Operation olympiad by Alessandro Perini
only of this – 39 copies – limited print run
Inserts: 3 posters, 1 index images, 2 letters, 1 pamphlet, 1 postcard
‘Operation Olympiad’ seeks to represent the ways in which Tokyo and Japan came to prepare for the international Olympic Games in 1940 and the international conflict simultaneously.
Alessandro Perini aims to remind us of the importance of Japan’s rich Olympic history in light of Tokyo again being awarded the right to host the Olympic Games in 2020.
The event was intended to coincide with the 2600th anniversary of Japan’s imperial line and this symbolic occasion has subsequently been the focus of academic research. Tokyo’s Olympic vision emerged in the first years of the Showa era (1926-1989), driven by a desire to prove that Japan and its modern capital, rebuilt after the devastation of the Great Kanto Earthquake, were capable of hosting a major international event. The Tokyo bid had close links to Berlin 1936 and Rome’s desire to host the games was postponed to further relations between Japan and Italy during this period.
However, the original Tokyo Olympics, which were to have been held in 1940, were canceled because of Japan’s deepening conflict with China. In retrospect, one of the most controversial aspects of Tokyo 1940 is the fusion of militarism and sport which is presented side-by-side in this work.
As we look forward to Tokyo 2020, the threat of militarism is once again emerging globally and there is a great deal of attention being payed to the stewardship of Shinzo Abe both in Japan and overseas.
Thanks to ‘Operation Olympiad’ I had the chance to research and to learn about Japan’s past, and present. A past which is not often spoken. A present where generations are hardly recalling this period nor the Olympic Games. Many habits and laws have been changed since the Games that never happened and defeat in WWII. Western manners and rules have re-shaped Japan’s society and thinking since then. Not being aware of the past, could bring loss of memory and awareness to the present.