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Ricordi di Tokyo 1964 [EN]

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Le olimpiadi di Tokyo del 1964 giunsero in un momento importante per la storia del paese, che si stava rapidamente riprendendo dalla distruzione della guerra. Le olimpiadi servirono a investire in trasporti e infrastrutture, e mostrarono ai giapponesi e al mondo che il Giappone poteva rialzare rapidamente la testa. Furono anche le prime Olimpiadi in Asia.

Sia BBC World Service (podcast)  che The Guardian ne parlano, anche intervistando chi visse quel periodo in prima persona.

The Tokyo 1964 Games were intended to complete Japan’s transformation from militarist pariah to fully-fledged member of the international community. As an Agence France-Presse report put it days before the opening ceremony in October that year: “An historic week is beginning for Japan. Never before has it wanted to welcome so many foreigners.”

Pre-Olympic Tokyo was “a polluted, fetid mess few people wanted to visit,” says Robert Whiting, an American writer whose memoir, Tokyo Junkie, was published in April. Locals, he said, kept asking themselves a question that has become something of a mantra before every subsequent Games: “How in the world will the city ever be ready on time?”

A round-the-clock frenzy of construction that one observer called the greatest urban transformation in history enabled Tokyo to greet the world with a sense of pride and accomplishment few believed would have been possible just years earlier.

As Whiting recounts, by the time the games began, Tokyo boasted 10,000 new buildings, including several five-star hotels, eight overhead expressways, two new subway lines, and a monorail running linking Haneda airport with the city centre.

Immagine da Flickr

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