Japan in the fast lane
Tokyo 1964: Designing TomorrowJapan House, 5 August – 7 November 2021. Curated by Japan House London in collaboration with Yamashita Megumi and David Phillips. Produced by Japan House London in collaboration with Japan Sport Council. Exhibition design: Mentsen
Tokyo 1964 Official Poster (No 3) Butterfly Swimmer designed by Kamekura Yūsaku. Courtesy of Prince Chichibu Memorial Sports Museum.
‘Tokyo 1964: Designing Tomorrow’ (Japan House, London) told the story of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics while showing how Japan used the Games as an opportunity to reposition itself after the Second World War.
The show, which opened as this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games were nearing their end, was a thorough case study of
the 1964 Olympics’ design legacy. At the centre of the exhibition hung a triptych of posters designed by Kamekura Yūsaku, capturing runners and swimmers in motion (see above).
Also on show were uniforms, programmes, medals, stop watches and Yamashita Yoshirō’s pictograms – then a radical addition to the visual language of sport.
Curated by Japan House with Yamashita Megumi and David Phillips, the exhibition ran until 7 November 2021.
Gabriela Matuszyk, designer, writer, lecturer, London
First published in Eye no. 102 vol. 26, 2021
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