Sunday, July 15, 2012

1964 Tokyo Summer Olympic Opening Ceremony

The Games of the XVIII Olympiad
Tokyo, Japan
Opening Ceremony of the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo

Olympic Ceremony Records
italics indicate records at the time
  • First Olympic Games in Asia
  • First Opening Ceremony Theme Song
  • First Use of Electronic Music
  • First Use of Balloons
  • First Use of Fireworks
  • First Release of Perfume
  • First Use of Sky-writing by Airplane
  • Most Nations Participating (93) - previous Rome 1960 (83)
  • Most Olympic Events (163) - previous Antwerp 1920 (154)
Olympic Torch Relay Records
italics indicate records at the time
  • First Olympic Torch Relay to be Run on the Track at the Ancient Stadium in Olympia, Greece
  • Longest Olympic Torch Relay - 27,065km (previous Melbourne 1956 - 17,412km)
  • Most Torchbearers - 5,244 (previous Helsinki 1952 - 3,374)
Opening Ceremony
National Stadium (71,600)
October 10, 1964


Opening Ceremony Highlights
Up until 1964, the most influential Olympic Ceremonies were the games of 1896, 1912, 1936, and the 1956 Equestrian Games.  The Games of Tokyo in 1964 shattered the glass ceiling and certainly along with 1936 should be described as the first examples of the Olympic Ceremony as an art form.  The ceremony featured fireworks for the first time, an enormous release of balloons (also a first), the first performance of an electronic music score in an opening ceremony performed for the entrance of the Emperor, jet planes created the Olympic Rings in sky-writing, and even the cauldron lighting moment became an incredible artistic moment as a boy who was born in Hiroshima the day the atomic bomb was dropped on the city lit the Olympic Cauldron to an amazing dispersing of chrysanthemum perfume covering the entire stadium as the torch was rounding the track.  Tokyo made a giant leap forward in the artistic elements surrounding the ceremony, and within a few decades, the Olympic Opening Ceremony would become the largest live artistic performance in world history.

  • Olympic flags and flags of all the participating nations hoisted on poles on top of the stadium
  • Electronic music fanfare; Emperor and dignitaries arrive at the stadium
  • National Anthem is performed by orchestra
  • Parade of Nations
  • Coubertin's speech played in 1936, broadcast at the stadium (Olympic report incorrectly states that Coubertin was speaking at the 1936)
  • Emperor of Japan declares the games open
  • Olympic Flag carried into the stadium to the Olympic Fanfare and Olympic Hymn
  • "Antwerp" flag, carried by Mayor of Rome proceeded by children's drum band, given to the Mayor of Tokyo
  • Canons fire; 12,000 balloons released
  • Olympic Torch enters the stadium; Perfume Released; Olympic Cauldron lit by Yoshinori Sakai (born in Hiroshima August 6, 1945 - the day it was leveled by an atomic bomb)
  • Tokyo Olympic Games anthem performed by chorus and orchestra
  • Athlete's Oath
  • 8,000 pigeons released
  • National Anthem is performed by chorus and orchestra
  • Jet planes make the five Olympic rings in sky-writing

Gold Medal from the 1964 Tokyo Olympics
The 1964 Tokyo Olympic Torch
Official Poster of the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo

View of the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo during the 1964 Olympic Opening Ceremony

The 1964 Olympic Cauldron in Tokyo

1 comment:

  1. For some reason, the '68 opening ceremony redirects me to the blogger homepage. Can you just upload the 68' opening ceremony?


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