaning crew gives the go ahead, the passengers for Western Japan are allowed on board the renamed Nozomi #53, bound for Hakata. 12 minutes. Done.

On October 1, 1964, 9 days before the beginning of the Tokyo Olympics, Japan commenced operations of the fastest train in the world, The Shinkansen, also known as The Bullet Train. As much as the Olympics did, the Shinkansen symbolized Japan’s impressive recovery from bombed-out and destroyed to world class.

In 1964, the Shinkansen ran at a top speed of 210 km per hour and made it from Tokyo to Osaka in four hours. Today, the top speed is now

From
From “A Picture History of the Olympics”, by James Coote

The women’s 80 meters hurdles race in Tokyo in 1964 had one of the tightest finishes you will see, with three women finishing in a near virtual tie. But I’m not here to talk about the thrill of victory, but instead, the agony of defeat.

The very best athletes in the world come to the Olympic Games with every intention to go to their very limits. That effort has risk. Marion Snider, 200-meter champion from Canada, hit a hurdle and landed hard on the cinder track, going limp as other runners zipped by her. The 22-year-old from Toronto was carried off on a stretcher.

Olympians train and prepare hard every day waiting for this moment. Snider’s was in her first and only race in Tokyo. Here is a picture of her before