My memory of the 1st Tokyo Summer Olympics in 1964


~I was a student living near Haneda International Airport in Tokyo~ 

This summer in 2016, the Summer Olympics will take place in Rio de Janeiro. Here in Japan, we are excited to have our 2nd Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2020. There are a lot of lucky people who are going to see the Tokyo Olympics for the second time in person. I will be one of them. I have lived near Haneda Airport my whole life. I remember the 1st Tokyo Olympics in 1964 like it was yesterday.

tokyo-olympic logo

In 1964, Narita International Airport had yet to be built. Because of this, most athletes and journalists from the mass media seem to be crammed in Haneda Airport-- from all over the world, no less-- but I didn’t notice them as much because tourists coming through my town were not unusual for me.

I remember in 1959, five years before the 1964 Olympics. Most Japanese people bought color TVs that year because we really wanted to witness the wedding ceremony of our current emperor with Princess Michiko. We used to watch TV every day. When the Olympics finally came around, the Tokyo Monorail (Haneda Airport to Downtown Tokyo) and the Shinkansen (bullet train) were constructed. In only 20 years after World War II, I could feel our atmosphere changing for the better.


During the 1964 Olympics, the USA swimming team was the most memorable. They won many gold medals, almost every day, even. I heard their national anthem so many times that I can never forget its melody. I also remember their gold medalist swimmer, Donald Arthur Schollander. I still can’t forget his name & face to this day.

It has been 52 years. Our town Haneda has continued to be developed little by little, even though people have been saying ‘Haneda is just an airport and seaside so there’s no need for improvement.” We often see foreign tourists here nowadays. During the last Tokyo Olympics, I had no chance to talk to foreign people, but I am really looking forward to communicating with them in 2020.

To tell the truth, I am practicing English conversation at weknow for 2020. I am enjoying my sessions with advisors almost every day. Because of this, I feel like I comfortably express my genuine thoughts in English.

English translation by Thalia (USA) 日本語へ>>

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