There are five more years before the Olympics come to Tokyo, but the commercials have begun. In these early stages, a few themes have emerged. Nomura and Yomiuri emphasize Excellence, while Sumitomo Mitsui Bank and NEC appeal to the Everyman who pursue excellence. Another theme is how the Olympics brings the world together, as does JAL in this case. And finally, there will be plenty of ways to spoof the majesty and drama of the Olympic Games, as does the recruiting company, Sanko. These are all in Japanese, but I think you will get the gist.
The securities company, Nomura, cuts to the essence of why Olympians work so hard, to the point of tears – Because they have a dream.
Yomiuri Shimbun, an established media company, focuses on how the very best emerge from competition, and that the success of the very best has the subsequent support of that competition, and that champions should be grateful for that support.
Sumitomo Mitsui Bank appeals to the everyday person by explaining that it isn’t just the Olympic athlete who gives it their all, we all do in our daily lives as well.
NEC, a large electronics and systems company stresses the pursuit of excellence in Olympic athletes and non-athletes alike.
The largest airline in Japan displays its long history with the Olympics, how it brought the
Surfing in the Olympics? It’s been selected by the Tokyo Olympic powers that be. But why is it even being considered? Technology.
The challenges up till now for holding surfing competitions in the Olympics is how to ensure a level playing field for all surfers. After all, waves with the same or similar difficulty levels don’t come when you want them to in the big blue ocean. And what do you do if the venue for the summer games is land-locked?
Technology appears to be the wave that surfing enthusiasts in support of making it an Olympic sport are betting on. Now wavepools are becoming so sophisticated that specific heights and shapes of waves can be created and repeated consistently so that wave patterns can be replicated for competition.
According to Fernando Aquerre, President of the International Surfing Association, surfing wasn’t initially selected as an Olympic sport in 2011 because of the lack of proper wave-making technologies. “But now the proper wave technology or world-class or Olympic surfing competitions is available,” he wrote in this article.
Apparently it’s still open as to whether a competition in 2020 in Tokyo would be in a wave pool or in the ocean. But the debate is on as to which is more appropriate. Here are a few point/counterpoint from Surfermag:
Surfing should be an Olympic Sport for sure. It would be hard to have the event when the hosting city is land locked, but with the way technology is going it seems we will be able to bring world class waves and surfing anywhere. – Taylor Knox, Veteran World Tour Surfer
No, no and err…no. Olympic sports are all anchored around fairness and level playing fields, but the ocean doesn’t offer that. The only way surfing would ever be considered an Olympic sport is if it was held in wave pools, and if it was held in wave pools then I wouldn’t consider it surfing. The fact that no two waves are ever the same is what makes surfing, surfing. It’s not designed to be fair. The ocean isn’t fair, and unless you’re Kelly the ocean really doesn’t give a shit about you. – Sean Doherty, Surfer Senior Writer
Yes, I think surfing should be included, and I would absolutely love to surf in the Olympics. It would be such a great honor to represent my country. Plus, it would be a sick competition with the Brazilians teaming together against the other counties. And of course we would win. Haha! Hopefully it will happen. – Gabriel Medina, World Champ
…the thought of surfing in the Olympics brings a familiar dab of bile to my throat. Can we just all agree to pretend, for a little while longer, that surfing is a unique thing to do? That this difference has in fact always been its strength? – Matt Warshaw, Surfer Historian
What is it like to surf in a wave pool? Take a look!
They’ve decided to re-do the far more costly National Stadium design. They could decide to change the Olympic 2020 logo as well. The idea in this article is gaining momentum, and for good reason. It’s better than the officially selected logo.
Copying is a key component of learning. There is nothing new under the sun, and we stand on the shoulders of giants…to shamelessly borrow these words of wisdom.
Many well established writers may have started off by mimicking Ernest Hemmingway’s simple, direct tone. Microsoft’s Windows GUI was borrowed from Apple’s Macintosh GUI which was borrowed from Xerox’s PARC research.
As James Abegglen and George Stalk wrote in their classic book on the Japanese corporation – Kaisha – “In the high-growth U.S. economy of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Americans took great pride in what was termed ‘Yankee ingenuity.’ By this was generally meant the taking in of European discoveries and developments, adapting and commercializing them, and building on these imported technologies.”
The line between copying and creativity is fine. My favorite example is George Harrison’s 1970 “My Sweet Lord“, which was the center of a copyright infringement lawsuit where Harrison was ruled to have subconsciously plagiarized Ronnie Mack’s 1963 song “He’s So Fine“.
George Harrison has such a body of work that screams creativity that no one will begrudge him this.
And to be honest, I was going to give designer, Kenjiro Sano, the benefit of the doubt when his Tokyo 2020 logo was thought to be a copy of the Theatre de Liege logo, created by Olivier Debie. But the recent revelations that Sano’s firm essentially traced designs of another firm for use in a major marketing campaign by giant Japanese beverages corporation, Suntory, is sad. Suntory ended up pulling those blatantly copied designs from their marketing campaign.
You can see in this illustration below recent designs by Sano where he
I had always wondered why the 1964 Olympic Summer Games took place in October, which is a beautiful time in Japan, primarily because it is Autumn.
One reason was to avoid the typhoons of summer in Japan, which could possibly wreak havoc on a tight two-week schedule. Another reason was possibly to avoid the heat and humidity of August in Tokyo.
That is the reason raised by Terrie Lloyd, a Japan-hand who currently writes and consults on tourism in Japan. In his latest post, he wondered why officials set the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo in late July, early August. As Lloyd pointed out, we suffered through horrible heat in that period this year, with temperatures ranging from 35 to 38 degrees celsius (95 to 100 degrees fahrenheit). He claims that the actual feel on the street averaged something closer to 47-50 degrees!
The Wall Street Journal stated that “since 1964, average July-August temperatures in Tokyo have risen several degrees, as heat radiating off asphalt and buildings and coming out of car exhausts and air conditioners remains trapped at night.”
Lloyd claims that if temperatures hit an average of 38 degrees at this time in 2020, the Tokyo Summer Games would be the hottest in 120 years.
So he asks, why July/August? Well, that may seem more obvious if you follow the money. NBC has paid a king’s ransom to broadcast the 2020 Games in the U.S., and would rather not have to compete with the NBA championships in June, or the NFL season that starts in September, or the World Series that plays out in October.
By the way, if you visit Tokyo in August, it’s hot and muggy. The only good thing about that? A cold beer tastes absolutely heavenly!