Tokyo 1964:
Designing Tomorrow

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Tokyo 1964: Designing Tomorrow explores the pioneering design strategy and lasting legacy of the historic Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, the first to be held in Asia, which are often seen as a turning point for Japan.

This exhibition shows how a group of young Japanese designers and architects harnessed the opportunity presented by the 1964 Olympic Games to reframe the country’s profile and tell a fresh story to the world. Their ground-breaking designs are important as they have informed the design principles of all subsequent major international sporting events.

Many of the exhibits are on loan outside Japan for the first time. There is the chance to see the first ever sports pictograms, the original Games posters and the award-winning Tokyo 1964 symbol designed by Kamekura Yūsaku which is still as fresh today as when it was first presented to the world. There is the original architectural model of the gracefully constructed Yoyogi National Gymnasium by Tange Kenzō, as well as uniforms worn by workers at the Games, medals, tickets and medal ceremony kimono.

Visitors to the exhibition can also discover a number of world firsts that Tokyo’s hosting the 1964 Olympic Games allowed: the construction of the bullet train (Shinkansen) between Tokyo and Osaka, the emergence of ‘hi-tech’ infrastructure in the wake of rapid economic growth, television broadcasting by satellite, precision timekeeping and the first use of the word ‘Paralympic’.

Hear more about the contents of the exhibition in the Curator's Introduction video below.

Tokyo 1964: Designing Tomorrow is curated by Japan House London and produced in collaboration with the Prince Chichibu Memorial Sports Museum & Library of the Japan Sport Council.

Additional items have been loaned by The Seiko Museum Ginza in Tokyo, the Central Japan Railway Company and the National Paralympic Heritage Trust in the UK.

About the Prince Chichibu Memorial Sports Museum & Library

The Prince Chichibu Memorial Sports Museum is the only integrated sports museum in Japan. Named in honour of Yasuhito, Prince Chichibu, who is affectionately known to the nation as the ‘Sporting Prince’ for his contribution to sports, the museum was established in January 1959 in the grounds of Yoyogi National Gymnasium, the main stadium for the historic Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games. Since then, for over 50 years, it has been collecting, archiving and sharing various sporting materials in order to preserve and spread the history of Japanese sports and culture.

Curator's Introduction

Hear an introduction to Tokyo 1964: Designing Tomorrow by the exhibition curator and Japan House London's Director of Programming, Simon Wright.